Sunday, October 4, 2015

LHP Prospect Biddle to have Tommy John surgery

J Biddle 2
Jesse Biddle, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies announced on Sunday that lefty pitching prospect Jesse Biddle will require Tommy John surgery after suffering damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm.

The 23-year-old has been plagued with injuries in recent seasons after missing considerable time with a concussion last year with Double-A Reading, he was shut down with elbow soreness during the off-season while playing in Puerto Rico and was shelved with what was said to be a shoulder strain this year while with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

In split time with Reading and Lehigh Valley this season, Biddle tallied a 9-6 record with a 4.95 ERA and a 6.4 K/9 mark over 24 starts.

The Philadelphia native was the Phillies' top draft selection (27th overall) in 2010. He'll turn 24 years old later this month.

Another Phillies left-hander underwent UCL reconstruction this year. Reliever Mario Hollands is progressing well after going under the knife in April. Rehabbing in Clearwater, Hollands is currently on a throwing programs in which he plays catch every other day and has been doing so for a month thus far. Throwing off a pitching mound is something that is on the horizon for Hollands, although he's not sure how soon that change to his workload will pop up.

In 50 games as a big league rookie in 2014, Hollands posted a 2-2 record along with a 4.40 ERA.  Hollands was the Phils' 10th round draft choice in 2010.

Hollands, a close friend of Biddle, has offered guidance to the younger hurler.

"I've been talking to him since his first doctors visit about the process and what he should expect," Hollands said on Sunday.

The feedback is something that Hollands is pleased to share with Biddle, who is facing a troubling time.

"I'm happy to do it, but surgery and recovery aren't too fun to talk about," Hollands, who didn't have anyone to offer similar insight, stated.

The UC-Santa Barbara product, Hollands, expects to remain in Florida throughout the off-season in order to aggressively complete his rehab program and make a return early in 2016, barring any setbacks.
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