Dodgers' rotation dealt long-term blow with Emmet Sheehan surgery shocker

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

During spring training, the Dodgers lost two key pieces of the pitching staff in Brusdar Graterol, who pitched one inning and then was sidelined with shoulder discomfort, and Emmet Sheehan, who never made it onto the field after reporting soreness while throwing bullpens. He started the season on the 15-day IL, but was moved to the 60-day just a few days later.

In mid-April, Dave Roberts said Sheehan hadn't been throwing at all and the problem was going to be a "longer term situation," which was ominous, to say the least.

On Thursday afternoon, the Dodgers revealed just how long-term: they tweeted that Sheehan had undergone Tommy John surgery performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Wednesday and would miss the rest of the season without getting to throw a single pitch in the majors (subscription required).

Dodgers announced Emmet Sheehan underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on Wednesday

Last year, Sheehan pitched 60 1/3 innings (13 appearances overall, 11 starts) for a 4.92 ERA. In light of Walker Buehler's late return, and Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May inevitably sitting out the season with their own major surgeries, Sheehan was tapped to take a bigger role in the Dodgers' rotation in 2024 despite his sometimes rocky debut season. Losing him during spring training was a huge blow, and it's led to more bullpen games for the Dodgers and a lot of weird and questionable roster moves in terms of relievers.

The timeline to return after Tommy John surgeries is between 12 and 16 months for most pitchers, so Sheehan will likely still be recovering during spring training in 2025 and have to wait until the late summer to really get going again.

The Dodgers have been coping well enough in his absence, with Tyler Glasnow being consistently excellent, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Gavin Stone vastly improving, Walker Buehler returning and so on. However, it's still very bad news for their depth and for Sheehan, who will have to wait another year (and some change) to put a real rookie season in the books.