More bad news for the Marlins and their catchers. John Baker will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday. Baker was examined Thursday by Dr. James Andrews and, in a text message, said that tests "revealed damage to the UCL (ulnar collateral ligament)." in his right elbow.
Normally Tommy John surgery, for a pitcher, means he will be out of action for 12-18 months. Normally, a position player will return sooner, normally. But a catcher isn't a normal position player since he is required to throw after most every pitch and to second and sometimes third.
There's very few catchers that have had it. The one I know of is Chris Coste, who had it this year and hasn't come back yet. Vance Wilson had it, but had some complications - non-elbow - which makes it impossible to read. Players come back quickly (6-8 mo) but throwing is obviously much more of a requirement for a catcher so I'd say it would
be nearly the same as a pitcher, especially since the mechanics and effort would be problematic.
In other words, don't expect to see Baker behind the plate for the Marlins again until after the 2011 season.
Get well soon Bake.