Pittsburgh Pirates Pitcher Could Be Facing Tommy John Surgery

"Discomfort in the pitching elbow/forearm" is never something you want to hear about a pitcher. Unfortunately, that's the malady, and the uncertainty, facing Pittsburgh Pirates starter JT Brubaker right now. 

According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post GazetteBrubaker won’t start again for months and maybe more. Tommy John surgery is one of the treatment options being discussed. 

Brubaker was placed on the injured list a week ago, and transferred to the 60-day this past weekend. 

As the 29-year-old has faced arm issues before, it's been posited that a move to the bullpen might be in line for the right-hander, whenever he does return. 

“When he first came up, you saw him as a reliever,” Pirates pitching coach Oscar Marin said this winter, per Mackey. “Is it a crazy thought? No. But as of right now, starting pitching is at a premium. He’s able to do it more than just in short stints.”

Brubaker had a 4.69 ERA last season with a 1.46 WHIP. 

Johan Oviedo was first in line to take his spot in the rotation, but his first turn didn't go all that well Monday night, as he couldn't complete five innings against the Boston Red Sox, surrendering six hits, four walks and four earned runs in 4.2 IP. Last season, he was a pleasant surprise, with a 3.23 ERA in seven starts for them, 2.12 ERA in his last three.

He should get another shot.  

Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports