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MRI Reveals Torn UCL For Trevor May

Plans to turn around the Minnesota Twins rotation took a hit today with the news that Trevor May, a big factor in those designs, has suffered a tear to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Read on for details and quotes regarding the right-hander’s very unexpected setback.
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs
In a decade of playing professional ball, May has amazingly been able to avoid any kind of significant elbow or shoulder issues. “I’ve literally never missed a day of baseball activity because my arm hurt,” he said.

So it isn’t too surprising that when he felt a “grab” on an 0-2 pitch against Andrew McCutchen while facing Team USA on Wednesday night, he downplayed it. When speaking to reporters after the game, he was very positive, signaling no distress or concern.

He came in the next morning and felt soreness, and then on Friday the tear showed up on a scan, which even in the pitcher’s non-medical opinion was “pretty conclusive.”

Standing outside the clubhouse on Saturday morning alongside top baseball executives Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, May was subdued but searching for silver linings. So, too, was the general manager.

“When the results of the MRI came back, it was a little bit unique in the sense that it sounded as if the wear and tear component, or the cumulative impact, was very minimal," Levine said. “It really was an acute injury ... That’s very atypical for a guy who has logged 10 years worth of pitching on his arm.”

“That gives us cause for optimism that maybe the health of the overall region is very strong but for this one acute area."

Of course, this doesn’t change the basic realities. May will seek a second opinion – no date or doctor has been scheduled as of yet – and there are a few potential options on the table, but Tommy John surgery seems likely.

Levine expressed no plans for reactive moves by the team, noting that injuries are always an expectation.

“I don’t think you ever have any misgivings that you’re going to go through the process without needing significantly more than five starters. You hate to have it happen at this point to a player who’s put in the that work he’s put in, but the reality is that’s why we built up some of the depth we did coming into camp and it’s going to give other guys opportunities.”

Among those guys are Tyler Duffey, Jose Berrios, Adalberto Mejia, Rule 5 pick Justin Haley and non-roster invite Ryan Vogelsong. Duffey pitched well in a road start for the Twins against Miami on Friday and Berrios is preparing to make his first start for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

For May, who was the subject of a feature here on Twins Daily just a couple days ago, it’s a difficult pill to swallow but he vows not to let it derail his determination.

"If it comes down to getting good old fashioned Tommy John, I’ll go from there,” May said. "I’m not a guy who’s gonna sit here and mope about how hard I worked and now it’s not gonna happen.”

“Yesterday was tough, but I’m probably going to go right back to that little notebook I have with me, and those goals I write down every day are just going to change from this year to next year.”


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121 Comments

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Walter's Whites
Mar 11 2017 09:51 AM

Who's everyone got for the fifth starter now?

**** **** **** **** ****

    • USAFChief, glunn, Jerr and 9 others like this

This one hurts. I was really hoping May could take off in the rotation, leading to a trade of one (or more) of Gibson, Santiago or Hughes to make way for the higher-upside arms (Gonsalves, Berrios & Mejia). I'm afraid that this setback will now keep those three on the mound (barring health issues with one or more of them) all season.

    • glunn, Jerr and nytwinsfan like this

First Kirillof, then Gonsalves (still hoping for him), now the coup de grâce.  Goodness gracious what the hell did the Twins do that upset the baseball gods so?

 

    • glunn, birdwatcher, Twins33 and 2 others like this
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Paul Pleiss
Mar 11 2017 10:13 AM

DJ MAZR!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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ChiTownTwinsFan
Mar 11 2017 10:21 AM
Well, in a word, crap.
    • glunn, HitInAPinch and d-mac like this
Wish Trevor the best, and hope he does the TJ surgery right away, so he can be back sometime next year. This is why no never have enough pitching.
    • glunn likes this
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puckstopper1
Mar 11 2017 10:23 AM

"The beatings will continue until morale improves" does not even begin to express my disappointment for this injury. 

 

%@%%%#$%%#$%!is more like it.

    • USAFChief, glunn, Dantes929 and 3 others like this
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ashburyjohn
Mar 11 2017 10:24 AM

Attached Image: going_ape.gif

    • USAFChief, glunn, Blake and 15 others like this
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tarheeltwinsfan
Mar 11 2017 10:25 AM

I feel so bad for Trevor May. He has worked so very hard. This is a major disappointment for him. Hopefully he can get the tear repaired andremain positive about this difficult situation. All of us at Twins Daily are pulling for you, Trevor. As former NC State basketball coach, Coach Jimmy Valvano, said: "Never give up...never, never give up." I'm not equating cancer with a torn ligament, but the attitude necessary to fight adversity is the same.

    • glunn, Riverbrian, Sconnie and 2 others like this
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Winston Smith
Mar 11 2017 10:26 AM

Lucky we are loaded with top pitching so this doesn't hurt much?

