Branden Kline has Tommy John surgery (plus O’s re-sign six players)

Orioles right-handed pitching prospect Branden Kline had Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews yesterday in Pensacola, Fla.

Kline, who turned 24 on Sept. 29, went 3-3 with a 3.66 ERA in eight starts this year for Double-A Bowie, but did not pitch after May 20. In late May, he underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection to alleviate elbow discomfort and eventually resumed a throwing program.

Braden Kline Keys.jpgHe pitched in one game during the Orioles’ instructional league program which is under way now in Florida. But when he took the mound for a second game, there was more discomfort, which led to yesterday’s elbow ligament replacement procedure.

A native of Frederick, Md., and a graduate of Thomas Johnson High School, Kline was drafted by the Orioles in the second round in 2012 after a three-year career at the University of Virginia. He was limited to 35 innings in 2013 after he had surgery in late May to repair a right ankle/fibula fracture. At the end of the 2014 season, he was ranked as the Orioles’ No. 26 prospect by Baseball America.

Kline is the third O’s minor leaguer to have Tommy John surgery since the start of spring training. Right-hander Jesse Beal underwent the procedure during the spring and right-hander Zeke McGranahan had the surgery in June.

Meanwhile, the Orioles have re-signed six players to 2016 minor league contracts. They are pitcher Nick Additon, shortstop Ozzie Martinez, infielder Corban Joseph, outfielder Quincy Latimore, infielder/outfielder Garabez Rosa and catcher Audry Perez.

The first five were key members of Bowie’s Eastern League championship team, while Perez played for Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles are looking to re-sign more players that were in their organization this year before they can become minor league free agents after the World Series.

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