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Feigl's chance to join 'pen dashed by Tommy John surgery

After strong showing in Braves camp, lefty has procedure on injured elbow

NEW YORK -- Brady Feigl exited Spring Training knowing he had a chance to join the Braves' bullpen at some point this season. But less than a week later, the left-handed reliever suffered a left elbow injury that proved significant enough to require Tommy John surgery.

Dr. James Andrews performed the surgical procedure on Tuesday after confirming that Feigl had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow. The standard rehab process is 12 months, so the 24-year-old reliever might be limited during the early portion of next year's Spring Training.

"This is how fragile pitchers' arms are," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He was impressive in Spring Training and we thought we had something, so we sent him to Triple-A. Then he comes out of his first outing not feeling good and sure enough, Tommy John."

The Braves shut Feigl down after he experienced elbow discomfort on April 10, while making his first appearance of the season for Triple-A Gwinnett. Initially, there was hope that he could recover after a period of rest.

Feigl allowed just one run over 7 2/3 innings during Spring Training. In the five appearances he made in Grapefruit League games as an "extra" brought over from Minor League camp, he surrendered two hits and did not issue a walk over three scoreless innings.

Atlanta kept Feigl in the mix for an Opening Day roster spot until the final day of Spring Training, when they opted to carry Juan Jaime, who has since been designated for assignment. Feigl's candidacy was also hurt when fellow left-handed reliever Andrew McKirahan was claimed off waivers from the Marlins on April 2.

With McKirahan serving an 80-game suspension that was levied on Monday, Feigl would have most likely been promoted to the Braves' bullpen this week.

Feigl was signed by Atlanta as an undrafted free agent and began his professional career last year. He notched 60 strikeouts and issued just 13 walks while combining to complete 65 2/3 innings (38 appearances) for Class A Rome and Class A Advanced Lynchburg during the 2014 season.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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