Despite efforts to rehab the tear in his ulnar collateral ligament without having to undergo a dreaded Tommy John operation, St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jason Motte is left with no choice after feeling continued discomfort in his elbow following a throwing session on Friday.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Motte will undergo the surgery sometime next week, with general manager John Mozeliak mentioning Monday as a possibility. That will obviously knock Motte out for the remainder of the 2013 season and will likely cut into his 2014 campaign as well.
The news comes on the same day that Mitchell Boggs, who opened the season as Cardinals closer in place of Motte, was optioned back to Triple-A after posting a horrendous 12.16 ERA through 14 appearances. St. Louis also optioned left-hander Marc Rzepczynski on Monday in a bit of a wake up call for what Mozeliak feels has been a lack of drive since early in spring training.
That's three big pieces of a bullpen that helped carry St. Louis to a world championship in 2011 and deep into the postseason in 2012 that have gone missing, yet the Cardinals have still found a way to piece things together thanks to a strong start by Edward Mujica (7 for 7 in save chances) and Trevor Rosenthal.
Of course the damage to their depth is still likely to catch up to them at some point (unless Boggs and Rzepczynski regain their form quickly in Memphis), but for now St. Louis is showing that resilience we've grown accustomed to seeing from them under Tony La Russa and now Mike Matheny.
• In other Tommy John news: Chicago White Sox right-hander Gavin Floyd could be scheduling his own operation soon after the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales reported Floyd has a tear in the flexor muscle in his right elbow and an unstable ulnar collateral ligament.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale added on Friday that as of now the tentative plan is for Floyd to go through with the surgery, but he's still seeking a third opinion just to be sure. That appointment is scheduled for Monday, so the Sox should know which direction Floyd is going by Tuesday or Wednesday.
The White Sox are already without John Danks, who began the season on the disabled list following shoulder surgery in 2012. His return should be near, though, as he made the first of what will likely be three rehab starts on Thursday. In the meantime, they'll go with Dylan Axelrod and Hector Santiago at the back of their rotation before making their decision.