Mississippi State ace Landon Sims left the team’s game against Tulane with a scary-looking injury.
Sims entered the season as a former closer trying to cement himself as one of collegiate baseball’s top starters, a move that would significantly increase his draft stock. He’s done that and then some so far this season — though that could come to a screeching halt.
On Friday night against Tulane, Sims was rolling, striking out 10 of the first 11 hitters he faced. Then, he motioned to his arm mid-AB, shaking his elbow in the process. It didn’t look great, and had many on social media wondering it it was a UCL-related ailment.
Mississippi State wouldn’t provide an official update in the moment, as Sims is one of the most recognizable players in the sport and will undergo further testing.
Does Landon Sims have a UCL injury?
As I stated, it’s far too early to tell. A UCL injury — or any elbow injury for that matter — is commonplace in the game today, especially for young pitchers.
The UCL, otherwise known as the ulnar collateral ligament, typically tears due to a traumatic event or gradual trauma placed on the elbow (such as pitching a baseball at high velocity over and over again).
Per John Hopkins Medicine, “the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow is most often injured by repeated stress from overhead movement. This motion is common in sports that involve throwing, such as baseball and javelin.”
Tommy John surgery
For now, it’s too soon to jump to conclusions about what Sims’ injury is, or how it would heal. Many pitchers that deal with traumatic elbow injuries do undergo Tommy John surgery however, which is named after former MLB pitcher Tommy John.
What is Tommy John surgery? The following is per John Hopkins Medicine, yet again: “UCL reconstruction is a surgery commonly used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow by replacing it with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. The goal of the surgery is to stabilize the elbow, reduce or eliminate pain and restore stability and range of motion.”