Mariners right-hander Easton McGee is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. If that does indeed come to fruition, it will wipe out the remainder of his 2023 season and part of his 2024 as well.
McGee, 25, was acquired from the Red Sox in an offseason trade and begun 2023 in the minors. He made five Triple-A starts with a 3.14 ERA and was recalled to make a spot start against the Blue Jays at the end of April. He fared extremely well in that game, tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and one walk. Unfortunately, he was placed on the injured list the next day and will now seemingly be facing a very significant absence, as TJS usually requires a recovery period of 14 to 18 months. The Mariners will eventually transfer him to the 60-day IL whenever they need his roster spot.
Drafted by the Rays in 2016, he climbed his way up to the big leagues with that club last year, making his major league debut with a scoreless three-inning appearance. He spent most of the season in Triple-A, tossing 107 2/3 innings over 22 starts and five relief appearances. He posted a 5.43 ERA in that time with a 17.4% strikeout rate, 4.3% walk rate and 39.6% ground ball rate. The Rays designated him for assignment in October, after which the Red Sox claimed him off waivers before flipping him to Seattle for cash a month later.
This is obviously horrible news for McGee, but the one silver lining is that the injury happened after he was promoted to the big leagues. That means he will collect major league pay and service time as he spends the rest of the season on the injured list.
For the Mariners, they first recalled McGee as they were trying to cover for the absence of Robbie Ray, who himself required Tommy John surgery. Bryce Miller has since stepped up and seized that rotation spot next to Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Marco Gonzales, but they will no longer be able to count on Easton as a depth option for the rest of this season.