Texas Rangers pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL, per the beat guys. Gonzalez will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection and will not throw for at least six weeks, with the hope being that this treatment plan will allow him to avoid Tommy John surgery.
This news came out a couple of hours ago, but I was at dinner then. Ben got married at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, and I was at the celebratory after-wedding dinner when I saw this on Twitter. I was not allowed to leave to post about it, and thus you’ve had to wait until now for this to go up.
Gonzalez started off strong this spring, attempting to win one of the open rotation spots, but his last couple of outings were bad, and the UCL tear might help explain the sudden turn for the worse. This hurts the Rangers’ starting pitching depth, and one figures Gonzalez will start the season on the disabled list. Moving him to the 60 day d.l. could potentially open up a 40 man roster spot for someone currently not on the 40 man roster, such as Dillon Gee, Wesley Wright, Travis Snider, James Loney, or Jared Hoying.
This leaves the fight for the final two rotation spots (or just one rotation spot, if they opt to go with a four man rotation until Andrew Cashner is ready a couple of weeks in) to Gee, A.J. Griffin, Mike Hauschild, Nick Martinez, and possibly Eddie Gamboa. If the non-surgical route works, Gonzalez still likely wouldn’t be an option at the major league level until the second half. If Gonzalez ends up needing Tommy John surgery, he’s not going to be an option until the second half of 2018.