Phillies reliever Victor Arano is scheduled to be examined next week by orthopedic surgeon Neal ElAttrache, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Arano has already missed a month of action since coming down with elbow inflammation.
It had seemed that the 24-year-old Arano would make it back onto the MLB roster in relatively short order but the problematic symptoms in the joint arose again. That led the team to schedule an appointment with ElAttrache, who is known best for his role as the Dodgers’ team physician as well as for the many Tommy John surgeries he has performed.
Skipper Gabe Kapler says the situation doesn’t “feel” like one in which a major surgery will be required. There’s obviously enough worry to order up a closer look, though the hope will be that a non-invasive treatment approach can solve the issues.
Arano seemed to be a core pen piece for the Phils after a quality showing last year in his first full season in the majors. He opened on optional assignment after a rough spring but earned his way quickly back to the majors — where he got swings and misses on one of every four pitches he threw (albeit in a sample of just 16 batters faced).
Even if the news is relatively good, it seems the Phillies will need to give Arano a while longer to heal. And there is one intriguing replacement option filtering back, Breen further reports.
Vince Velasquez is set for his first mound work since hitting the IL on the 11th of this month. It seems the expectation is that his forearm strain won’t prevent him from bouncing back rather quickly, meaning that the team could soon be presented with some decisions in its rotation.
If the Phils decide to stick with Cole Ervin or restore Nick Pivetta to his spot in the starting five, Velasquez will be without a role. He could drop down to Triple-A to remain stretched out or perhaps function as a potentially handy high-leverage long man. Understandably, it seems the club will wait to make its moves until it is forced to commit.