James Kaprielian to undergo Tommy John surgeryThe Yankees top pitching prospect missed nearly all of 2016 with a flexor strain
The New York Yankees have announced that top pitching prospect James Kaprielian will undergo "Tommy John" surgery on April 18, likely sidelining him for most of the 2018 season.
The Yankees' 2015 first-round draft pick missed the majority of 2016 with a right flexor tendon strain in his elbow, and landed on the minor league disabled list earlier this year after experiencing elbow discomfort while preparing to make a start for the Class-A Tampa Yankees.
The 23-year-old California native was hopeful he could quickly ascend through the minor league ranks to join the Yankees rotation down the stretch later this year, but now his future outlook is much more uncertain after the news of his impending surgery.
It's a tough blow for a Yankees organization that was highly optimistic about Kaprielian's on-field ability, maturity and leadership, especially considering how cautious the team and training staff was in shepherding him back into game action this spring.
When Kaprielian has gotten chances to show his ability, he's been impressive. In his three starts last year for the Tampa Yankees, Kap pitched 18 innings, struck out 22, walked three, and posted a 1.50 ERA.
In spring training this year, Kaprielian's game plan was to pitch simulated games and not see any actual MLB competition, however he did make one appearance in relief, in which he struck out three batters over two hitless innings against the Blue Jays.
After Wednesday's 8-4 Yankees win in the Bronx, GM Brian Cashman spoke with the media about Kaprielian's latest outlook, hinting that the "surgical option" was a possibility for the young right-hander.
Stay tuned to YES for the latest updates on Kaprielian's recovery, as the Yankees try to overcome yet another significant injury to one of their highly touted young prospects.