Braves star Spencer Strider underwent UCL surgery, out for remainder of season


Spencer Strider has become one of the most exciting pitchers in the majors. The hard-throwing right-hander led Major League Baseball with 281 strikeouts last season.

But during his second start this season, Strider exited in the fourth inning due to elbow discomfort. 

On Saturday, the Atlanta Braves announced a doctor in Arlington, Texas, performed a procedure Friday to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in Strider’s right elbow. 

Dr. Keith Meister used an internal brace to repair the UCL, and Strider will miss the remainder of the 2024 season.

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Spencer Strider looks on

Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of a division series at Truist Park Oct. 7, 2023, in Atlanta. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Shortly after the Braves’ 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks April 5, an MRI revealed damage to his UCL, and the Braves prepared for the worst.

“You never expect these things to be good or just a blip on the screen,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said last week.

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Strider went 20-5 and had a 3.86 ERA last season. The 25-year-old had a 7.00 ERA with 12 strikeouts in two starts this year.

Spencer Strider vs Diamondbacks

Atlanta Braves pitcher Spencer Strider delivers in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks April 5, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Strider joins a list of big-name pitchers who have suffered significant injuries this season. Cleveland’s Shane Bieber, the New York Yankees’ Jonathan Loáisiga, Miami’s Eury Pérez and Oakland’s Trevor Gott are among the pitchers diagnosed with elbow injuries.

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, who is scheduled to make his second rehab start for Double-A Corpus Christi Saturday, believes the league’s new pitch clock rules should not completely shoulder the blame for the uptick in pitcher injuries.

“I don’t know, man. It’s tough,” Verlander told KPRC. “I think the game has changed a lot. I think it would be easiest to blame the pitch clock.”

Spencer Strider downcast

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider walks off the field during the fourth inning of Game 1 of an NL division series against the Philadelphia Phillies Oct. 7, 2023, in Atlanta.  (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Verlander instead pointed to the evolution of pitching in today’s game.

“I think, in reality, you put everything together and everything has a bit of influence. I think the biggest thing is that the style of pitching has changed so much. Everybody is throwing the ball as hard as they possibly can and spinning the ball as hard as they possibly can. It’s hard to deny those results, obviously.

“Something needs to change. I don’t have all the answers.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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