San Diego Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso is fortunately not following in the footsteps of injured pitcher Casey Kelly and undergoing Tommy John surgery. The left-hander showed signs of serious elbow discomfort in his performance against the New York Mets on April 3rd, and fans of the Padres know all too well that the San Diego team breeds injured players a dime a dozen.
Fans and teammates breathed a sigh of relief when Alonso walked onto the field April 5th. While the 25 year-old still appeared to show signs of discomfort, he made it to the game with no signs of grave injury. Surgery is by no means a necessary measure, as his left elbow only appears to be slightly hyperextended; rest and heat therapy are recommended to keep it in shape.
Over the past year or so, the Padres have gained a reputation as “Team Tommy John.” Just recently, rising star pitcher Kelly had the ligament surgery performed after getting injured during Spring Training. Last year, starting pitchers Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland underwent surgery within a month of each other. As if that were not enough, one of the Padres’ prime prospects for this season to replace all of the injured players, Rymer Liriano, injured himself over the winter when he damaged his throwing elbow and required surgery. Team Tommy John all the way.
Though the Padres have faced their share of challenges when it comes to keeping their players in top shape, the current season has barely begun. Alonso is clearly one to watch. Luckily, his playing abilities have not been compromised just yet.