Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tommy John surgery for Meredith

VIERA, Fla. -- Cla Meredith, signed by the Nationals over the winter after having bone chips removed from his elbow, now has a torn ligament that requires Tommy John surgery.

Meredith, a Richmond native who pitched in college at VCU, will undergo the ligament replacement procedure today in Washington, according to a Nationals spokesman. Team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih, who examined Meredith in person yesterday, will perform the surgery.

Recovery time from Tommy John surgery is typically 12-to-18 months. At best, Meredith would be ready to return next spring.

The Nationals had high hopes for Meredith, who was a key member of the San Diego Padres' bullpen from 2006-09 but struggled last season with the Baltimore Orioles. Shortly after the season ended, Meredith had arthroscopic surgery to have bone chips removed from his right elbow.

The Nationals signed the 27-year-old side-armer to a minor-league contract over the winter hoping he was completely healthy. Though his chances of making the Opening Day roster appeared slim, Meredith figured to begin the year at Class AAA Syracuse and be among the first options for an in-season call-up.

Instead, Meredith had to cut short his first bullpen session of the spring after experiencing elbow pain. An initial MRI did not show any major damage, so after resting several days, Meredith attempted to resume throwing. He again had to cut that session short due to pain.

The Nationals had the pitcher undergo a second MRI, this one an enhanced arthrogram in which a dye is injected in his arm. That test revealed a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, requiring the major surgery.

Team officials insist there was no reason to believe Meredith's elbow might have been seriously injured at the time they signed him.

"I don't think there was any concern," manager Jim Riggleman said. "It was bone chips. If there was anything else there, I wouldn't know that. ... But if you've got a bad ligament there, it's going to go, I guess. It could be a wear-and-tear injury that's been going on for years, but when they did the bone chips, there was no reason to do anything more at that point, I assume."


VCUAlum Kyle said...

Being a VCU alum I was hoping for Meredith to have a bounce back year and regain his form in San Diego. I was hoping he could be another huge force in our deep bullpen with Clip, Burnet, Storen, Balester, Ramirez, etc.

Will the Nats release him and bring him back next season to try out again on a minor league deal?

HHover said...

Best wishes to Meredith, but this doesn't mean much to the Nats. He was only signed to a minor league deal and had a pretty remote shot at squeezing his way into a crowded bullpen.

Doc said...

This is another case where a Nats' player is signed after a "complete physical", only to be consigned to surgerical procedures proximate to ST.

It's hard to believe that Meredith's status couldn't have been predicted, like Marquis'.

Is it possible that the physical exams find probable and immanent pathologies that Rizzo, in his rush to sign players, decides to overlook, while keeping his fingers crossed?

Even Riggleman is wondering about that.

markfd said...

Best of luck to Cla and I hope this is the only serious Spring Training injury we incur!

Soul Possession, PFB Sofa said...

Why do you say Rizzo is in a "rush to sign players"?

Souldrummer said...

I think Rizzo believes in having a deep roster of major league options. To me this is a completely different case than Marquis. Marquis was given an expensive major league deal. But on the other hand, he had no injury history.

I think Cla Meredith was ticketed for Syracuse anyways. Chiefs fans of the Orioles may be in agony over this one and VCU fans are probably saddened, but Nats fans should be glad they should have depth to get through without him. I wish Meredith well and hope that he can bounce back to resume his career.

Anonymous said...

Who pays for the surgery and the rehab?

SilverSpring8 said...

I don't agree that Rizzo could have predicted Meredith's injury. Every club experiences these types of injuries. Remember when we were playing at Tampa Bay a couple of years ago and Isringhausen blew out his arm in the ninth inning? It happens.

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