Former Red Sox Prospect Anderson Espinoza needs Tommy John Surgery

Bryan Mauro- Contributing Writer (@threecolorbeard)

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Last year when the Boston Red Sox traded Anderson Espinoza to the Padres, for Drew Pomeranz, in a player for player trade, many fans and media members questioned the move. Pomeranz came with baggage, in that he had never thrown a large number of innings and this was the first year he was successful as a starter. Espinoza was only 18 but many believed that he was going to be the next great Red Sox starter of the future.

It is hard to tell how good Anderson Espinoza is going to be at the Major League level. He did post great numbers in the low minors in the Boston system and he was traded for a highly touted and talented Major League pitcher. Espinoza will be given every opportunity to succeed in the Padres system, as they are in a full fledged rebuild. The issue is that the Padres do not know when they are actually going to be able to see the talented youngster pitch.

Since Espinoza was traded for Pomeranz he has not thrown many innings for the Padres. We all know what Drew Pomeranz has turned into, and the scrutiny with this trade within both the Padres and Red Sox franchises keep getting worse. The Red Sox had an opportunity to reverse the trade with the Padres and send Pomeranz back, after it came back that the Padres hid some valuable medical information and Pomeranz exhibited some arm fatigue last year.

We all know what they say about Karma, Espinoza has battled arm and shoulder problems his entire tenure with the Padres, and it was just recently decided that Espinoza will need Tommy John surgery, after already being out the whole year. This injury for Espinoza will certaintly push him back from making his debut until well into the 2018 season if not the 2019 season.

One positive of this surgery for Espinoza is that he is only 19 and has not at all developed the body style that will define his career. However, the negatives here for him outweigh the positives. He is only 19 and it appears that he will not be able to pitch off of a mound, or in a game for about 2 years. With the low level of the minors, and the fact that Espinoza has never had a full inning load on his young arm, could do lasting damage on his development and his confidence.

Tommy John surgery affects each pitcher differently. Some guys come back and are able to regain the form they showed before the surgery. Other pitchers are never the same and may always experience arm problems. I hope for Anderson that he is able to have a long and successful career. In terms of the trade that Dealin Dave Dombrowski made last July 31st, I sure am enjoying Drew Pomeranz and am glad the Red Sox did not reverse that trade. The Red Sox absolutely won this trade!