Spencer Strider is out for the season after the Braves suffered an injury to UCL surgery


Braves ace Spender Strider will miss the remainder of the season as another of MLB's top pitchers falls victim to the growing epidemic of hand surgery in the pitch-clock era.

Strider underwent surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow with an internal brace, the Braves announced Saturday. Dr. Keith Meister of Arlington, Tex., performed the surgery Friday.

Strider led the majors in hits (20) and strikeouts (281) while pitching to a 3.86 ERA in 186 2/3 innings in 2023, but he didn't make it out of the gates in his third full MLB season.

He struck out 12, but allowed seven runs in nine innings.

Spencer Strider will miss the remainder of the Braves' season. Good pictures

The 25-year-old right-hander reported feeling elbow discomfort during a brief outing on April 5. His speed slowed down significantly.

A day later, Braves manager Brian Snitker said the MRI showed “not good.” Within a week, Strider was under the knife.

Strider's injury didn't just change the landscape of the National League — who could challenge the Dodgers? — but opens a window for the Mets and Phillies in the NL East.

By and large, Strider's injury continues a dangerous early-season trend of seasons on the shelf.

Strider joins the Guardians' Shane Bieber, the Red Sox's Lucas Giolito, the Dodgers' Shohei Ohtani and the Marlins' duo of Sandy Alcantara and Yuri Perez as pitchers who are out for the season.

The list could grow because several high-profile starters are sidelined by elbow or shoulder injuries and the timeline for their return is murky: the Yankees' Gerrit Cole, the Mets' Kodai Senka, the Astros' Justin Verlander, the Mariners' Robbie Ray, the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw, the Brewers' Brandon Woodruff, the Diamondbacks' Eduardo Rodriguez and the Rangers' teammates. Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom did not field.

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There is heated debate over whether this is due to MLB implementing a pitch clock. Or is it just a coincidence and high speeds and spin rates are at the root of the problem?

MLB's recent rejection of the pitch clock as a possible cause has angered players like Cole.

“It's short-sighted,” said Kohli, a former member of the players' association's eight-man sub-committee. “We're going to really understand the effects of the pitch clock, five years from now, but to rule it out, I don't think that's going to help the situation.”

Braves ace Spencer Strider
Braves ace Spencer Strider Good pictures

Verlander, Kohl's former Astros teammate, had a different take, saying it's “too easy to blame the pitch clock.”

“Everyone [is] Throw as hard as they can and swing the ball as hard as they can,” said Verlander, the pitchers' response to MLB's change in baseballs a few years ago that allowed more batters to put up bigger home run totals.

The Braves, whose ace is Max Fried, should lead long before the debate is settled.

“[Strider] He is very dedicated to his craft,” Snitker said recently. “He loves everything about it. He makes all the commitments from a great team. I hate him so much because he enjoys it so much.

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