Hughes undergoes successful surgery

Twins righty expected to be ready for spring after procedure to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome

July 8th, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Phil Hughes underwent successful season-ending surgery to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome, having a rib removed to relieve nerve pressure on his right shoulder Wednesday night.

Hughes sent a text to general manager Terry Ryan on Thursday to indicate it was a success after Dr. Howard Saylor performed the surgery in the Twin Cities. Hughes, who also sustained a fracture to his left femur after being hit by a line drive above his knee on June 9, is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

"He said everything went well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There was a little bit more muscle attachment to the rib than he expected. But the doctor indicated that it's a good thing they were able to take care of this. This has a very, very good chance of alleviating some of the things he was enduring while pitching."

Hughes saw a decrease in velocity this season while pitching through the shoulder discomfort, as his fastball averaged 90.5 mph after averaging 92.1 mph in his first year with the Twins, when he went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA over 209 2/3 innings in 2014. Hughes was 1-7 with a 5.95 ERA in 12 outings (11 starts) this season. He's under contract for each of the next three seasons at $13.2 million per year after signing a three-year extension following the '14 season.

"I traded texts with him this morning, and he's doing fine," Ryan said. "I'm just taking it that he'll be ready for Spring Training."

Other notable pitchers who had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery include Chris Young, Shaun Marcum, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia, Josh Beckett, Kenny Rogers and Matt Harrison. Mets right-hander Matt Harvey was also recently diagnosed and is weighing whether to have the surgery.

Worth noting

• The Twins promoted several of their top prospects, including left-hander Tyler Jay and right-hander Felix Jorge, to Double-A Chattanooga. Jay is ranked as Minnesota's No. 2 prospect by, while Jorge is ranked No. 23. Outfielder Daniel Palka, the club's No. 27 prospect, was also promoted to Triple-A Rochester.

"All of those guys promoted are deserving," Ryan said. "It was a chain reaction. We promoted a lot of people. It's always a good thing."

• Right-hander Alex Meyer, who hasn't pitched since May 3 because of right shoulder inflammation, resumed playing catch on Wednesday, Ryan said. Meyer, who is on Rochester's roster, is expected to start ramping up his throwing program soon.

"He's out there throwing, which is a good sign," Ryan said. "It's a positive."