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Casey Kelly undergoing tests for sore pitching elbow, could need Tommy John surgery

Mar 13, 2013, 6:31 PM EDT

casey kelly getty Getty Images

Troubling news this evening out of Padres camp.

According to beat writer Corey Brock of, top pitching prospect Casey Kelly “will have tests done” this week on his right (pitching) elbow, which has been plagued by soreness since his last Cactus League start on March 7 against the Angels.

Kelly began experiencing elbow discomfort last April and was shut down for the next three months as a precautionary measure. Tests taken throughout that period of rest ruled out any structural damage, but there is obviously something not quite right.

The 23-year-old right-hander was rated the Padres’ top prospect this winter by Baseball America and he ranked 45th on Baseball America‘s Top 100 for 2013. The future remains bright but is for now partly cloudy.


UPDATE, 6:54 PM: Padres manager Bud Black told Brock that the “doctors are concerned what the tests look like” and said Kelly needs to talk to his family before making any further decisions. He may also get a second opinion on the elbow. It seems like Kelly is headed for Tommy John reconstructive surgery.

  1. hammyofdoom - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Dammit. I never like to see former Sox farmhands getting hurt like this… I hope he comes back better as ever for the Padres. I do have to admit though, this does make me feel better about the Sox trading him for a year and a half of Adrian Gonzalez + Allen Webster and Ruby De La Rosa…

    • vanmorrissey - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      This happens. Last year it was Luebke, and he waited like a month before deciding on the surgery and he’s now been shut down a couple weeks and is probably unlikely to come back until after mid-season, so kiss this year good-bye for him. Kelly, again, get it done now so at least you can start out next spring on track to an April, May return. This is why a team needs 7-9 starters, not just 5 in the rotation. Depth.

  2. APBA Guy - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    Absolutely right. Billy Beane and the A’s have been talking for several years now about a “rotation” of 7-9 starters, especially as younger pitchers have innings limits, and even a successful TJ can be an 18 month recovery time.

    Good luck to Kelly.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Apparently just being a member of the Red Sox organization for any amount of time causes your UCL to fall apart.

  4. icanspeel - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:51 PM

    Bad for him and the Padres since this year he had the opportunity to show what he can do and the Padres already needed another starting pitcher before this.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      He showed what he can do.

      Not keep his ligaments attached to his bones (or whatever ligaments attach to. I’m not a doctor.)

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