VIERA, Fla. - Cla Meredith’s short run with the Nationals could already be over. The team announced today that Meredith will have Tommy John surgery in Washington with Nationals doctor Wiemi Douoguih, ending his season after he felt elbow discomfort in a pair of bullpen sessions.
The sidearm-throwing reliever, who had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow during the offseason, is with the team on a minor league deal, but the Nationals will likely have to keep him while he rehabs after surgery. He’d then likely be cut after his rehab, unless the team decides it wants to take another look at Meredith for 2012.
“It’s kind of the nature of it,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “He was the unlucky one this year. If you put a bunch of names in a hat, it’s happened all over baseball. That ligament there is vulnerable, and his went.”
Riggleman said there wasn’t any concern about Meredith’s ulnar collateral ligament when the team signed him; the Nationals knew about the bone chips in his elbow, but didn’t have any further reservations about him. “That injury is just unbelievable,” Riggleman said. “I’m guessing 25 percent of the guys who pitch probably have some issue with their ligament, and there just doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it. If you rest it for a month, it’s still going to be a bad ligament a month from now.”