Zack Britton
(Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees’ Britton Undergoes Tommy John Surgery

On Thursday, Yankees LHP Zack Britton underwent Tommy John Surgery, along with surgery to remove a bone chip from his pitching elbow. Depending on the rehabilitation process, Zack may not pitch at all in the 2022 MLB season.

Britton has had a really unfortunate 2021 campaign due to injuries. Before the season even began, he dropped 18 pounds while battling Covid-19. Following that, he had surgery to remove a bone spur which kept him sidelined all of spring training. Following the bone spur, he didn’t actually pitch in a major league game until June 12th. Only two weeks later, Britton had yet another trip to the injured list with a hamstring strain. Due to all his injuries, Zack never got to practice during spring training, and that could potentially be a reason for all his unfortunate injuries this season.

Has Zack Britton Thrown His Last Pitch in Pinstripes?

Britton’s contract is up after next season. Assuming he won’t pitch next season at all, his time as a Yankee is over; that’s the worst-case scenario. The Yankees had initially thought Britton would not need Tommy John Surgery, but they’re now hopeful that he will return towards the end of next season. With Britton being a free agent in 2022, his time with the Yankees is all but done.

Zack’s 2021 campaign was really riddled with injuries, he couldn’t get in a good rhythm in terms of pitching, and I think that’s what led to his not-so-attractive numbers this year. In just 18.1 innings this season, he posted a 5.89 earned run average. What makes this even more unfortunate is just how valuable Britton was to the Yankees in his first three years. From the 2018 trade deadline through the 2020 Pandemic Season, Britton posted a 2.23 earned run average. He was the set-up man to Aroldis Chapman and was often thrown into the Closer role when Chapman was injured, or doing that thing where he forgets how to pitch for two weeks.

How Does this Affect The Yankees’ Bullpen?

The news about Britton hurts the Yankees, but I don’t think they were planning on him returning this season once he had the chip in his elbow. The Yankees bullpen has been really hit or miss the entire year. Pitchers are being used in different situations on nearly a daily basis. They could lose their best arm in Johnathan Loáisiga for the rest of the year. Albert Abreu looks to be a promising arm, but the bullpen woes aren’t going anywhere for the Yankees.