Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitching prospect Clay Holmes underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. Dr. James Andrews performed the procedure. I just spoke with Holmes, who was wearing a bandage and a sling over his right arm, and he said he will go back to Dr. Andrews after four months for an evaluation. The expected recovery time is 10-12 months, which should put Holmes in position to be game ready during Spring Training next year.
“The timing, you never want it to happen, but I won’t miss any of next year. Just rehab this year and come back next year,” Holmes said.
The Pirates shut Holmes down two weeks ago after he was experiencing elbow tightness. Holmes had issues with his elbow last year during the Fall Instructional Leagues, and was shut down for rest and rehab over the off-season. The elbow started bothering him again in camp, and the Pirates shut him down and scheduled him for a visit to get the elbow evaluated. Holmes talked about his focus during the recovery period, including things that he could focus on while he’s not able to pitch.
“It’s not something anyone wants to go through, but it gives you the chance to focus on something mechanically, or my body, or anything like that,” Holmes said. “It’s basically a year I get to work my body out, and take care of some things with my head, or mechanically, to basically just become that much better. If you look at it positive like that, there’s a lot of good things that are going to come out of it.”
Holmes was expected to make the jump to Bradenton this year. He will probably go to that level next year once he’s recovered. We had him ranked as the #12 prospect in the system prior to the injury.