Brandon Cumpton Has Tommy John Surgery

Right-handed pitcher Brandon Cumpton had Tommy John surgery today, performed by Dr. James Andrews. The news isn’t unexpected, since it was announced last week that Cumpton would visit Andrews after experiencing pain in his elbow. In most cases, that results in surgery.

This means that Cumpton will be out for at least a year, and probably won’t be ready to start the 2016 season on Opening Day, based on how conservative the Pirates have been in bringing back pitchers from the injury. To give some perspective on a potential timeline, Clay Holmes had surgery last year on March 19th. He is currently throwing live BPs, and will get into sim games soon. However, he won’t be ready to start the regular season, and will need some time in extended Spring Training.

The early guess from Cumpton is that he will be out at least until the end of April 2016. He does have an option remaining. The Pirates could stash him on the 60-day DL this year, which would preserve the option and allow him to be used as depth next year out of Triple-A. The downside to this is that he’d burn a year of service time, but that’s a better alternative than having no options next year and returning from major surgery.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I think Cumpton being hurt puts Sadler & Richard in a spot to get emer starts after Locke.


If they stash him on the 60 day DL how does that affect his timeline towards minor league free agency?

Bill Kline

He has to have three years of service time and be outrighted. He is only at 0.127 now so that won’t be an issue. Plus saving the option saves the possibility of having to outright him until at least 2017.



Bill Kline



Hopefully they stash him on 60 day preserving the option. He has been a useful pitcher and even with the pitchers they have or that are in in the pipeline you can never have too much depth.



Obviously, not good (from a timing perspective), as he’s probably most valuable to the Pirates this year as an injury fall-back.

You have to wonder if there will be any place for him when he comes back (which makes me feel kinda bad for him – leave during a year when the team probably needs you the most and possibly be completely passed over when you come back).

By spring next year, Kingham and Taillon could be in the Pirates rotation and Glasnow will be knocking on the door, plus some other young guys may take Cumpton’s place as the first fill-ins. Will be interesting to see.

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