Twins' Oliveros undergoes Tommy John surgery

Twins' Oliveros undergoes Tommy John surgery

Published Aug. 29, 2012 8:43 p.m. ET

MINNEAPOLIS – The Twins announced Thursday that pitching prospect Lester Oliveros had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Before going into surgery, the Twins’ doctors were unsure whether Tommy John would be necessary, but they’d received prior authorization from the team, Oliveros and his agent to perform the procedure if it was necessary. Upon closer examination, it was.

"He had some large loose bodies they removed that we causing irritation and stuff, but when they did the MRI and stuff they said they had some question marks about the ligament," assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "When they went in to do the exploratory surgery and get out the bodies, they would take a look and see, get a closer measurement of the gap on the ligament."

Oliveros’ situation is similar to that of Twins starter Scott Baker, who had Tommy John surgery during an exploratory procedure in April. Without the Tommy John, Oliveros’ rehab timeline would have been about three months, but with it, he’ll have a significantly longer road to recovery; Tommy John usually requires a 12-18 month process.


The Twins acquired 24-year-old Oliveros on Aug. 16, 2011 from the Tigers in exchange for Delmon Young. He’s pitched 20 games in the major leagues in 2011 and 2012 with the Tigers and Twins, posting a cumulative 4.70 ERA in 23 total innings with no record. He’s spent just one day in the major leagues this season, June 14, when he pitched 1.2 innings in relief for the Twins. In Rochester this year, he had six saves and a 3.07 ERA in 29.1 innings.

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