PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jose De Leon has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.De Leon saw team orthopedic surgeon Koco Eaton, who made the initial diagnosis that De Leon needs to have Tommy John
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jose De Leon has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
De Leon saw team orthopedic surgeon Koco Eaton, who made the initial diagnosis that De Leon needs to have Tommy John surgery.
Ranked as Tampa Bay's 26th-best prospect, De Leon most recently pitched in a game Saturday against the Tigers in Lakeland, allowing two runs, a hit and a walk while striking out one in one inning of work. That outing was only his second of the spring.
De Leon came to the Rays in the trade with the Dodgers for second baseman John Forsythe prior to the start of the 2017 season. He spent all of last season in the Minor Leagues except for a one-day stint with the Rays on May 29, when he was credited with the win vs. Texas by the official scorer in his Rays debut.
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De Leon was limited to 10 appearances (eight starts) in the Minor Leagues last season due to three stints on the disabled list. He began last season on the DL with discomfort in the flexor mass muscle. He also missed time with a strained lat and forearm tendinitis.
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Last season "was really frustrating," De Leon said earlier this spring. "Especially since it was my first year with the Rays. Coming from another organization, you try and do your thing. Not being able to do that, it was really frustrating for me."
De Leon worked hard in the offseason, which he spent in Puerto Rico working out with Edgar Diaz, who had been Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez's trainer for 19 years.
De Leon was projected to be in the bullpen mix of relievers who could provide multiple innings of work, or he would have started at Triple-A Durham. Now he will likely become the Rays' latest arm-injury victim, joining Brent Honeywell, the Rays' No. 1 prospect, who had Tommy John surgery just over a week ago.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.