Chi Chi Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers has a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL), according to Evan Grant of Dallas Morning News. The starting pitcher will undergo stem cell treatment or receive a platelet-rich plasma injection, which could help him to avoid Tommy John Surgery.
According to the Fantasy Doctor’s Dr. Selene Parekh, Gonzalez will receive stem cell injections initially and be reevaluated in six weeks. If it does not show progress, Tommy John surgery would be required. The team will probably take it slowly with him, so his return could be anywhere from six to 12 weeks.
The health of the Texas Rangers pitching continues to be stretched this Spring. Gonzalez joins Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross as the starting pitchers on the team who are nursing injuries. Both pitchers are starting to throw again but their respective return dates are undetermined. However, it is certain that Gonzalez will miss the first few months of the season at the very minimum.
The Rangers were hoping Gonzalez could compete for a job in the starting rotation in light of the injuries around the club. But he was not feeling himself, donning a 9.39 earned run average in three appearances. The MRI results revealed the real issue. Now Texas needs to find who can fill out its pitching rotation to begin the season.
AJ Griffin has the most experience among pitchers attempting to earn a spot on the rotation, starting 23 games for the Rangers in 2016. His 6.94ERA may be high, but Texas does not have many other options. Griffin may have been an option in 12-team leagues back when he was with Oakland, but he has a lot to prove before he can be picked up in 2017.
27-year-old rookie, Mike Hauschild, is another unlikely name who may end up getting a chance to start the season in the rotation. The late bloomer had 116 strikeouts in 138 innings pitched in Triple-A. He seems like the Rangers version of Mike Fiers. He has also proven to be effective against big league hitters this Spring, sporting a 4.05ERA in five appearances. But let’s give him a few starts before picking him up.