The Royals announced that 2012 first round pick Kyle Zimmer had elbow surgery on this pitching arm yesterday to remove “loose bodies”.
I can hear the collective groan as the Royals see another significant name lost due to injury. Earlier this season, the Royals have lost Joakim Soria, Danny Duffy, Felipe Paulino and Blake Wood all succumb to Tommy John surgery. Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain missed the first half of the season and Chris Getz has been on the disabled list three times.
Now Zimmer has this surgery.
Even though it’s the elbow, it’s not Tommy John. There are no tears. In fact, the problem was something the Royals reportedly knew of during their draft preparation (and which may have helped the Royals negotiate a smaller draft signing bonus) but that didn’t present a threat to him this year and he was deemed able to pitch. Zimmer will be out for 6-8 weeks and shouldn’t see any offseason plans derailed as a result.
Zimmer was pitching in Low A Kane County after a few starts in Arizona to start his pro career. He compiled 39.2 innings and 42 strikeouts with a 2.04 ERA. He’d thrown 88.1 innings for the University of San Francisco before the draft, so the timing of the surgery comes after he’s reached 128 innings fits with a good time to control his innings.
The plan for next year is to have him start in High A Wilmington next season as a 21-year-old.