Brewers reliever John Curtiss recently underwent Tommy John surgery, general manager David Stearns told reporters (including Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). The right-hander is not expected to return until 2023.
That’s not especially surprising news, as Curtiss tore the UCL in his throwing elbow during an appearance last month. While Curtiss was hoping to avoid a surgical procedure, further evaluation evidently deemed it necessary. It’s an unfortunate way to end what had been a productive season, as the 28-year-old pitched to a 3.45 ERA over 44 1/3 innings split between the Marlins and Brew Crew. While Curtiss’s 23.5% strikeout rate is essentially league average, he did well to avoid walks and home runs. That solid showing prompted Milwaukee to trade catching prospect Payton Henry to land Curtiss at the trade deadline, but he blew out after just six appearances with his new team.
Curtiss is already on the 60-day injured list, where he’ll remain for the rest of the season. The Brewers can keep Curtiss on the 60-day IL all of next season, as well, but they’ll need to reinstate him to the 40-man roster over the winter. Curtiss remains under team control through 2025 and won’t be eligible for arbitration until the 2022-23 offseason.
Stearns added that fellow reliever Justin Topa is going for a second opinion on his own elbow injury. Topa, who has already undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career, was placed on the 60-day injured list over the weekend due to elbow discomfort. (Jandel Gustave returned from the COVID-19 in a corresponding move). That ended Topa’s season, although it remains to be seen whether he’ll have a chance of being ready for Spring Training in 2022.