“Elbow Soreness” For Pitcher Coming Back From Tommy John

It's never an easy road back from Tommy John surgery for a major league pitcher. The recovery period is 12-18 months. Now, after sitting out the entire 2022 season due to the procedure, Minnesota Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda is being shut down due to "elbow soreness." Yikes. 

After surrendering a whopping 10 earned runs on 11 hits in just three innings Wednesday night, Maeda came out of the game complaining of elbow soreness. Updated word on the MRI imaging revealed a muscle strain but no structural damage. He will go on the IL but seems to have avoided a serious problem.

Maeda was off to an ugly start in his return this season, with a league-leading four losses (0-4) along with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. Perhaps the elbow issue helps to explain all that.

The now-35-year-old pitcher was the Cy Young runner-up in his first season in the Twin Cities in 2020, but struggled to a 4.66 ERA in 21 starts in 2021 before going down to the dreaded Tommy John surgery.

Photo: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports