HOUSTON -- No longer able to pitch because of a bothersome right elbow, Seth Maness will undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament. The procedure will not only end Maness' season, it jeopardizes 2017, as pitchers typically require a 12- to 15-month recovery.
It's the latest in a series of unrelenting blows to the Cardinals' roster, as Maness is the 12th player to land on the disabled list since the start of July. Shortly after announcing that move, the Cardinals confirmed that season-ending surgery would be needed.
"Something didn't feel right," manager Mike Matheny said. "That's basically the summary of it. It just didn't feel great. His last outing, once again, he had trouble with the execution. He's usually an artist out there, a guy who puts it exactly where he wants whenever he wants to out there. For him not to be able to do that, he feels he's really fighting a losing battle much of the time."
Maness has been pitching through discomfort in the elbow for much of the season. The issue landed him on the DL from May 13 to June 18, though he pitched much better upon returning. In fact, he had a career-best streak of 14 1/3 scoreless innings until his last outing.
But the irritation never went away. And by the time he exited that appearance on Saturday, he knew he was likely going to be sidelined again. An MRI then confirmed those concerns.
"It was one of those situations where we saw enough damage to have the procedure done and try to get ahead of it," Matheny said. "He was broken up. He was emotional about it because like [Matt Holliday], like the rest of them, they want to be here to do their part, and he was doing a good job of it. It just got to the point where something had to be done."
Maness finishes the season with 29 appearances and a 3.41 ERA.
The Cardinals recalled right-hander Sam Tuivailala from Triple-A Memphis to take Maness' place on the active roster. It's the second promotion of the season for Tuivailala, who made four relief appearances during a three-week stay in July. He has converted 17 saves in Triple-A, where he has a 5.44 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 43 innings.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.