Drew VerHagen is officially out of commission for the remainder of the 2016 season. The right-handed reliever was shut down after experiencing a setback in his recovery. He is expected to undergo season-ending surgery on August 8, according to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press.
VerHagen’s thoracic outlet syndrome surgery will take place in St. Louis, Mo. and “in theory” he should be ready for spring training in 2017, manager Brad Ausmus said. The righty, who has been on the disabled list since June 14 (retro May 23), had been progressing well in his recovery until last week.
“He threw about a week ago, and it didn’t feel good to him,” Ausmus told reporters. “They felt like he was progressing, then all of a sudden, it didn’t feel good. Felt the same thing again down his arm.”
VerHagen is not the only pitcher to get hit with TOS this year. Mets’ starting pitcher Matt Harvey underwent the same surgery on July 18 and is also out for the year. Twins starter Phil Hughes also had TOS surgery on July 7, which included a rib removed to assist with resolving the issue — this is typical for the surgery.
Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer recently went down with TOS and will undergo season-ending surgery, though he’s not had the procedure done as of yet.
In 19 games with the Tigers this year, VerHagen had a 5.40 FIP, averaging 13.3 hits per nine and striking out just 4.7 batters on average. His 1.4 HR/9 was one of the highest of any reliever, but his troubles began on April 24 when he started having arm issues.
VerHagen was sent to the minors in May but shortly thereafter was placed on the Mud Hens’ seven-day disabled list and then transferred to the Tigers’ DL. He’ll collect the league-minimum salary while on the DL for the remainder of the season as his injury happened while he was with Detroit.