    • USAFChief, Blake, TheLeviathan and 6 others like this
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KirbyDome89
Mar 11 2017 10:34 AM

I'm trying to find some way to blame Sano's weight for this....

 

I'll get back to you guys...

    • USAFChief, Blake, Riverbrian and 8 others like this

Wishing him the best.Sad to see because this spring it looked like he finally might be at the point where we all hoped he would reach when he was traded to the Twins.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, glunn, Jerr and 5 others like this
This is what happens when you continually screw with a young pitchers development cycle by taking him out of the rotation, sticking him in the bullpen for a long period of time then trying to put him back in the rotation. He never should have been taken out in the first place.

This injury is on Ryan, the old
Front office and Molitor as far as I am concerned.

A real shame bc he was looking good this spring, best of luck on the recovery.
    • TheLeviathan, mikelink45, Sconnie and 4 others like this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 11 2017 10:40 AM
Yeesh.

This is what happens when you continually screw with a young pitchers development cycle by taking him out of the rotation, sticking him in the bullpen for a long period of time then trying to put him back in the rotation.

This injury is on Ryan, the old
Front office and Molitor as far as I am concerned.


I was going to blame Ryan as a joke, but I respect the effort to do it for real.
    • gil4, Dantes929, dgwills and 3 others like this

I was going to blame Ryan as a joke, but I respect the effort to do it for real.

It's never a good idea to screw with a young arms development cycle.

This is one of the effects of doing so.

Injuries of course can happen to a pitcher at anytime, but messing with them like the Twins did with May only increases those odds.
    • TheLeviathan, d-mac and Broker like this
I had to look at the calendar to make sure this wasn't some sick April Fool's day joke. I was not happy when they pulled him from the rotation before and was very much looking forward to seeing him as a starter this year. Best of luck to him in his rehab.

It's never a good idea to screw with a young arms development cycle.

This is one of the effects of doing so.

Injuries of course can happen to a pitcher at anytime, but messing with them like the Twins did with May only increases those odds.


If anything, him throwing fewer pitches the last two years should have helped preserve his elbow.

He's been hurt a variety of years in a variety of ways. I don't buy for a second that his development path, even if ill advised for production and roster reasons, had anything extra to do with his injury.
    • ChiTownTwinsFan, USAFChief, birdwatcher and 19 others like this
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twinsnorth49
Mar 11 2017 10:49 AM
We just can't have nice things, can we?

****!
    • glunn, birdwatcher, James and 6 others like this
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ChiTownTwinsFan
Mar 11 2017 10:50 AM

 

If anything, him throwing fewer pitches the last two years should have helped preserve his elbow.

He's been hurt a variety of years in a variety of ways. I don't buy for a second that his development path, even if ill advised for production and roster reasons, had anything extra to do with his injury.

I tend to agree. Wonder if Heazy is around and can give us an expert opinion and perspective on this. But I've never seen any kind of correlation in this unless mentally it forced him to do something differently. Difficult to know for sure, so yeah, I do tend to agree.

    • glunn likes this
Tough break for Trevor, obviously. He seems the type who will recover and come back okay from this.

For now, Berrios and Mejia need to step up and seize the opportunity.
    • ChiTownTwinsFan, glunn, Dantes929 and 6 others like this

I tend to agree. Wonder if Heazy is around and can give us an expert opinion and perspective on this. But I've never seen any kind of correlation in this unless mentally and forced him to do something different. Difficult to know for sure, but yeah, I do tend to agree.

I can assure you there are plenty of people who believe this and there is some correlation to back it up:

http://joesheehan.com/?q=node/648

From that article:

What the two pitchers have in common is a career path that is destructive: moving from starter to reliever and back. Over the past decade, teams have ruined a number of pitchers by switching them from one role to the next and seeing the pitchers involved lose health and effectiveness in the process. The jobs have become so completely different -- as relievers' roles are narrowed to throwing 15 pitches 75 times a year -- that pitchers can't port their skills or their training from one to the other without putting themselves at risk.
    • TheLeviathan, hybridbear and d-mac like this
Either way, I think it's clear that there is zero benefit by screwing with the development of young pitchers with upside.

Especially with a team like the Twins, who have had terrible SP for a half decade now. It's not like they had 5 aces in the rotation last year and their was zero room for May, a guy who could actually put up a sub 3.50 ERA.

There is zero benefit from messing with development of high upside guys like this, hopefully they learn this lesson moving fwd.
    • Dr. Evil, CUtomorrownight and d-mac like this
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HitInAPinch
Mar 11 2017 11:05 AM

 

Who's everyone got for the fifth starter now?

If the starting rotation starts with Santana, Santiago, Gibson and Hughes, then choose from one of the young guys:Berrios, Duffey or Mejia. 

 

I also think, of the last 3 already mention for the rotation, at least one of them should go. I don't really agree with the resigning of both Santiago and Gibson.At some point, you have to move on with youth.

    • glunn, mikelink45, d-mac and 1 other like this

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