Rockies right-handed pitching prospect Daniel Winkler will require Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.
Winkler was removed from his start for Double-A Tulsa on Saturday after 3⅔ innings after he told trainers he felt something wrong in his elbow. That outing was well on its way to mirroring most of his starts from this season; he struck out three and walked one without giving up a run or a hit. The 24-year-old product of Central Florida, who entered the season as the No. 12 PuRP, posted a 1.41 ERA in 70 innings spanning 12 starts while striking out 71 batters and walking only 17. In a Drillers rotation that has also included Jon Gray, Eddie Butler and Tyler Anderson, Winkler easily produced the best results.
Of all of the injury issues that have affected the Rockies over the past few years, those that have required Tommy John surgery to be repaired have been minimal. Since the start of the 2010 season, only Jorge De La Rosa and Rafael Betancourt have needed to undergo the operation. De La Rosa returned to form with a phenomenal 2013 campaign and Betancourt is on his way back; the team expects him to begin a rehab assignment later this month.