Lambert undergoes Tommy John surgery

July 24th, 2020

DENVER -- Right-handed pitcher , who set a Rockies club record by striking out nine in his Major League debut last June against the Cubs, has undergone Tommy John surgery.

Lambert, 23, saw his Spring Training end abruptly when he left a March 10 game against the Cubs with right forearm tightness. Of course, all baseball was halted abruptly because of the coronavirus pandemic, but when the team reconvened for Summer Camp this month, it held out hope that Lambert could recover in time for the season. But he never threw in live batting practice or intrasquad games.

When he threw the record-setting 3-1 win over the Cubs last year, Lambert was 22 years and 49 days old, the third-youngest pitcher in club history to make his debut. In 19 starts last season, Lambert went 3-7 with a 7.25 ERA, and he was shut down at the end of the season to work on windup adjustments that he and the coaches believe will eventually help him succeed in the Majors. He was a candidate for the 2020 rotation.

Lambert underwent surgery, which was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, on Tuesday in Los Angeles.

"Surgery is always the last resort, and with Peter -- diligent work, did everything he was asked medically and on the mound to come back," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "When he picked up the intensity to throw his last couple of bullpens here in Denver, the pain got to be too much and he had to have the ligament repaired."

By placing Lambert on the 45-day injured list, the Rockies were able to complete their roster. They will begin with five players who began as non-roster invitees: right-handed relief pitcher Daniel Bard, outfielder Matt Kemp, infielder Chris Owings, and catchers Drew Butera and Elias Díaz.

The team optioned cátcher Dom Nuñez and infielder Brendan Rodgers to its alternate training site, with Nuñez being a member of the three-man taxi squad, along with right-handed pitchers Ryan Castellani and Joe Harvey.