Kyle Drabek will have to undergo elbow surgery and will be sidelined for about a year, the Toronto Blue Jays said Monday.
The American League club's fears were confirmed after James Andrews, the well-known orthopedic surgeon, examined the 24-year-old right-handed pitcher in Pensacola, Fla.
Drabek will have what is commonly known as Tommy John elbow-ligament replacement surgery Tuesday, the second time in four years he will have had the procedure.
Drabek was injured during last Wednesday's game in Toronto against the Washington Nationals, when he said he felt something "pop" in his right arm after delivering a pitch in the fifth inning.
The Blue Jays initially feared surgery would be necessary, but because Drabek didn't complain of any untoward pain and the stability in the elbow appeared normal, there was some debate.
Drabek was 4-7 with a 4.67 earned-run average in 13 starts this season.
He is one of three Toronto starters who were injured during a four-game stretch last week.
Brandon Morrow suffered a strain of the left oblique muscle and the club believes he likely won't be back until after next month's All-Star Game.
Drew Hutchison also suffered an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The Blue Jays are hoping he will be able to avoid surgery.
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos did not respond to an interview request late Monday.
With the spate of injuries, trade rumours have started cropping up involving the Blue Jays – the most prominent being the team's supposed interest in Jeremy Guthrie of the Colorado Rockies.
Both Foxsports.com and Espn.com, citing unnamed sources, have reported the Jays and Rockies have had on discussions. The reports said the Blue Jays would have to agree to assume a "significant portion" of Guthrie's remaining salary – just under $5-million (U.S.) – and send minor-league prospect Mike McDade to the Rockies.
Guthrie has struggled this season, sporting a 3-6 record with a 7.02 ERA.
As a matter of policy, Anthopoulos refuses to comment on any specific trade talks. But during a radio interview Monday on Sportsnet 590 The Fan, the GM made it clear he isn't close to making any deals.
"If I can shed more light on things: I don't know that I'm a big advocate of spending a lot of money on a player that you just don't know what the return is ultimately going to be," he said from Milwaukee, where the Blue Jays played the Brewers on Monday.
"I'm not being specific about anybody. But if people want to put two and two together and try to piece together if things make sense for us, especially with some of the things I read. If we're going to go out and spend money, which we're capable of doing, I should feel somewhat good of what we're going to get in return."