The San Diego Padres announced over the weekend that talented right-handed relief pitcher Andrés Muñoz will go under the knife to fix a torn ulnar collateral ligament, an injury that will put him out of commission for over a year.
Muñoz suffered his injury during a relief appearance just prior to the suspension of Spring Training due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
The 21-year-old pitcher, who burst onto the scene with strong bullpen performances as a rookie last season, was penciled in to be a key member of the Friars’ bullpen heading into 2020. Expected to be a key set-up man for star closer Kirby Yates, he will now have to wait to look to build on his impressive first-year campaign.
Muñoz, a Mexico native, was called up by the Padres in July of last year. He put together a quality 3.91 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP figure in 22 appearances out of the bullpen last year. He struck out 30 hitters while walking only 11, impressing with a high-90s fastball.
Typical rehabilitation times for Tommy John Surgery tend to be about 16-18 months, which means that it could be well into 2021 by the time he returns to the mound.