Tommy John surgery. Just the name alone sends shivers down the spine of a baseball fan.
The ligament replacement surgery has been verging on an epidemic thus far in 2014, with 19 players succumbing to ulnar collateral ligament tears through just about a quarter of the season, after only 24 players required Tommy John a season ago. Gavin Floyd, Chad Billingsley and Daniel Hudson were the major casualties from a season ago, until Matt Harvey went down in late August.
This season, it hasn't just been the sheer numbers that have increased, but also the star power. Of the 19 players to go under the knife, three were All-Stars in 2013 and two more ran ERAs equal to or better than 2.00 in 2012. Throw in two top prospects in Jameson Taillon and Miguel Sano, and a bevy of young talented arms that haven't yet made their mark in the Major Leagues and you have a lot of heartache stemming from Tommy John for MLB teams and their fans alike. You've reached the end of our free article preview.
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