BRADENTON, Fla. -- Brandon Cumpton, one of the starting pitchers expected to provide rotation depth for the Pirates during the 2015 season, has been shut down with pain in his right elbow.
Cumpton reported the discomfort after throwing live batting practice on Saturday. Following examination by club doctors, the decision was made to have Cumpton undergo an examination by noted sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews.
"We're just doing this as a precaution," Cumpton said Tuesday morning. "[The discomfort] wasn't anything I hadn't felt before, there's usually little things here and there. This just seemed different. So we'll have it checked out, and go from there. I'm hoping for the best."
Cumpton has an appointment with Dr. Andrews, whose name has come to be associated with Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. However, many examinations lead to a less drastic diagnosis.
Two Pittsburgh pitching prospects underwent Tommy John surgeries early last year. Jameson Taillon, the club's No. 1 rated prospect at the time, had the procedure on April 9. About a month earlier, right-hander Clay Holmes had the operation.
Cumpton made significant contributions in each of the past two seasons, combining for a record of 5-5 and 4.02 ERA in more than 100 innings. In 2014, Cumpton went 3-4 in 16 games, including 10 starts.
The Georgia native stepped into Wandy Rodriguez's spot in the rotation in late May after the left-hander's release. Making seven consecutive starts, Cumpton went 3-1, with the Bucs winning five of the seven games.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.