Strider’s MRI Shows Ligament Damage, Surgery Possible

The Braves got news about pitcher Spencer Strider they didn’t want.

The starting pitcher has elbow ligament damage, according to an MRI he received the day after he had to leave the opening game of the Braves vs. Diamondbacks at Truist Park. After leaving the mound after some lackluster performances in the first four innings he pitched, he apparently was having issues with his elbow.

The MRI, taken today revealed he had ulnar collateral ligament damage in his right elbow.

This means Strider faces possible Tommy John surgery on the elbow, which could put him out of action for some time if it happens. The team said that Strider would receive further evaluation from Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas sometime next week.

Tommy John surgery for Strider may not be a definite possibility. Other remedies may be considered, but Snitker confirmed that surgery was likely for the pitcher.

“You hate it for him,’ said Braves manager Brian Snitker in a post-game interview. “I feel really bad for him. He’s the kid that does everything right and loves to compete.”

If it happens, this would be Strider’s second Tommy John surgery in five years.

Teammate Austin Riley told The Athletic’s David O’Brien in an interview, “Devastating. You don’t want to hear something like that, from a guy that works so hard and is so honed in on his craft. He cares so much…But he’s somebody that’s going to put in the time and the effort to get back to where he was.”