There is a lot of information out there on the Grade 2 sprain of the UCL ligament, that was sustained by David Aardsma. But I found the best information was supplied by Geoff Baker.
David Aardsma has Grade 2 sprain (partial tear) of UCL ligament in elbow. Getting 2nd opinion. Grade 2 sprains of UCL like Aardsma’s do not always require Tommy John surgery. They are the middle of 3 categories of severity.In fact, Grade 2 UCL sprains usually treated conservatively with ice, compression and rest. But not all patients are MLB closers. In other words, Aardsma might not want to wait 2 more months hoping his UCL gets better, then have TJ surgery anyway and lose 2012 as well.
– Geoff Baker, twitter stream.
What this ultimately means is that the Mariners are not likely to get any value out of Aardsma this year. Even if he returns after being treated with non-surgery methods it’s extremely unlikely that he produces well enough and in a short enough window that another team is going to give up a premium talent for him at the deadline.
I hate putting the trade deadline spin on this but Aardsma is one of our better trade chips if not our best. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like that’s going to be of help in terms of trying to acquire pieces to help our team in a rebuild.
The silver lining to this is that no one has to have that awkward conversation with Ardsama, explaining to him that while he was gone Brandon League has turned into a better pitcher than him. Phew that conversation can be put off for at least 2 months.