Brewers reliever Corey Knebel said Friday that he will have Tommy John surgery and miss the season.
Knebel, a 27-year-old right-hander, had been pitching with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow since 2014. He has been sidelined since March 17, when he experienced discomfort in his elbow while pitching in a spring training game.
“It happened five years ago and now it’s just gotten a little worse,” Knebel said. “I don’t want it to really hurt me in the long run. Right now, I’m 27. I think it’s better to do it now than wait until later.”
Knebel was 4-3 with 16 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 57 games last season. He was outstanding in the playoffs, pitching nine games with a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings as the Brewers relied on a dominant bullpen to come within one win of the World Series.
Knebel had 39 saves in 2017 and was an NL All-Star.
He opted for the surgery rather than trying to rehab the injury and possibly being out a longer time or not knowing if the pain would return.
Orthopedist Neal ElAttrache will perform the surgery on Wednesday.
“I’ve had the information now for a week and I couldn’t just decide right away,” Knebel said. “I hated that it was my decision. I really wish the doctor would have told me, ‘Here’s what we’re doing.’
“As much as I want to pitch, it’s going to be tough to just watch,” he said.
Knebel said he would not be with the team this season but instead begin the healing process at the Brewers’ training complex in Maryvale, Arizona.
“I’ve been reading a lot about everything and the success rate of Tommy John is very good,” Knebel said.
Farquhar update: Yankees reliever Danny Farquhar, returning from a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage suffered during a game last April while pitching for the White Sox, will remain at extended spring training rather than start the season with a minor-league team.
Farquhar, 32, appeared in three spring training games, giving up six runs, four hits and five walks.
Briefly: Outfielder Cameron Maybin, released by the Giants on March 23 after hitting .163 in Cactus League play, agreed to a minor-league contract with the Indians. He was assigned to Triple-A Columbus. … Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who has been bothered by a neck strain, took part in pregame drills Friday and could make his season debut against the Rays on Sunday, MLB.com reported.
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