When outfielder Clete Thomas was diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament back in September - an injury that required Tommy John surgery - the optimistic expectation was that he might be recovered in time for Spring Training. The typical recovery time for a position player having undergone a ligament replacement procedure is six to eight months. And it now appears that Clete is looking at the longer end of that scenario.
As preseason workouts begin for the Detroit Tigers, Thomas isn't able to throw. And that will likely affect his chances to make the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. It's unfortunate timing for Clete, as the Tigers could use both a left-handed bat off the bench and a back-up centerfielder, roles for which he seems ideally suited.
Thomas will still be able to participate in hitting and running drills, and the Tigers hope he can begin throwing by the end of the spring. For now, however, this would seem to help the chances of Jeff Larish or Ryan Raburn leaving Lakeland with the major league roster.
No word yet from The Cult of Clete on how they're taking this news. I'm waiting to hear from a cult spokesperson. But I think it's safe to guess that the Cult is hopeful, yet disappointed.