By Rob Moseley
Freshman left-hander Matt Krook, who led the Pac-12 in strikeouts before suffering an elbow injury earlier this month, will undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm Tuesday.
A supplemental first-round MLB draft pick last summer, Krook went 2-1 with a 1.79 ERA in eight appearances before his injury April 5 at Washington. He left that game in the third inning after experiencing discomfort in his left arm.
“I threw my last slider, and I knew something wasn’t right,” Krook said late last week, prior to receiving a second opinion Monday that confirmed the need for surgery.
Krook’s procedure will be performed by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
In Krook’s absence from the Saturday slot each weekend, senior right-hander Jeff Gold moved up to pitch behind Friday starter Tommy Thorpe. Freshman Trent Paddon has been the No. 3 starter the last two weeks.
A native of San Mateo, Calif., Krook had 56 strikeouts entering his start at UW, most in the Pac-12, including a conference-best 20 looking. He was also 10th in opponents’ batting average (.149).
“I felt better and better every start,” he said. “My start at UW, everything was really good, so it was unfortunate I couldn’t finish that start. But I felt like I held my own this season, and that things were going well.”
Krook becomes the second UO starter lost to Tommy John surgery this season. Cole Irvin didn’t throw a pitch this spring, after winning a school-record 12 games to earn freshman all-America honors last season.
“It’s nice having a guy – nice but unfortunate – that I can look up to, in terms of the way he’s improving,” Krook said. “Things are going well for him, and that gives me something to look forward to.”
Krook said the discomfort he felt at Washington was the first elbow issue he had ever experienced.
“As a pitcher, you kind of think you’re almost a ticking time bomb,” he said. “Everybody nowadays has to get something done. It’s unfortunate, but it’s what you sign up for.”