Pirates Prospects has learned that left-handed pitcher Braeden Ogle underwent knee surgery on Tuesday morning in Pittsburgh to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. The surgery was successful and his return time is 3-5 weeks. While that ends his regular season and his chance to play in the Fall Instructional League, he will have a full off-season to get into shape for next year. He will attend Instructs at Pirate City as a rehab player.
Ogle believes he hurt his knee originally while sliding into a base during his senior year in high school, which was last year before he was drafted in the fourth round by the Pirates. It wasn’t bad then and hasn’t been much of a problem since, but he would occasionally notice it when he overexerted himself.
“It wasn’t too bad,” Ogle said about the injury. “Never felt bad enough to say anything about, but throughout all last year and this year it would just get kind of tight on me if I did a lot of running or lifting.”
On August 12th, Ogle threw five shutout innings for the second straight time, while picking up a career-high seven strikeouts. That ended up being his last start of the season, as the knee injury finally became a problem, before and after the start, though obviously not during the game.
“The day before I threw against Pulaski(August 12th), I was just playing catch and it kind of shifted on me and locked up,” Ogle said. “I still threw versus Pulaski because it wasn’t too painful at all. About four days after, it started to swell, so I told the trainer and sure enough it was torn.”
The procedure was an arthroscopic removal of cartilage and the performing doctor told Ogle that he should be able to resume running and lifting within 3-5 weeks.
When you include Spring Training and Extended Spring Training innings, the Pirates were satisfied with the number of innings Ogle put in this season and the injury shouldn’t limit him next year. He pitched his first game back on March 15th and was putting in 3-4 innings every five days during Extended Spring Training, which went from the first week of April until the start of the Bristol season in mid-June.
Ogle finished this season with a 3.14 ERA in 43 innings, with 35 strikeouts and a .242 BAA. At the time of his last start, he ranked sixth in the Appalachian League in ERA, though he has dropped off the leaderboard in the last few days due to not having enough innings.
He is ranked as the 12th best prospect in the system and he’s a candidate to make the West Virginia rotation on Opening Day next year. This knee surgery shouldn’t affect his chances of making that jump.