According to a report from Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, injured Blue Jays reliever Neil Wagner is slated to visit famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews next week. Wagner has been nursing a a tight forearm since June 1st and recently made his first rehab appearance on on July 7th for the GCL Blue Jays, an appearance he had to leave due to elbow tightness.
Even the manliest of ballplayers get shivers down their spines when they hear those three dreaded words: Dr. James Andrews. For the unintiated, Dr. Andrews is considered the foremost expert in the field of orthopedics, specifically in regards to repair and replacement of damaged ligaments. If Neil Wagner is slated to meet with Dr. Andrews, it can only mean that Tommy John Surgery is in his future.
Wagner proved to be a huge acquisition for the Blue Jays prior to the 2013 season. Signed as a minor league free agent, Wagner appeared in 36 games for Toronto last season, posting a 3.79 ERA and a 7.8 K/9 ratio over 38 innings of work in a season where pitchers were falling like flies.
Unfortunately, he struggled to follow that up in 2014, posting a 8.10 ERA in 10 contests this season. Having minor league options available, the Blue Jays sent him down to Triple-A Buffalo to work out his kinks, but arm issues held Wagner to just 9 innings of work with the Bisons before he hit the disabled list.
For now, and depending on the outcome of his visit with Dr. Andrews, Wagner will likely be placed on the 60-day disabled list, freeing up a 40-man roster spot. As a pre-arbitration eligible player (2016), there is a good chance that the Blue Jays stash Wagner on the DL in hopes that they can see what he can contribute at the end of his recovery.
.@BuffaloBisons RHP NEIL WAGNER is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on August 19. The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews.
— Blue Jays-Official (@BlueJays) August 12, 2014