The Pittsburgh Pirates saw one of their more talented pitching prospects undergo Tommy John Surgery. This is just another in what’s becoming a long line of Pirates’ pitchers.
Tommy John Surgery. It is a term that has been used way too much around the Pittsburgh Pirates the last few weeks. Last week, it was announced that starter Chad Kuhl would be undergoing the surgery. Then, just a few days ago the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that big league reliever Edgar Santana would also require Tommy John Surgery.
Now, of course, those two players are current major league players who could have helped this team in 2019. However, the Pittsburgh Pirates will see one of their top prospects undergo the knife as well. According to John Dreker at Pirates Prospects, righty pitching prospect Travis MacGregor will undergo Tommy John Surgery and he will miss the entire 2019 as well. Here is what Dreker reported in his article:
"“Pirates Prospects has learned that right-handed pitcher Travis MacGregor had Tommy John surgery last week to repair a torn UCL. The injury will keep him out for the entire 2019 season.”"
The Pittsburgh Pirates had MacGregor shut down in the middle of August, and at the time it appeared that it was the organization just trying to limit his innings. Instead, he was placed on the disabled list with discomfort in his forearm. Obviously, this was a big red flag and it now makes sense that he is getting Tommy-John Surgery.
MacGregor was the Pittsburgh Pirates second-round pick in 2016 and had his best season as a professional this past season. After struggling to an earned run average of almost 8.00 last season, he really showed significant growth this past year. For the West Virginia Power, he made 15 starts throwing 63.2 innings and recorded a 3.25 ERA with 74 strikeouts. Also, he only walked 21 batters and only gave up 58 total hits.
MacGregor would have been moved up to High-A Bradenton next season with a chance to finish the year in Double-A, meaning he could have been seen as soon as 2020 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Instead, he will not be back pitching until at least the start of 2020. This means that he likely will not get to the big leagues until the 2022 season as long as there are no setbacks. Obviously, this is really unfortunate to see one of the top pitching prospects undergo Tommy-John surgery and hopefully he is able to come back healthy.