KC Royals reliever Tim Collins tore his left elbow ligament and will require a second Tommy John surgery. He will miss the 2016 season.
MLB.com’s Kansas City Royals beat writer Jeffrey Flanagan tweeted the news this morning:
Collins missed the entire 2015 season due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and has suffered the same injury this spring. Collins has decided to undergo Tommy John surgery a second time:
Tim Collins has suffered a second straight setback. Collins dominated in 2012 with an outstanding 12.01 K/9 due to his hammer curve. However, the diminutive left-hander’s ability to miss bats waned over the next two seasons to a 8.78 K/9 in 2013 and a low 6.43 K/9 in 2014 before Collins tore his UCL in the spring of 2015.
Coming back from two Tommy John surgeries is much more dicey than from one. Collins will benefit from being a reliever, however, rather than a starter. Multiple relievers have returned to long-term success after two Tommy John surgeries, including KC Royals setup man Joakim Soria.
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Chris Capuano is the only starter to return to full-time duty in the rotation after his second Tommy John procedure (with the possible addition of current Kansas City Royals starter Kris Medlen, who made eight starts in 2015 after his second Tommy John and figures to win a rotation spot opening 2016).
I must confess, I was sad to see the injury. Collins is sort of my major-league avatar since I also am 5’7″, close to 170 pounds, and throw left handed. I always wanted to be a pitcher.
Tim Collins injury figures to open up a second bullpen spot on the KC Royals staff. Collins misfortune is good news for Chien-Ming Wang, Dillon Gee, Scott Alexander, and Alex Gordon‘s college roommate Brian Duensing, who were jousting for what most pundits believed to be one open position.
Brian Duensing (2.25 ERA, 10 K in 7.2 IP this spring) and Scott Alexander (0.00 ERA, 10 K, 8.0 IP in MLB camp before getting optioned to AAA) could end up the big winners if Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost decides to keep lefty Danny Duffy in the rotation. In that case, the bullpen would lack a left hander in Collin’s absence.