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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cory Gearrin possibly Braves' next Tommy John surgery candidate

By on 3/29/2014 01:30:00 PM

On March 23, the Atlanta Braves officially placed five pitchers on the disabled list, including Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, who will both miss the entire season and more because of Tommy John surgery. Now, we can make that six. The Braves announced on Saturday that reliever Cory Gearrin will join the others effective immediately.

The news could get even worse. Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Gearrin's disablement is due to damage in his elbow ligaments. Gearrin will see Dr. James Andrews next week, which suggests that he could have Tommy John surgery. If so, he will miss all of 2014.

Gearrin left Thursday's Spring Training game after feeling soreness in his right elbow. Initial indication was a sprain, but further examination revealed the ligament damage. Rogers quoted Braves general manager Frank Wren describing the injury as a blow to the team's pitching depth. Said Wren,
“We’ve kind of eaten through our depth. It looked like we were in pretty good shape coming into spring training with some guys about to get healthy and all of a sudden the next thing you know we’re pretty thin. We still have three more guys we’re hoping get activated in the next three to four weeks to get back to full strength.”
Those "three more guys" include pitchers Gavin Floyd, Mike Minor, and Jonny Venters, all due back in either April or May. That depth will get even better when Ervin Santana joins the rotation after extended preparation time. The Braves will call up Ryan Buchter from Triple-A to take Gearrin's spot in the bullpen.

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