Rockies reliever Lucas Gilbreath will undergo Tommy John surgery next week, he announced on TikTok (h/t to Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette). He’ll miss the entire 2023 season and likely be sidelined into the ’24 campaign as well.
It’s a disappointing but not surprising development. Thomas Harding of MLB.com reported last week that the procedure was likely after Gilbreath had undergone an MRI. Perhaps not coincidentally, Colorado signed veteran southpaw Brad Hand to what essentially amounts to a $3MM deal (assuming he’s not cut within the next three weeks) over the weekend. Hand should step in as Colorado’s top left-handed reliever, with waiver claim Brent Suter adding a potential multi-inning option from the left side.
Hand and Suter make for a decent pairing of matchup options for skipper Bud Black. Still, the club will obviously be disappointed to lose Gilbreath, who had somewhat quietly put together a nice 2022 campaign. The 27-year-old worked to a 4.19 ERA over 43 innings, striking out 26.2% of batters faced with a solid 46.7% grounder rate. Gilbreath walked nearly 14% of opponents but he stifled left-handed batters to a .186 average and meager .220 slugging mark over 74 plate appearances.
The Rox will place Gilbreath on the 60-day injured list once the need for a 40-man roster spot arises. He’ll collect a full year of service while rehabbing, bringing him up to two years and 147 days of MLB time at season’s end. He’s a virtual lock to qualify for early arbitration as a Super Two player next winter, though his lack of a platform showing means he’s not likely to collect a salary much higher than the league minimum if tendered a contract. Colorado can control Gilbreath through the 2027 campaign.
Well, now we know why Hand was signed. Hopefully Gilbreath can have a fast recovery.
He should try getting rid of his gil breath while he’s recovering.
Seeing as he uses Tik Tok…had it coming.
“They” say if you are going to tear a ligament, do it in August or September…..