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Nationals first-round pick Lucas Giolito to undergo Tommy John surgery

Aug 23, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

Lucas Giolito AP AP

Questions about the health of Lucas Giolito’s elbow caused the 18-year-old right-hander to fall from potential No. 1 pick to the Nationals at No. 16 and now after one professional appearance he’s headed for Tommy John surgery.

Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Giolito will go under the knife on August 31, with Dr. Lewis Yocum doing the honors.

He’ll miss essentially all of next season, perhaps making it back for a handful of late-season games if everything goes ahead of schedule.

Obviously this is bad news for everyone involved, but the Nationals knew they were taking a risk with Giolito when they drafted him (and gave him an above-slot $3 million signing bonus) and even with 12 months on the sidelines his long-term upside remains higher than anyone else available in the middle of the first round.

Even a fully healthy Giolito was years from potentially getting to the majors, so this simply makes the long road to the big leagues a little longer.

  1. Alex K - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    The real question is how he feels about the way the Nats are handling Strasburg.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      I’m sure Rizzo assured Giolito, and his family, that the kid would be cared for well. For evidence, Giolito can look at how carefully the Nats have handled Jordan Zimmermann and Strasburg.

      • Alex K - Aug 23, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        I’m pretty sure you missed the joke there, man.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 23, 2012 at 9:42 PM

        I didn’t miss the joke, because there was no joke worth missing. And no, I’m not that interested in hearing Giolito’s opinion on Strasburg’s situation.

  2. bigleagues - Aug 23, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Wait! You mean to tell me that he made just one appearance – and then needed TJS?!

    I’m shocked!

    I mean I just assumed that the Nationals knew exactly what to do in these situations and would have prevented injury by limiting his workload for the next 5-7 years.

    Just like with Strasburg, I’m sure that all the stress Giolito placed on his ligament in the preceding 10+ years as he grew up had absolutely nothing to do with the necessity of this injury.

  3. dondada10 - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Rick Sutcliffe thinks this kid’s a pussy.

  4. paperlions - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Still a great deal for the Nats, 90%+ chance that he’ll comeback from TJ surgery as good as he was….which was far better than anyone else they could have drafted with that pick….and the bonus was what….one month of Werth’s salary?

  5. natstowngreg - Aug 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    No surprise at all. Hope you get through this OK, Lucas.

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