According to manager Mickey Callaway, as per multiple reports (Matt Ehalt, The Record), New York Mets right-hander Drew Smith will undergo season-ending ulnar reconstruction surgery on Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.
Smith traveled back to New York from Port St. Lucie on Sunday to have his right elbow examined after experiencing discomfort, originally characterized as “elbow soreness”. After meeting with the Mets’ medical staff on Monday, it was announced that the 25-year-old would go under the knife.
Drew Smith was acquired by the Mets in July 2017, sent from Tampa Bay in exchange for first-baseman Lucas Duda.
Over 27 major-league appearances in 2018 (28 innings), the Texas native pitched to a 3.54 earned-run average, 3.66 fielding independent pitching rating, 1.429 WHIP, with 18 strikeouts and six walks.
Smith had yet to allow an earned run over his first four Grapefruit League appearances this spring (four innings, four strikeouts, three walks), before going succumbing to injury.
Callaway spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon after learning of the diagnosis (quotes via Anthony DiComo, MLB.com).
“It’s a tough loss for us. He did a great job for us at the end of the season last year and looked to be in a really good spot this year. That’s a tough one for us,” Callaway said. “It’s a long tedious process to get through [Tommy John surgery]. It’s not fun. It’s not glamorous. But it’s something that takes a lot of focus, and you have to make sure you do it the right way. I’m sure knowing Drew, he’s going to handle it the right way.”
The expected rehabilitation time for Tommy John surgery is 12-to-18 months.