los angeles angels‘ Two-way superstar tore his UCL and may require Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career, Ohtani’s first UCL procedure occurred in September 2018, and effectively barred him from pitching until the start of the 2021 season.
The three-time All-Star has been one of the game’s top hurlers since his return. While 2022 was his best season on the mound, he currently sports an MLB-best 5.8 hits per nine innings and an American League-best 143 ERA+. Whether or not that version of Ohtani will ever resurface is one of the many questions the baseball world is wondering as it seeks more opinion on whether to reintroduce Tommy John.
Many pitchers have made a full recovery from a TJ surgery, as Ohtani has demonstrated brilliantly over the years. But only about a dozen starters have had to work their way back from two, and results since the second have been mixed. it’s an attempt dodgers ace walker buehler appears nearing completion, and rangers ace jacob degrom Recently started.
Below is a summary of the most notable cases in MLB history (listed in chronological order).
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 24-34; 656.1 IP, 204 Apps/72 Starts, 33-30, 3.62 ERA, 19 Saves
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 39; 5.1 ip, 3 apps, 10.13 eon
Ontiveros is effectively the first instance of a starting pitcher coming back after two Tommy John procedures, and his career took a major downturn after the second. After winning the AL ERA title in 1994 and being named an All-Star along with As In 1995, his second UCL renewal saw him sidelined for four seasons in 1996. He only played in three more games after his return in 2000.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 19-30; 1786 IP, 332 APPS/260 STARTS, 111-87, 3.16 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 36–37; 94 IP, 44 APPS/9 STARTS, 5-4, 4.60 ERA
Rizzo was one of baseball’s best pitchers from 1988 to 1994, earning World Series MVP honors, a strikeout crown and All-Star selection, and twice finishing in the top five in the NL Cy Young vote. reds, This was all before his first Tommy John surgery in 1995. He had another surgery in 1997 and was eventually sidelined for five consecutive seasons. He was on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot (and received one vote) before making an admirable return to the majors in 2001. However, the return only lasted two seasons, and the former star mostly felt relieved.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 22-29; 761.2 IP, 103 starts, 43-52, 4.38 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 31-32; 111 IP, 70 APPS/10 STARTS, 5-8, 4.22 ERA
The Dodgers’ one-time star prospect underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career in the middle of the 2001 season, shortly after signing a five-year, $55 million deal. He briefly returned as the starter during the 2003 season before being moved to the bullpen in 2004, where he appeared in 60 games, his final season.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 25-30; 683.1 IP, 174 APPS/96 STARTS, 45-41, 4.45 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 31; 23 IP, 13 APPS/4 STARTS, 0-3, 10.17 ERA
Zambrano’s career came to a halt when he required a second Tommy John surgery in 2006. He returned a year later but struggled with the Blue Jays and then the Orioles and did not appear in the majors again after the 2007 season.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 21-33; 1,547 IP, 245 starts, 82–83, 4.47 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: Age 34: Never pitched again in the majors
Anderson is really an exception in this group. The journeyman lefty did not compete in major competitions after that. First Tommy John had surgery in 2005. However, he tried. Anderson signed a minor-league deal in 2006, but re-injured his hand and had to go back under the knife. Two years later, Anderson made another minor-league signing but broke his UCL for the third time.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 24-28; 711.2 IP, 116 starts, 42-48, 4.39 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 31-37; 718 IP, 109 starts, 35-44, 4.37 ERA
Lefty showed great potential in his first few seasons Brewers and earned an All-Star selection in 2006. A second Tommy John surgery before the 2008 season sidelined him for two years. Capuano returned to pitch seven more seasons, posting a sub-4.00 ERA as a starter in 2012. He was used mostly as a reliever in the last three years of his career.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 22-35; 2268 IP, 368 starts, 132-117, 4.20 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 37–38; 60.1 IP, 11 Starts, 1-8, 5.82 ERA
