Diamondbacks reliever Chris Devenski recently underwent Tommy John surgery, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports (Twitter link). Devenski was reportedly considering surgery after being placed on the 60-day injured list due to a sprained right UCL, and he’ll now face an absence of roughly 13-15 months as per the normal TJ rehab timeline.
Devenski’s 2020 season was also cut short by arthroscopic elbow surgery, though that four-month recovery period pales in comparison to the much more long-term setback of a Tommy John procedure. Devenski will miss not just the rest of the 2021 season but most or even potentially all of the 2022 campaign, should he hit a setback in his rehab.
Best known for his time with the Astros, Devenski broke into the majors with a 2.38 ERA over 189 innings during the 2016-17 seasons, often working as a multi-inning reliever en route to helping Houston win the 2017 World Series (though he struggled during the Astros’ postseason run). The right-hander followed up those two big years with only decent performances in 2018-19, and injuries then limited him to only 3 2/3 innings in 2020.
After electing free agency following last season, Devenski inked a minor league deal with the D’Backs that locked in $1MM of guaranteed money once he made Arizona’s big league roster. Unfortunately, he couldn’t recapture his old form, posting an 8.59 ERA over his 7 1/3 innings for the Snakes, striking out only five of 35 batters faced.
The 30-year-old now faces an uncertain future in his next trip through free agency. It’s not out of the question that Devenski could land a multi-year minor league contract, with a team essentially paying him a minimal salary to rehab for much of 2022 and then retaining his rights for a (presumably) healthy season in 2023. However, with Devenski’s lack of a recent track record, teams might just prefer to wait until he’s done rehab in 13-15 months and then scout his progress during a showcase.
While Devenski wasn’t exactly a huge investment for the Diamondbacks, his injury represents yet another misfire during what is looking like a nightmare of a two-year stretch for the club. The D’Backs struggled to a 25-35 record in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and the Snakes are 20-39 thus far in 2021, as injuries and under-performance have them already looking like also-rans here in the first week of June.