The Red Sox announced Wednesday that pitching prospect Bryan Mata underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles yesterday. The right-hander was diagnosed with a “slight” tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow in early March and hoped to avoid surgery. After several weeks of downtime, however, it appears the outlook had not changed. He’ll miss the 2021 season and the early portion of 2022 as well.
Mata, 22 next month, is widely regarded as the organization’s top pitching prospect. He reached Double-A as a 20-year-old in 2019 and posted a combined 3.43 ERA, 24.7 percent strikeout rate and 9.3 percent walk rate in 105 innings across two levels that season. Had he been healthy, he’d likely have been ticketed for a return trip to Double-A and may even have emerged as a candidate to join the big league club later in the year.
Instead, as is the case with injured prospects around the league, Mata will now go about two years without playing in a competitive game setting. The lack of a minor league season in 2020 deprived prospects around the game of critical development time, and Mata will tack another 12 months onto his layoff from competition. He did see some work at the Red Sox’ alternate training site last summer, so it’s not as though he was completely idle, but the lost time to refine his skills nevertheless stings. Of course, Mata has youth on his side and could still very plausibly make it to the big leagues in his early 20s if he’s able to make a relatively swift recovery from yesterday’s procedure.
Not another one!
I honestly think that this Eduard Bazardo kid will be better than Mata anyway so I’m not too worried!
Regardless of others Sox34, no one wants to see a young top prospect get TJ. Whereas you’re not too worried, I am
How can you be so lacking in compassion sox34? I’m glad I don’t count you as part of my family and friends network.
Totally different type of pitchers. Bazardo is a pure reliever not a starter. He is the fastball, curveball classic reliever type. Mata, before his TJ was starter and had the 4 pitches to remain a starter. You are comparing apples and oranges. It remains to see how Mata comes back from TJ surgery but I’m sure Boston still looks at him as a future starter.
2 young pitchers are better than one young pitcher.
Even if you don’t care about the kid’s health, you could care about that.
We have the absolute worst luck with our pitching prospects! Hopefully Houck can hold up and his arm doesn’t fall off like mata, or start completely sucking like Henry Owens
I guess any player young enough can be referred to as a “prospect.”
I wish him luck. High success rate with TJS, but there still some risk.
BTW When is Nick Anderson going to have TJS? It is he simply figuring 2022 is already lost if he has TJS, so he’s hoping for a miracle instead?
Not sure what else you call him except a prospect. I’d call Betty White a prospect if she was in the upper minors with those numbers too.
At Betty White’s age maybe her wrinkles will frighten the batters into striking out.
Betty White a prospect? She may be good for a laugh or two but at her age, her prospects moving forward aren’t very good.
Seriously, she’s amazing. Forget the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Watch reruns of the black and white Password. She was funny then and to realize we’re still blessed to have her make us laugh today is unreal. All the best to you Ms Betty White!
Betty White produced, directed, wrote, and starred in a TV show in the 1950’s in LA. When the network offered to carry it nationally — if she dropped a black tap dancer who was a regular guest — she refused.
A true leader for women’s and civil rights.
How old is she…… she has been around so long that it FEELS like she must be 150 year old. lol
Wow, what a shame. Had he stayed healthy, he would have made his debut this year and he is a legitimate prospect. He has the potential to be a solid #3 pitcher, if not #2.
With every inch of me, I pure, straight hate you! But, God damn it, do I respect you!
She will hit 100 Jan. 17.
Is it a tear that is being repaired and braced or is the UCL being replaced?
Pedro Cerrano's Voodoo
TJS is ligament replacement surgery.
I wonder how much mooola Tommy John gets everytime his name is mentioned with surgery
Joe Mauers Weak Legs
I’d imagine the he receives the same compensation Lou Gehrig received every time ALS was referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease… infamy.
How much does Gerhrig make?
I saw an interview and he was annoyed at the use of his name, and he said he would prefer that people remember him as the excellent pitcher that he was.
Kerry Wood and Prior had way too many innings on their arms going in, too bad they were overused starting in High School, especially Wood
Unfortunately this is not surprising. This is going to be a two year deal hopefully he can come back from this strong.
Obviously had hoped that he would make his debut as a 22 year old this year but now it looks like 25 best case scenario. TJ surgery seems to be the norm now for young pitchers not the exception anymore. Plenty of young pitchers have come back strong from TJ no reason to think Mata won’t either. Now sides Houck it has to be Seabold next in line I’m sure we will see him this year. His stuff has ticked up and he has maintained his great control. I am very excited about this guy.
I look at some of these pitchers and can tell who’s already going to be Injured and who won’t. Your release, arm angle, the effort you swing your arm with, all matters. Some guys stay healthy, because they have proper throwing mechanics. Period.
Sam in Boston
No you can’t. Mark Prior had perfect mechanics and still blew his arm out.
The Sox were correct to pick up E Rod & Pivetta for expiring contracts.
at this point teams should just require pitchers to get preemptive TJS upon signing
It’s fine he will just come back with a robot arm now.
Wonder if Mata and Noah Song both could debut in 2023
IF Song ever gets out…..
Oh Song will get out but the question is when. If he gets out in May this year then the Red Sox made a good move if he doesn’t then most likely he will have to fulfill all 5 years and there is no guarantee he leaves after that or is even viable. The reality is May 2021 is a big time for him will he be granted permission to Leave early unknown at this point.
Nobody wants to see a pitcher get TJ surgery but with all the new training programs emphasizing velocity it’s nearly impossible to avoid it if you are hitting the high 90s on the gun. The good news is that the surgery success rate keeps improving and the selection of the replacement ligament(s) seems to be improving as well.
Mechanics can impact the need for the surgery but most of the time it’s all about the quest for velocity. I’ve seen high school kids sign up at elite training facilities and end up having the surgery before they graduate. Mata will be fine but he’ll lose a year of development at a critical time. Fall surgery gives a player a year off, spring surgery means at least a year and a half. The timing of Mata’s surgery is not optimal.
I’m sure everyone wishes him well in his recovery.
KD very well said!