Patrick Sandoval To Undergo UCL Surgery

Patrick Sandoval To Undergo UCL Surgery


Angels left-hander Patrick Sandoval told reporters that he has a high-grade flexor tear and a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left arm. Rhett Bollinger of was among those to relay the news on X. While Bollinger uses the phrase “Tommy John surgery,” Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register says on X that the exact nature of the surgery isn’t yet clear. Regardless, the lefty is done for this year and part of 2025 as well.

The news is obviously devastating, both for Sandoval personally and for the Angels as a team. As the club has struggled to find consistent quality pitching in recent years, the southpaw has been one of the few bright spots of their staff.

Since the start of 2021, Sandoval has tossed 460 innings for the club, allowing 3.80 earned runs per nine frames. He struck out 22.6% of batters faced in that time with a 10.2% walk rate and 47.3% ground ball rate. Unfortunately, he had to leave Friday’s start in obvious pain and was placed on the 15-day injured list with an elbow strain, and now the decision has been made that surgery is required.

Sandoval qualified for arbitration after 2022 as a Super Two player. He made $2.75MM last year and is making $5.025MM this year, with two more arbitration seasons remaining. With the Angels having a poor season and no return to contention in sight, he could have been made available at this summer’s deadline and been one of the more attractive arms on the market, something that MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently took a look at.

Now that won’t be on the table and Sandoval is looking at a lengthy layoff. A full Tommy John surgery usually comes with a recovery timeline of 14 to 18 months, which would put his 2025 season in jeopardy. The internal brace variety can sometimes have shorter timelines, but only by a few months.

The Angels will transfer Sandoval to the 60-day injured list when they need a roster spot but he will need to be reinstated for the offseason. Assuming they tender him a contract for 2025, he won’t be able to get much of a raise on the heels of this truncated season. The club may be tempted to non-tender a pitcher that may not contribute anything next year, but pitchers in this situation often sign two-year deals to cover their recovery and return to the mound. The Angels can effectively do that just by tendering him a deal for next year and then for 2026.

It’s also another challenge for a rotation that has had plenty. Reid Detmers struggled enough this year that he was optioned down to the minors. Tyler Anderson is having a good year but is 34 years old and has one year left on his contract, making him a logical trade candidate. Griffin Canning has just one year of control beyond this year as well. Chase Silseth and José Soriano are also on the injured list. Zach Plesac has been added to the roster lately but hasn’t found much success in his first two starts. With Sandoval’s surgery, piecing together the rotation will be even harder, both this year and next year.

For Sandoval personally, he will lose the remainder of his age-27 season and a decent chunk of his age-28 season as well, putting a big dent in his earning power. He’ll turn 29 years old in October of next year.




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