GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Gavin Floyd’s comeback season could be over before it started.
The Indians said the right-hander will be sidelined for ”the foreseeable future” after reinjuring his troublesome pitching elbow. Floyd, who has made just 14 starts over the past two seasons, reinjured a stress fracture that limited him to just nine starts a year ago with Atlanta.
Cleveland said it is gathering more information on the injury, but that Floyd, who had Tommy John surgery in 2013, may need another operation. No timetable has been set for his return.
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”It is safe to say that Gavin will miss significant time,” manager Terry Francona said Tuesday. ”What we need to do now is support him as he goes on with his career. It was a tough pill for him to swallow, I’ll bet. He had done his rehab so diligently. He came out early and worked so hard.”
Floyd spent six-plus seasons with the Chicago White Sox before signing with the Braves in 2013. He was 2-2 with a 2.65 ERA last season before fracturing the right olecranon in his elbow on June 19. He had season-ending surgery a few days later.
Cleveland signed the 32-year-old as a free agent in December and penciled him into its starting rotation. The Indians knew there were risks involved in bringing in Floyd, and now the club will have its pitching depth tested.
”Yes we will need to find another starter but pitching is the farthest thing from our mind right now,” Francona said. ”It is like I said in December, when you think you have enough pitching, get more. You always run this risk. From a team standpoint, we’ll be fine.”
Floyd, who has a 72-72 career record in the majors, signed a $4 million deal on Dec. 16 that included bonuses. He had been scheduled to make his spring training debut on Sunday, but had soreness in the elbow. An MRI taken on Monday revealed the fracture.
”Gavin was throwing the ball really well – even at the end,” Francona said. ”The ball was coming out of his hand so well. It just shows how tough some of these guys are. We were hoping the MRI would show that he was coming along.”
Fortunately for the Indians, they have quality arms ready to take Floyd’s spot. Danny Salazar, T.J. Houser, Josh Tomlin and Zach McAllister were among a group of pitchers vying for the No. 5 starter’s job. But there are now two openings, and the club also signed non-roster veterans Bruce Chen and Shaun Marcum, who could now be in the mix to start.
McAllister has starting experience, but the Indians were considering using him as a reliever this season before Floyd got hurt.