While Seth Maness looks to find his next MLB job, could his elbow hold a key to the future of baseball?
It seems funny at times that a guy like Seth Maness, who the St. Louis Cardinals cut loose this offseason rather than pay in arbitration, would be the guy who could turn the baseball world on its collective ear.
After all, Maness may have pitched well, but a guy who has made 244 career appearances with a 3.19 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and a relatively-low ~6 K/9 isn’t exactly the guy that you’d imagine setting in place a “revolution” in the league!
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However, Maness held a workout on Monday, attended by at least 16 teams that were there to evaluate how he looked after having surgery on his Ulnar Collateral Ligament in August.
Maness suffered a torn UCL last summer and had surgery in August, but instead of traditional Tommy John surgery that most pitchers pursue after tearing their UCL, Maness had an experimental procedure that could allow pitchers to return in 3-6 months to action rather than the typical 12-18 months.
Those who read Jeff Passan’s tremendous book “The Arm” may recall that the surgery is not able to be performed on all UCL tears, only particular tears that fit the criteria that could be attached in a particular way.
With elbow injuries drastically on the rise, a procedure that could allow for injured pitchers to return within the same season would be something along the lines of a revolution to a game that is losing millions upon millions of dollars to elbow injuries every year.
While Maness may not be the most high-profile pitcher in the league, at the time he had the procedure, Tommy John wasn’t the most high-profile pitcher in baseball either. Good, sure, but not one of the elites of the game or anything.