Saturday, June 2, 2012

Contreras's season over, career in jeopardy

Jose Contreras has likely thrown his last pitch as a big leaguer.

Contreras left Friday's game after throwing five pitches in the seventh inning. It did not look good.

The MRI results Saturday confirmed the Phillies' initial fears.

The 40-year-old Contreras has a complete UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) and a flexor pronator tear in his right arm. The Phils will wait to hear a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who preferred elbow surgery on Contreras in September.

But general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said the initial findings would mean Contreras' season is over.

"It’s kind of unfortunate for him, I feel badly for him," Amaro said. "He worked pretty hard to get back to the point where he was starting to be pretty effective. It’s a tough piece of news to take."

Contreras began the season on the DL while recovering from his surgery in September, but became a vital cog in the Phils' pen in the last month. 

In Wednesday's 10-6 win over the Mets at Citi Field, Contreras struck out two of the three batters he faced in a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

After allowing 10 runs in his first 10 games this season after being activated off the DL, Contreras extended his scoreless string to six straight games on Wednesday; he has a 1.86 ERA in 11 games since May 4 before taking the field on Friday.

Contreras' current injury would require Tommy John surgery. Since he turns 41 in December, his major league return appears to be very unlikely.

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