A's Devine to miss 2012 season after 'Tommy John' surgery

April 10, 2012, 11:57 pm
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It's been a tough ride for Joey Devine. The A's right-handed reliever underwent successful elbow surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow, again, and will miss the 2012 season. You recall Devine had "Tommy John" surgery in 2009."The same ligament, reconstructed again," manager Bob Melvin clarified. Dr. James Andrews performed both surgeries. This time, in addition to reconstructing the ligament, the surgery included an ulnar nerve transposition and a debridement of the flexor tendon.The timeline for return is set at 12-18 months.Devine, 28, turned in a dominant 2008 and looked to be on the fast track to the A's closer role. He pitched 45 2-3 innings, allowing just three earned runs. But his first "Tommy John" surgery derailed his career, and kept him out of baseball during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He battled back, though, and joined the 2011 A's to make 26 appearances. He pitched strong, "as good as anyone coming out of bullpen," Melvin thought, finishing the season 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA, 20 strikeouts and 11 walks in 23 innings. "Working his way diligently as he did," Melvin said. "To come back and see the results you did last year. To have to go back and do that again, I really feel bad for him."Devine was expected to compete for the closer role this year as well. It's all Grant Balfour's now.In instances like this one, Melvin puts the team aside. "It's all about him right now." Despite the loss, the A's manager is not concerned with the status of his bullpen. Indeed, after seven-plus innings from starters in three of five games, there are actually members of the bullpen that need work including Ryan Cook & Brian Fuentes."I'm comfortable with the makeup of the bullpen," Melvin said.

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