Dodgers pitcher Emmet Sheehan has season-ending Tommy John surgery

Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

LOS ANGELES — The epidemic of major elbow injuries that has marred baseball for several years revisited the Dodgers this week, the team announcing that 24-year-old right-hander Emmet Sheehan underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on Wednesday.

Sheehan, who showed promise by going 4-1 with a 4.92 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings over 13 games — 11 of them starts — last season, is the first Dodgers pitcher to undergo the ligament-replacement procedure this season, but the team lost starters Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin to the surgery in 2023.

Sheehan, who jumped from Double-A to the big leagues last season, entered spring training as the favorite to win the fifth rotation spot, but he was slowed in Arizona by what the team first called “general body soreness” and later right-shoulder soreness.

Sheehan began a throwing program in April and had extended his long-toss to about 150 feet in early May, but he apparently took a turn for the worse and opted for surgery that will probably sideline him through the All-Star break of 2025.

“There wasn’t a major setback,” manager Dave Roberts said before Thursday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. “From what I heard, it just wasn’t responding the way he or we had hoped. And so I think at that point in time, you feel that with the information he was getting that surgery was the right decision.”

The Dodgers received some more encouraging news regarding another of their prized young pitchers Thursday. Bobby Miller, out since April 14 because of shoulder inflammation, came out of Wednesday’s two-inning, live batting-practice session “really well,” Roberts said.

The right-hander, whose fastball ranged from 93-97 mph, will throw another simulated game or begin a minor league rehab assignment early next week, Roberts said.


Veteran right fielder Jason Heyward is also on the verge of returning from a lower-back injury that has sidelined him since April 3. Heyward played two games for Triple-A Oklahoma City this week and could be activated as soon as Friday. The corresponding move to clear a roster spot for Heyward carries considerable intrigue.

The Dodgers do not seem inclined to cut ties with veteran utility man Chris Taylor, who was in the lineup Thursday night for the first time in nine days but was batting .071 (four for 56) with a .280 on-base-plus-slugging percentage and 28 strikeouts in 25 games. Taylor’s four-year, $60 million contract runs through 2025.

“He’s been working every day on something to kind of work through his mechanics, and I just felt that it’s been quite some time, and I need to get him in there,” Roberts said. “C.T. is on our roster. He’s been very big for me — and us — for many years. I have to keep trying to give him opportunities, and I will continue to do so.”

If Taylor remains with the team, that would leave young outfielders James Outman and Andy Pages as candidates for a demotion to Triple-A.

The right-handed-hitting Pages batted .339 (22 for 65) with a .957 OPS, four homers, five doubles and 12 RBIs in his first 16 games after his April 25 promotion to the big leagues but has cooled considerably since, hitting .114 (4 for 35) with a .343 OPS, 17 strikeouts and four walks in his last 10 games before Thursday.

The left-handed-hitting Outman entered Thursday night with a .151 batting average, .530 OPS, three homers, 10 RBIs and 38 strikeouts in 35 games.

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