Well, this news certainly came out of the blue. Everybody was having a nice, pleasant mid-Winter day (especially considering the fact that the magical date of pitchers and catchers reporting for Spring Training is just over a week away), but then the Braves tweeted this bit of news and it all went into flux.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>RHP Shae Simmons underwent successful "Tommy John" surgery today to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow</p>— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) <a href="https://twitter.com/Braves/status/565983444019466240">February 12, 2015</a></blockquote>
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What makes this especially unfortunate is that Simmons was reportedly "feeling great" just a couple of weeks ago, which would have been encouraging to hear after he was shut down for the final 2 months of the season due to shoulder issues. Unfortunately, Simmons started feeling elbow discomfort last week, and this week he's had Tommy John surgery and is out for 2015.
Shae Simmons only pitched 21.2 innings last season in his first season in the bigs, but showed plenty of promise; Enough to where many believed that he could potentially be this season's set-up man for closer extraordinaire Craig Kimbrel. Instead, his development will be postponed for a year as he will have to spend this season recovering from the major surgery on his UCL.
Meanwhile, I can assure you that there's no truth to the rumors that Dr. James Andrews is giving the Braves organization a 75% discount on Tommy John surgeries due to the ever-increasing number of Braves pitchers who have had to have the procedure done lately. In all seriousness, here's hoping that Simmons makes a swift and effective recovery so that he can be a big contributor to the bullpen in the future. For now, though, this is definitely a bit of a bummer.