Dodgers relief pitcher Todd Coffey received some bad news on Tuesday, as the reliever is out for the season with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Coffey didn't feel any pain in his arm, so he didn't expect much to come out of Tuesday's MRI exam.
"The only thing I anticipated was inflammation. I didn't anticipate any structural damage because it didn't feel that way," Coffey said. "I expected rest, maybe in four or five days I'd be good to go but to have that bombshell dropped on me sucks."
Pitching the eighth inning on Monday night, Coffey allowed two runs to the Reds. He hit Jay Bruce on the foot with a pitch, then three pitches later allowed a run-scoring triple to Todd Frazier. Catcher A.J. Ellis noticed a drop in velocity on Coffey's pitches, and summoned trainer Sue Falsone and manager Don Mattingly to the mound.
"A.J. just didn't like the way it was coming out of my hand. Catchers, they know," Coffey said.
Coffey felt fine and told Falsone and Mattingly as much, and proceeded to strikeout the next two hitters before allowing a single to Devin Mesoraco that ended Coffey's night. The runs given up Monday night were the first allowed by Coffey since May 31.
"Last night I just felt like I wasn't getting loose. It felt like one of those nights you didn't have your 100% stuff," Coffey said. "They dropped a bombshell on me."
Coffey has Tommy John surgery tentatively scheduled for July 16, but no later than July 18, and he is expected to be out until August 2013. It is the second Tommy John surgery of Coffey's career, as he also had the procedure done in August 1999, missing the entire 2000 season while in the Reds minor league system.
Despite his shock at his season ending, Coffey was in a remarkably good mood, even joking with reporters after Tuesday's game.
"Twelve years is a good run on Tommy John," Coffey said. "If I get another 12 out of the next one, I'll take that."
The Dodgers go for their first series win in forever* on Wednesday night, a 6:10 p.m. PDT start on the holiday, with former Red Aaron Harang facing his old team. Mike Leake starts for Cincinnati.
*forever equals June 17 in this case