Guardians pitcher Shane Bieber will undergo season-ending elbow surgery

Bieber felt pain in his right elbow during his first two starts of 2024

Eight games into the 2024 season, the Cleveland Guardians received devastating news on one of their best players.

Pitcher Shane Bieber will undergo surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced Saturday. He will miss the remainder of the season. The procedure, to be performed by Dallas orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister, has not yet been scheduled.

Bieber, who will turn 29 in May, felt pain in his elbow during his Opening Day start versus the Oakland Athletics, according to Despite that discomfort, he struck out 11 batters and allowed just four hits over six innings.

However, the pain continued in Bieber's second appearance. The right-hander still excelled, with nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings against the Seattle Mariners. Once Bieber said he still felt pain, subsequent tests and scans revealed the injury. After consulting with doctors, undergoing Tommy John surgery on the right elbow was recommended.

Bieber dealt with inflammation in his right elbow last season, limiting him to 128 innings and 21 starts. He also registered the lowest strikeout rate of his six previous MLB seasons (averaging 7.5 over nine innings) and his second-highest ERA (3.80).

The injury could mean that Bieber's career with the Guardians is over. He is set to become a free agent after this season and, despite requiring Tommy John surgery, figures to be in demand among teams looking for a dominant starting pitcher. (If the Guardians had struggled while Bieber pitched well, he likely would've been a trade candidate.)

Shane Bieber headshot
Shane Bieber
SP - CLE - #57
2024 - false season

Bieber has been one of the best pitchers in MLB during his seven seasons. In 843 career innings, he has compiled a 3.22 ERA and 62-32 record while averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine frames.

One week into the 2024 MLB season, the Guardians are second in the AL Central with a 6-2 record, a half-game behind the Detroit Tigers.