Minnesota Twins Starter To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

The Minnesota Twins' pitching staff has been off to a tremendous start to the season, with the likes of Joe Ryan, Sonny Gray, Pablo Lopez and now Bailey Ober racking up superb performances. But Tyler Mahle, also off to a nice start, has hit a major bump in the road, as he'll now be forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Mahle said he didn't blow his arm out or feel the normal pain that a pitcher experiences in an ulnar collateral ligament injury. They also don't feel that it's related to his shoulder issues from last season, or anything specific that happened while in Minnesota. They say it's more stemming from chronic use and wear in the arm—the UCL becoming lax and the flexor strain putting more stress on it. 

He last pitched on April 26 against the Kansas City Royals, and left the start with "elbow soreness"; he said afterward that he exited the game only as a "precaution", and called the injury "just inflammation." 

But manager Rocco Baldelli said that visits with a series of doctors sealed the pitcher's fate as the latest Tommy John victim. 

"I wish I was able to contribute like I thought I would, like the team thought I would when they traded for me," said Mahle. "I never thought I'd be in this position getting Tommy John and all that. It's part of the game. It happens. It's very disappointing."

The worst part about this for Mahle, 28, is that he was set to become a free agent at season's end, and now won't even be ready to pitch in 2024—for any team—until well into the season. 

In five starts this year, Mahle had posted a solid 3.16 ERA with an even more impressive 28:5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25.2 innings. 

Photo: Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports