Colorado Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino is already on the disabled list with inflammation in his right triceps, but it may turn out a far worse injury than originally reported. The Denver Post's Nick Groke reports that the closer is seeking a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, which typically spells disater for a pitcher trying to recover quickly from injury. Dr. Andrews is Major League Baseball's front runner for performing Tommy John surgery.
Groke says that Rockies team doctor Thomas Noonan diagnosed Ottavino with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), the very ligamanet that needs replacing during the surgery. At this point, Ottavino is simply making sure that the surgery is absolutely necessary before making his decision. Recall that New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has pitched with the same injury without having the operation.
Ottavino, though, understands what he would face, but he has already shown the determination to return as soon as possible. Groke quoted the 30-year-old reliever discussing this very issue. Said Ottavino,
"Baseball is my love. So I will do everything I can to come back. I've accepted it. I'll take it head on. This isn't a death sentence."
The average time for recovery is approximately 12-15 months, which would most likely put him back on the mound in the middle of 2016. He has hope by watching how well New York Mets starter Matt Harvey has recovered.
Ottavino, who wears #0 to replicate his last-name initial, has made 10 appearances in this young season, and he has pitched exceptionally well: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.47 WHIP, 3 for 3 in saves, and 13 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. After a rough first two seasons in 2010 (St. Louis Cardinals) and 2012 (Rockies), he has settled in nicely to complie a very respectable total career line of 8-10, 3.88 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and 254 strikeouts in 255 innings pitched.
With LaTroy Hawkins also on the disabled list, the Rockies are currently without a closer unless someone steps up fast.