MLB Breaking News: Worst-Case Scenario for Spencer Strider & Atlanta Braves

It was certainly concerning news last week when Atlanta Braves ace and Cy Young contender Spencer Strider was forced out of a game with elbow discomfort and headed for an MRI. Now the worst-case scenario has unfolded for the Braves and the young pitcher, as he's had season-ending UCL surgery on his elbow.

Strider was clearly experiencing something in his last start on April 5th, as his velocity was noticeably down, and he allowed five runs over just four innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He didn’t inform the Braves of the elbow discomfort before ending his 88-pitch night.

He had surgery surgery on Friday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow with an internal brace. That procedure should allow him to return a bit quicker than the usual Tommy John surgery, so perhaps he could be ready for the start of, or early in the 2025 season.

“[Strider] is so dedicated to his craft,” manager Brian Snitker said. “He does everything right from being a great teammate to just all the dedication. I really hate this for him because he enjoys it so much.”

Last season he led the majors in wins, going 20-5, with ann MLB-best 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings. 

The hard-throwing Strider, in fact, led all of baseball with 482 strikeouts over the past two seasons. In addition, his 37.3 percent strikeout rate was easily tops among starting pitchers. 

He signed a six-year, $75 million deal after the 2022 season. 

Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports