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Tigers prospect Joey Wentz undergoes successful UCL surgery

The pitcher is slated to return in 14 to 16 months.

Detroit Tigers Photo Day Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, the Detroit Tigers announced that lefthander Joey Wentz, who was recently ranked 8th on the Tigers’ 2020 MLB Pipeline prospect list, and 6th on our own 2020 top 30 list, had undergone a successful UCL reconstruction — Tommy John surgery — on a torn ligament in his left elbow.

The 22-year-old lefty and 2016 first round draft pick was the key piece in the 2019 trade of Shane Greene to the Atlanta Braves. In his brief five-game stint with Erie last year Wentz showed a lot of promise, with a 2.10 ERA. His numbers overall between the two teams last year were a 4.20 ERA over 128 23 innings, but he was especially good in his short time with the SeaWolves.

Wentz had experienced some forearm tightness in spring training, sidelining him from making any starts, but he had been throwing as recently as two weeks ago.

The anticipated timeline for Wentz’s return is 14 to 16 months. As far as silver linings go, this might have been the best season for Wentz to undergo Tommy John surgery, as the current plan for when baseball activities will return in still unknown.