The news regarding Matt Cain and his injured elbow isn't entirely surprising, but that's not going to completely console San Francisco Giants fans. Cain has opted for elbow surgery, meaning his season is officially over.
Cain's season has been in limbo for nearly a month now. He was diagnosed with bone chips in his elbow last week and had two choices — try to pitch through it for the rest of the year or have surgery. On Monday, he made his choice.
The good news is that Cain doesn't need Tommy John surgery, just surgery to clean out his elbow. The recovery time is three months, which means he'll be good to go by spring training. Cain didn't talk to reporters Monday, but his manager did. From Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“It’s been frustrating for Matt,” Bruce Bochy said. “He’s been battling this for a while. It’s time. He could have kept trying to push it. But it was inevitable. He’s going to have this done and be ready for spring training."
The Giants already acquired Jake Peavy before the trade deadline, a move done with Cain's injury in mind. Cain hadn't pitched since July 9, and even if he were still around, the Giants could have used the rotation help because Cain simply hasn't been himself.
He's posted a 4.18 ERA with a 2-7 record in 2014. That's coming off a disappointing 2013 season in which Cain was 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA. He spent the two previous seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA. Maybe having surgery will help Cain get back to his old self?
The Giants, meanwhile, are 61-51, two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings. Their starting rotation without Cain is still formidable, with Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson, Peavy and Ryan Vogelsong.
The bigger concern in San Francisco as the Giants chase a playoff spot is the offense. The Giants don't have an effective bat at second base and they have a struggling Michael Morse in left field most nights.
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