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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-10-29

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-10-29

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-10-29
Right-handed reliever Casey Weathers is no longer on a fast track to the big leagues. In his first appearance in the Arizona Fall League, Weathers suffered an elbow injury Oct. 9 while pitching to his second batter, and he will miss the 2009 season.

Player development director Marc Gustafson said Weathers, 23, the Rockies' first-round pick in 2007 and eighth player drafted overall, was diagnosed with "an acute tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right forearm."

That diagnosis was made by Thomas Noonan, the Rockies' orthopedic surgeon. Weathers sought a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who concurred with the original diagnosis.

On Oct. 31, Weathers is scheduled to undergo ligament transplant surgery on his right elbow. Yocum, whose longtime associate Dr. Robert Kerlan pioneered the procedure commonly called Tommy John surgery, will perform the operation. Rehabilitation typically takes 12 to 15 months.

Weathers, who had no history of arm problems, had been on a fast track to the majors since being drafted out of Vanderbilt. The Rockies were hoping he could join their bullpen at some point in 2009 and add a power arm to their relief corps. That was by no means farfetched after he went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in 44 games with Class AA Tulsa, leaping to that level in his first full professional season after pitching in 14 games and working 14 2/3 innings in 2007, all but one game and one inning at low Class A Asheville.

Weathers' ability to throw strikes and then quality strikes greatly improved during an eventful 2008 season that began with going to big-league camp. Weathers made the Texas League All-Star team, played in the Futures Game and played for Team USA in the Beijing Olympics.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: October 29, 2008

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