Washington Nationals 2012 first-round draft pick Lucas Giolito will likely need Tommy John surgery. Reports surfaced on Monday that Giolito, who strained his ulnar collateral ligament during his senior year of high school, had re-injured his elbow. On Wednesday, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo went on the Holden and Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan in DC and indicated that the hard-throwing prospect will almost certainly need the now-common Tommy John procedure (via Federal Baseball):
"It looks like he is going to need Tommy John surgery," Rizzo said, "He's seen our medical people. We're going to give him a second medical opinion. Dr. Lewis Yocum is going to see him this week some time and we anticipate that he will have Tommy John and if and when he does, it will be done by Lew Yocum. We'll have a rehabilitation schedule in place the same as we've had with Jordan Zimmermann and [Stephen Strasburg] and [2010 2nd Round pick] Sammy Solis and... in a year he'll be a young 19-year-old guy that's come off Tommy John surgery and will begin his ascent up the minor league system."
As Rizzo has stated in the past, Giolito's injury history was a risk the Nationals were willing to take on when they selected him No. 16 this Summer in the MLB Draft. He was once thought of as one of the top two or three prospects in the Draft, but the always dangerous UCL concerns caused him to drop. On the positive side, the Nationals have a solid history of successfully rehabbing pitching prospects from Tommy John, and Giolito still had plenty of time before he was big-league ready.