Davidson (forearm strain) avoids TJ surgery

June 16th, 2021

ATLANTA -- Any lingering fears of Tucker Davidson possibly needing Tommy John surgery were erased on Wednesday, when an MRI exam showed no structural damage in his left arm.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said the imaging results showed Davidson is simply dealing with a left forearm strain. The southpaw will be shut down for 10 days before being reevaluated.

“You’ve got to shut him down for 10 days just to let everything calm down,” Snitker said. “Then, we’ll start ramping him back up to see where we’re at.”

Even though Davidson may be sidelined for a few weeks, he has reason to be thankful. He was removed during the third inning of Tuesday night’s loss when his velocity dropped and he began feeling tightness in his left forearm.

Davidson’s fastball sat 92-94 mph in the first inning, but dropped to 88-90 during the third inning.

“It was just a little tight and it didn’t feel normal,” Davidson said.

Davidson surrendered two home runs in Boston’s four-run first inning. But he entered the outing having not allowed a run in either of the two previous starts he had made this month. His success created some hope for a rotation that lost Huascar Ynoa to a broken hand last week. Ynoa was filling the void created by the absence of Mike Soroka, who has yet to return from last year’s torn right Achilles.

When Davidson was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday, the Braves recalled left-hander Kyle Muller to provide bullpen depth over the next few days. Muller has struggled with his control throughout his career. But he has issued just four walks while recording 20 strikeouts and producing a 1.69 ERA over his past three starts (16 innings) for Triple-A Gwinnett.

“I don’t know if he’s got to paint,” Snitker said. “That’s big stuff guys have to get ready for. His stuff is really good.”

Muller ranks as the Braves’ No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline. His fastball has been clocked at 100 mph with some stadium radar guns this year.