Blue Jays right-hander Jesse Litsch is scheduled to have Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on his throwing elbow, according to manager Cito Gaston. The operation will likely take place on Friday and will be performed by arm specialist Dr. James Andrews.
Litsch has been rehabbing his arm at the Jays’ complex in Florida since mid April and has met with Andrews twice before coming to this decision. In both prior visits, an MRI exam revealed no ligament damage and Litsch continued on his throwing program.
Litsch, 24, entered the season as the Blue Jays’ No. 2 starter, as he was pushed up the depth chart with the losses of Shaun Marcum (right elbow) and Dustin McGowan (right shoulder) to injury and A.J. Burnett’s departure to the Yankees in free agency. Last year, in his second season with Toronto, Litsch went 13-9 with a 3.58 ERA over 29 games.
On April 13, Litsch pulled himself out of a starter on the road against the Twins after throwing 50 pitches over just three innings. In his two outings this year, the right-hander had allowed nine runs on 14 hits over nine innings. After Litsch was placed on the DL on April 14, the Jays decided to move left-hander Brian Tallet out of the bullpen and into the rotation.