The Dodgers announced today that left-handed relief pitcher Scott Elbert underwent a second elbow surgery on Wednesday. Elbert had already went under the knife back in September, and this second arthroscopic procedure was to surgically repair “a new area of cartilage damage [that] was discovered and debrided” which was performed by Dr. Neil ElAttrache.
During Elbert’s first elbow surgery on September 19th, there was scar tissue removed from the back of the elbow. Elbert reportedly still felt pain, and other treatments were deemed unsuccessful. The Dodgers have said that Elbert can commence a throwing program in six weeks which would mean that he may not be ready for Opening Day.
I recently reviewed the potential Dodger bullpen for next season, and I cited that Scott Elbert can be a very effective left-handed option out of the pen when he is healthy and is able to harness his occasional wildness. With Elbert’s season in question, the signing of free agent J.P. Howell earlier this month becomes even more important.
Paco Rodriguez will also largely factor into the mix even more as well, since it is unlikely that the Dodgers would open the season with only one lefty in the bullpen. Shawn Tolleson and Josh Wall will also likely get a close look during Spring Training as well. Ted Lilly may also become a potent left-handed reliever if the Dodgers choose to use him in that role. Either way, the Dodgers do have some options as far as lefty relievers which will allow Elbert’s Elbow to hopefully recoup fully.
Scott Elbert has a career record of 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA during his five seasons with the Dodgers. Last season he pitched in 43 games and finished with a 2.20 ERA before his elbow injury ended his season prematurely.