Cubs High-Leverage Reliever To Miss All Of 2024 After Surgery

A terrible break for the Chicago Cubs, and for veteran high-leverage reliever Michael Fulmer. He has undergone elbow surgery and will likely not be back until 2025.

Fulmer had UCL revision surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. 

The 30-year-old began his career on a high note, winning the AL Rookie of the Year in 2016 as a starting pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, and making the All-Star team in 2017.  But Tommy John surgery in 2019 completely derailed his career, and only after converting to the bullpen in 2021 was he able to get back on track. 

He recorded 14 saves for the Tigers in '21, and had another nice year in relief in '22 before joining the Cubs in 2023 on a one-year, $4M deal. And while his strikeouts rose significantly in Chicago to 10.3 per nine innings, his overall numbers were a bit pedestrian, with a 4.42 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. This was partly due to more elbow troubles.

A forearm strain began to bother him in August, forcing two trips to the injured list. The latest elbow surgery is a slightly different procedure from the Tommy John surgery he had four years ago, but it involves the same ligament. 

He'll now spend the next calendar year rehabbing as a free agent. 

 Photo: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports