When New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone announced the roster for the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Guardians, the absence of relief pitcher Scott Effross raised many eyebrows among fans and analysts.
Just after the roster announcement, it was revealed that the talented side-armer injured his elbow recently and would need Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery.
That procedure not only takes him out of consideration for the 2022 playoffs, but also for the entire 2023 campaign unless he can make a miraculous recovery. It’s a huge blow for the Yankees bullpen.
The pitcher talked to Sports Illustrated’s Max Goodman about how he felt when he learned his fate. Initially, he thought the mild soreness in his right elbow was associated to normal wear and tear of the season. However, an MRI confirmed he had ligament damage, specifically in the UCL.
“I was a little taken aback,” Effross said on Tuesday before Game 1 against the Guardians. “Obviously when you go in there, there’s the possibility of finding something you don’t want to see. For me, I think it was kind of shocking. I think every pitcher thinks it’s shocking hearing that news.”
He had been solid for the Yankees
Effross had been solid for the Yankees, with a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 frames after arriving via trade from the Chicago Cubs.
“He felt something after his outing against the Orioles, the day after,” Boone said.
“Then we pitched him in Texas [three days later] and he felt good, sharp. In his live BP on Friday, he didn’t recover the next day, and there was some concern there. So we had the MRI, and sure enough. We found out over the weekend.”
The Yankees are currently without Michael King (elbow), Chad Green (Tommy John), Ron Marinaccio (shin), Zack Britton (shoulder) and Aroldis Chapman (left off roster after skipping mandatory workout).
Boone summed up how Effross felt.
“Feel terrible for him,” Boone said. “He’s kind of heartbroken over it. It’s a blow. I mean, Scotty came over here and pitched really well. I think he was going to have a really big role for us in our bullpen, but now we’ve just got to kind of support him and get him right. And hopefully everything goes well there. Somebody else has to pick up that slack.”