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Clayton Blackburn to have Tommy John surgery

Rangers pitcher Clayton Blackburn will undergo Tommy John surgery this week to repair a damaged UCL

MLB: Texas Rangers-Media Day Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Blackburn, the Texas Rangers pitcher currently on the 60 day disabled list, will undergo Tommy John surgery this week, per the beat guys on Twitter. That will cost Blackburn all of the 2018 season.

Blackburn left a spring start in early March with an elbow issue that was initially diagnosed as a strain, and the original hope was that he might be able to avoid surgery and be back by the middle part of the year. Instead, Blackburn will likely be on the shelf until at least June, 2019.

Blackburn, 25, was acquired by the Rangers from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for infielder Frandy de la Rosa in August, 2017. Blackburn was having a solid spring training, and had been anticipated to be in AAA as depth for the starting rotation prior to his injury. He has been up in the major leagues twice before -- once with the Giants, once with the Rangers — but has never officially been in a major league game.