Texas Rangers minor league lefthanded pitcher Joe Palumbo was pulled mid-batter from his start today for the Down East Wood Ducks. Per Evan Grant, the Rangers are saying he was removed because of “elbow discomfort.”
We don’t want to panic prematurely — it may be nothing, or something relatively minor, or something that sidelines Palumbo for a month or two. But the worst case scenario with an elbow injury is, of course, the possibility of UCL damage, which usually necessitates Tommy John surgery, a procedure that would keep a pitcher who undergoes the surgery now out until mid-2018.
Palumbo has been a revelation for the Rangers...the 30th round pick in 2013 was off the radar at this point last year, but a velocity bump and consistently strong results in A ball last year had Palumbo appearing in quite a few Rangers top 10 prospect lists this summer. He was off to a great start this year, as well, striking out 22 batters against just 4 walks in 13.2 IP this season.
We are now in wait and see mode, and when more details are available on Palumbo, we will update.