Pirates Starter Has Season-Ending Tommy John Surgery

Another tough break for the Pittsburgh Pirates on the injury front, as the team has confirmed the worst, announcing that 4th-year starting pitcher JT Brubaker has undergone Tommy John surgery. 

Per Pirates beat writer Kevin Gorman, the Pirates say that Brubaker will be out from 14-to-16 months after the surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. 

The 29-year-old had a strong spring training, racking up 26 strikeouts against just three walks in 17.1 innings with a 1.10 WHIP. He was expected to be a big part of the rotation this season. 

Brubaker joins exciting youngster Oneil Cruz as long-term absences for the Bucs already on this budding season; Cruz is out four months with a fractured ankle. 

Brubaker had a 4.69 ERA last season in 28 starts, with a 147:54 strikeout-to-walk ratio while inducing grounders at a good rate. He was also the victim of some bad luck, as he had a .334 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) against, higher than normal.

25-year-old Johan Oviedo has stepped into Brubaker's stead in the rotation thus far this season, and threw a gem against the Chicago White Sox in his second start, with six shutout innings. He has a 3.18 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. 

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