Orioles left-handed pitcher Josh Rogers is going to Dallas to get a second opinion on what the team has described as an ulnar collateral ligament strain in his pitching elbow.
Rogers left Tuesday night’s game in the fifth inning after feeling elbow soreness in the Orioles’ loss to the San Diego Padres.
Rogers, who pitched through 2 ⅓ innings, knew something was up when he left the mound.
“I felt something in my elbow, just something different,” Rogers said.
He talked with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel, and then had an MRI, which helped determine he should have another doctor, Keith Meister, who specializes in sports injuries and elbow reconstruction, look at it.
“There’s pretty good evidence that there’s something wrong structurally,” Rogers said.
Minor UCL injuries require rest and therapy, but if there’s structural damage, Rogers will have to undergo UCL reconstruction surgery — more commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
“I think the level of concern for everybody is pretty high,” Rogers said. “It’s not good. I know that.”
Patients generally take about a year to return from a successful Tommy John surgery.
“Super unfortunate and real disappointing, but hopefully I’ll be back and stronger than ever,” Rogers said.
The Orioles acquired the left-handed pitcher, along with right-handed pitchers Dillon Tate and Cody Carroll, in the Zack Britton trade with the New York Yankees in July 2018. He would be the second pitcher the organization acquired through last year’s trades to undergo Tommy John surgery, joining Zach Pop, who came from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade.
Through the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Rogers has played in eight games with the Orioles, including five this season.
The Orioles had optioned Rogers to Triple-A Norfolk on April 11 but recalled him on June 14.
The rookie has pitched in four games since then. His ERA for 2019 is 8.79, and he has recorded one loss against the Oakland Athletics.
In Tuesday night’s game, Rogers was meant to supply length after the opener, right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis, came out of the game. Rogers struck out five batters and gave up three runs before he left.
Rogers was placed on the 10-day injured list before Wednesday’s game, with the team recalling left-handed reliever Paul Fry.
After Wednesday’s 10-5 loss to the Padres, the Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Matt Wotherspoon to Triple-A to make room for left-handed pitcher John Means to return and start Friday’s game against the Cleveland Indians.