Emmet Sheehan Attributes UCL Injury to Prolonged Wear and Tear

Dodgers' rising star faces setback with major elbow surgery.

by Abdullah Magsi
Emmet Sheehan Attributes UCL Injury to Prolonged Wear and Tear
© Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The 2024 MLB season has drawn to a premature close for Emmet Sheehan, the promising young pitcher of the Los Angeles Dodgers, after a UCL tear in his throwing elbow forced him to opt for season-ending surgery. The 24-year-old, a former sixth-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, underwent Tommy John Surgery to mend the partial tear, sidelining him for the rest of the year.

Sheehan chose a surgical option involving an internal brace, a decision that comes with a recovery timeline of approximately 13 months. However, the rehabilitation process remains fraught with uncertainties, particularly if setbacks occur.

Discussing his injury with reporters, Sheehan disclosed that the damage to his elbow was not the result of a single throw or pitch. "It wasn’t one throw or pitch," Sheehan explained. "I don't really know how long it's been in there, but it could have been a while," he added, indicating that the injury had developed gradually over time.

Sheehan's Future Prospects

Sheehan’s aspiration to cement his place as a major league talent has been notably disrupted. Initially competing for a rotation spot during Spring Training, his progress was already hampered by injuries to his forearm and oblique, prior to this latest setback.

Looking ahead, Sheehan’s focus will shift to making a significant impact in the seasons beyond 2024. The Los Angeles Dodgers have faced a challenging season with regard to player health, with Sheehan being the latest in a series of injured pitchers.

The team's injury list includes notable names like Tony Gonsolin, Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller, and Dustin May. The bullpen has also been hit hard with injuries to relievers Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Connor Brogdon, and Joe Kelly, in addition to slugger Max Muncy.

Despite these setbacks, the Dodgers remain formidable contenders in the league. Recent roster changes reflect the team's strategy to navigate these challenges, with Max Muncy moving to the injured list and the reintegration of players like Jason Heyward and Miguel Vargas into the lineup.

As the Dodgers continue to adjust and strategize amidst adversity, the team's depth and resilience will be crucial factors in their quest for success this season.