FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Top pitching prospect Lewis Thorpe was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Saturday.
Thorpe, ranked as the club's No. 10 overall prospect by MLB.com, felt pain in his elbow after throwing a pitch in a Minor League game last week. He was originally shut down while pitching for Class A Cedar Rapids last September with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, but rehabbed it this offseason to make his return this spring. It didn't work out, however, as the 19-year-old Australia native will need to have the surgery. Ryan didn't know the date or who will perform the operation just yet.
"It's not good," Ryan said. "Obviously, he can rebound from it. But I don't care if you're 20, 30 or 40, it's still not good. Unfortunately, he'll have to go throw the process and battle back. He's one of our better pitching prospects and was starting to mature physically and mentally."
Thorpe is the club's top left-handed pitching prospect, and posted a 3.52 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 36 walks in 71 2/3 innings with Cedar Rapids last year. He was slated to move up to Class A Advanced Fort Myers this year.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.