Cleveland Indians: Cody Anderson to Have Tommy John Surgery

Cody Anderson hoped to provide bullpen depth and rotation insurance for the Cleveland Indians in 2017, but he needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the season.

The Cleveland Indians received awful news on right-handed pitcher Cody Anderson on Monday. According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Anderson received a second opinion on his right elbow and has decided to go the surgery route. Anderson was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL with a mild flexor strain. The surgery will cost Anderson the entire 2017 season.

Anderson, 26, had a horrific 2016 season with the Tribe. In 60.2 innings pitched, he had a 6.68 ERA with a 2-5 record. Part of the issue was Anderson just not being able to keep hitters off the bases. He allowed 1.6 hitters on per inning in 2016. Part of his struggles can be attributed to his injury, as he was dealing with pain in his elbow for most of the 2016 season. He won’t get a chance to bounce back this year following the Tommy John surgery.

The Indians were hoping for a rebound season from Anderson, who was drafted by the Tribe in the 14th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Anderson was not expected to make the starting rotation in the 2017 season, but to provide the Tribe with a long-relief option and some depth in case of injuries in the rotation.

Last season, the Indians won the American League pennant thanks to the outstanding performance of their starting rotation. The Tribe finished the 2016 season second in the American League in ERA out of their starting rotation with a 4.08 mark. That was in large part thanks to right-hander Cory Kluber, who finished the year third in the AL Cy Young award voting. The Indians have a lot of talent left in their pitching rotation but it would have been nice to have Anderson for depth purposes.

2016 was the second season that Anderson was a part of the Indians’ major league team. He made his debut on June 24, 2015, against the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched well, giving up no earned runs over 7.2 innings on the bump. Anderson showed some promise but has struggled since, with a career 4.52 ERA over 150 innings pitched. Anderson should return sometime during the 2018 season.

Cody Anderson would have brought a little more depth to the Indians for the 2017 season, but in the grand scheme of things, it is not a huge loss for the team. The Indians will still be a favorite to repeat as American League champions in 2017. In other words, the Indians lost a small piece to a gigantic puzzle on Monday, and have not taken a huge step backwards.

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