Starter Matt Cain is having a terrible season. His 4.18 ERA would be the worst of his 10-year career. He only has two wins against seven losses. Cain is struggling for a San Francisco Giants team that has big aspirations. He hasn’t been the dominant pitcher we are used to seeing since 2012. Two years have passed since he was a player you wanted to avoid in the schedule. Two-straight years of a 4.00-plus ERA is probably the result of six years with 200-plus innings.
Cain has been on the DL since a win back on July 9. He was pitching better, allowing four earned runs in three starts. Then, out of nowhere, he was placed on the DL.
Now Cain is going to see Dr. James Andrews for the constant inflammation in his elbow. After all the pitchers who went down with a torn UCL ligament, this has Giants fans scared. Losing Cain for a year would be a hard blow for a team that has been known for pitching. They are trying to win another championship or two while their window is still open. Losing Cain to Tommy John surgery would hurt those chances.
It is hard to be optimistic this season. Between the minors and the bigs, there have been over 60 Tommy John surgeries this year. Big stars like Matt Moore, Jose Fernandez, Kris Medlen and Jarrod Parker are missing prime years thanks to injury. If Cain undergoes the process this late in his career, who knows what he will be like when he comes back.
There have been players who avoided the surgery for a lengthy period of time. Players like Roy Halladay and Adam Wainwright were dominant while avoiding missing that year (for a while, at least). Masahiro Tanaka is trying to do the same thing. Hopefully, this is something Cain can work through. Seeing Dr. Andrews is never a good sign, though.