Arizona pitcher Mathew Troupe seeks another doctor's evaluation
Injured Arizona baseball junior pitcher Mathew Troupe will have another evaluation on his elbow by the end of this week, and his season could be over.
Depending on the outcome of this evaluation, Troupe will either continue to throw and be monitored, or be shut down for the remainder of the season.
“He’s got a little tenderness,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “We’re bringing him out slow and being real careful with him.”
Troupe, who has chosen not to comment on the issue until doctors take another look at his arm, first felt pain in his elbow during the fall.
Junior pitcher Mathew Troupe signs autographs for fans on Feb. 1 at a meet and greet event. Troupe might have to undergo Tommy John surgery.
“It could be [Tommy John surgery],” Lopez added. “But as we speak right now, no, he’s still able to throw.”
After feeling the pain, Troupe received an MRI in Los Angeles. According to Lopez, doctors said nothing needed to be done surgically but the coaches would need to keep an eye on it.
After receiving the MRI, Troupe relaxed his arm and didn’t throw for roughly five weeks over the winter break. But as recently as the middle of last week Troupe informed the Arizona coaches and doctors that the pain returned while playing catch, which prompted the recent inquiry for a separate opinion.
“One of my dearest friends is a team doctor for the Texas Rangers and he comes out to Surprise[, Ariz.,] right now [for Spring Training] so I was trying to get Troupe up there,” Lopez said. “We just need a orthopedic surgeon to take a look at it.”
Troupe was not available to pitch over this past weekend against Alcorn State, but as of Tuesday is available for the Wildcats’ upcoming weekend series against Seton Hall.
Lopez said Troupe’s injury is similar to the one former Wildcat Mark Melancon suffered in 2006.
Melancon, who has the second-most saves for any Arizona pitcher during a single season in school history, In 2006, the then-junior was told that he had a slight tear in his elbow but wouldn’t need surgery. Arizona decided to not pitch Melancon for the remainder of that season.
Despite not finishing the season, Melancon was drafted by New York Yankees in the ninth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. However, Melancon blew out his arm shortly after while pitching in the minor leagues. He missed the entire 2007 season. He made his major league debut in 2009.
As for Troupe, the Arizona coaches haven’t noticed much of a change in his velocity.
“His velocity is OK, and really his strikes haven’t been bad,” Lopez said. “They’ve been up in the zone and he hasn’t been effective. But the effectiveness isn’t because he’s throwing 82 [miles per hour], you can take a look at the gun charts they’re 88-89 [miles per hour], but he’s up in the zone.”
Troupe was the closer on the Wildcats’ team that won the 2012 College World Series. He is ranked sixth all-time in saves. This season, however, Troupe has attempted to make the switch to the starting rotation, but the injury has limited him to just one start.
In his only start on Feb. 18, Troupe pitched 1.2 innings and gave up six earned runs on eight hits.
Troupe has also made one relief appearance, in which he pitched 2.0 innings and gave up no runs.
Until a further decision is made, Arizona will go with freshman Bobby Dalbec as the closer.
“Thank God it’s not life or death, but if he gets Tommy John he gets Tommy John and life moves on,” Lopez said. “You can’t dance around the realities of it. I told [Troupe], if that’s the case, that’s the case and we move on, but lets get it done.”
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