Nick Kingham was removed from his start Wednesday with elbow discomfort in the sixth inning and placed on the 7-day disabled list later in the week. General manager Neal Huntington said Sunday the right-hander is seeking a second opinion on his injury before any decisions will be made.
Huntington said Kingham can’t immediately see the doctor he wants to and likely won’t be able to get a second opinion until later in the week.
“We’re working through to see if we can get him in as quickly as possible,” Huntington said. “Until then we’ll just leave it at he’s going to get a second opinion.”
Huntington clarified Kingham is not going to see Dr. James Andrews, to whom a visit usually portends Tommy John surgery.
As for Tyler Glasnow, Huntington said activity is “tolerated” and he is day-to-day.
“We want to be extremely careful but he’s feeling good and no significant concerns at this point,” Huntington said.
UPDATE: Thoughts from Tim Williams…
Looking at recent history, both Brandon Cumpton and Jameson Taillon went for second opinions before receiving Tommy John surgery. Then again, Jason Grilli also went for a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews, and it was determined that he didn’t need surgery.
The hope for Kingham is that he doesn’t need surgery, although based on history that seems like a low probability. The absence of Andrews doesn’t necessarily rule out surgery. Cumpton and Grilli both went to see Andrews. However, Taillon went to Dr. Neal ElAttrache for his surgery.
If Kingham does need surgery, this would probably put him out of the MLB picture until late-2016, and maybe even 2017. The Pirates are taking a conservative approach bringing guys back from Tommy John, and aren’t going with the now-common 12 month approach. Taillon had his surgery in early April, and probably won’t return to Indianapolis until the middle of the season.
A similar timeline could have Kingham back by August of 2016 if he has surgery, which is a big reason why the hope would be that he doesn’t end up needing the procedure.