What was once thought to be just a flexor muscle strain in his right arm has turned into seasoning-ending surgery for Chicago White Sox starter Gavin Floyd.
It was announced Monday afternoon that Floyd will undergo surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and torn flexor muscle in his right elbow.
Floyd will have surgery Tuesday in New York when the Sox head to the Big Apple to take on the Mets in a two-game series. With his expected recovery time anywhere between 14-19 months, Floyd, who is a free agent at the end of the season, may miss some time next season as well.
Now in his seventh year with the Sox, Floyd has never lived up to the hype that made him a first-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Phillies back in 2001. Although injuries, especially one that requires season-ending surgery, are never something to cheer about, Floyd being out for the rest of 2013 actually makes the Sox starting rotation better in my mind.
With Floyd out for the year, left-hander Hector Santiago will get his first opportunity to start for Chicago on a consistent basis. Santiago, 25, has the talent to become the future of the Sox pitching staff along with fellow lefty Chris Sale.
Although Santiago could easily be sent right back to the bullpen once John Danks is ready to return, the Sox will get an extended look at what could be their next All-Star starter for now.
Along with Santiago and Sale, the South Siders have another lefty in Jose Quintana, who’s becoming a dominant starter in the MLB. Like Sale, Quintana is just 24-years-old and could become a staple in Chicago’s rotation. If all three or even just two of these young left-handed starters pan out, the Sox will have arguably the brightest future of any starting staff in the MLB.
There’s no doubt it would be somewhat disappointing if Floyd’s injury shuts the door on what was once thought to be a successful MLB career. However at the end of the day, baseball is a business and the Sox may look at Floyd’s long-term absence as a blessing in disguise a few years down the road.