Wolf was a true innings-eater and even made an All-Star team before his first TJ procedure. Injury made him less effective but only briefly interrupted a long career. Wolf required a second surgery relatively late in his career and did not do much after that.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 23-27; 512.2 IP, 152 APPS/61 STARTS, 34-20, 2.95 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 29-32; 86.2 IP, 22 APPS/15 STARTS, 7-6, 5.61 ERA
Madeleine was one of the best pitchers in the game in 2013, his first full season as a starter. But he required Tommy John surgery for a second time in spring training the following year, and made only 21 appearances in the majors in the 2015–16 season. He pitched in the Minors in 2017 before making only one appearance diamondbacks In 2018, announced his retirement at the end of that season.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 22-24; 384 IP, 62 starts, 25-16, 3.68 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: Age 25: Never pitched again in the majors
Parker’s promising career came to an early end after two strong opening seasons. He had Tommy John surgery at the start of the 2014 season and never returned to the majors. He announced his retirement in 2018.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 21-29; 998 IP, 160 starts, 58-45, 3.40 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: Age 30: Never pitched again in the majors
He shone with the Marlins at age 22, had Tommy John, and then went on to earn two All-Star awards and become the NL ERA champion. But other injuries limited his availability and effectiveness before requiring another Tommy John surgery. he signed with Guardian A second procedure followed but he never appeared in a game and had a third surgery in 2015.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 21-26; 739 IP, 127 starts, 38-46, 4.21 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 28-33; 642.1 IP, 113 starts, 40-25, 3.81 ERA
After his second Tommy John surgery, there was no better pitcher than Eovaldi. After missing all of 2017, Eovaldi was traded red Sox in the middle of the 2018 season and played a key role in their World Series title run.
A disastrous 2019 (5.99 ERA) was erased by three above-average seasons, including an All-Star campaign in 2021. He is currently in the midst of a career year with the Rangers (which earned him another All-Star selection), though his long stay on the injured list likely cost him a chance at the AL Cy Young Award, which has He was in a strong position to stake a claim.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 21-34; 1524.2 IP, 269 starts, 93-87, 4.42 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 35-36; 21.2 IP, 18 APPS/4 STARTS, 2-2, 6.65 ERA
Volquez was an All-Star by age 25 and looked like a future long-time ace before his first Tommy John surgery in 2009. That version never returned, although he played a key role in helping the Royals win the 2015 World Series. In 2017, just two months after pitching a no-hitter, Volquez needed Tommy John again. Two years later he again appeared in the major examinations but his career was virtually over.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: Did not pitch in MLB before second surgery
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 24-27; 282 IP, 83 Apps/46 Starts, 20-10, 2.97 ERA
Rasmussen, who had two Tommy John surgeries while in college, has been a vital hand in his rays‘ rotation over the past few seasons. In July he had a separate elbow surgery (UCL repair), which will rule him out until at least the middle of the 2024 season.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 24-27; 466 IP, 82 starts, 29-24, 3.67 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: age 29-31; 437.1 IP, 84 starts, 29-19, 4.49 ERA
The former No. 2 overall selection didn’t reach the majors until after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the minors. He developed into an above-average starter before requiring a second UCL operation in 2019, effectively ending his time with the Pirates. After sitting out 2020, Talon has shouldered a heavy workload for three consecutive seasons. He hasn’t been good with the Cubs in 2023, posting a 5.60 ERA so far.
- Before the second Tommy John surgery: age 26-35; 1003.1 IP, 174 Starts, 75-45, 3.27 ERA
- After second Tommy John surgery: Age 36, 19 IP, 4 Starts, 2-1, 1.89 ERA
It’s worth noting that Ryu had his first TJ surgery when he was a teenager in 2004. The veteran lefty had his best full season with the Dodgers in 2019 and finished as the AL Cy Young runner-up in the abbreviated 2020 season. with blue Jays, He then struggled through the next year and last summer required his second UCL procedure. Ryu returned to action earlier this month and has done exceptionally well for Toronto so far.
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