Just when things were going well for Patrick Weigel in 2017, it came tumbling down over the past couple of weeks. After an unusual, ineffective start from the righty on June 18th against the Columbus Clippers, Weigel had an MRI done on the 20th. The results from that MRI showed definite ligament damage. Weigel than met with the renowned Dr. James Andrews to see if surgery was needed. Unfortunately it was revealed that the 6’6 240 pounder would have to go under the knife and have the infamous Tommy John surgery.
Weigel then took to Twitter to confirm his surgery. According to his Twitter account he said “Today, after much deliberation, (I) had Tommy John surgery. I want to thank everyone who has reached out and encouraged/supported me.” He then added #2019ready at the end of his tweet, indicating he will miss the rest of the 2017 season, as well as the majority, if not all, of the 2018 season.
This comes as a huge blow to, not only Weigel, but to the Atlanta Braves farm system. Not only was Weigel off to another great start this season, but he was the 2016 organizational pitcher of the year. He started off 2017 in Double-A Mississippi accumulating a 3-0 record to go along with a 2.89 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a 38/11 K/BB ratio. The University of Houston alum did this in 37.1 innings pitched.
After his success with the M-Braves, Weigel was then promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett in May. Through 41 innings pitched with Gwinnett, Weigel went 3-2 with a 5.27 ERA, a 1.44 WHIP, and a 30/17 K/BB ratio. Although his numbers did not reflect his hot start, there was going to be some type of regression due to the higher competition level of Triple-A.
Again, this was a huge blow to all parties involved as it sidelines the #15 prospect in the Braves’ system (according to MLB.com) and sets back some of the longer term plans the Braves’ front office had in store. Nonetheless, this is what the Atlanta farm system was built for. When a guy goes down another takes his place. All hopes and prayers go out to Weigel for a speedy recovery and future success. Get well soon Patrick, we’ll see ya soon kid!
*stats according to milb.com