Heller underwent Tommy John surgery Friday.
The surgery is something of a surprise, as Heller's reported ailment was bone spurs, rather than a sprained UCL. Dr. Christopher Ahmad apparently performed Tommy John surgery and also removed a bone spur in one procedure. The typical Tommy John recovery timeline would see Heller able to return to game action sometime in the middle of the 2019 season. He was on the outside looking in this spring in the battle for the Yankees' final bullpen spot, so he's likely to end up at the Triple-A level once he's able to pitch again.
Heller (elbow) was moved to the 60-day disabled list Tuesday.
Moving Heller to the 60-day DL made room on the 40-man roster for Trayce Thompson, who was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers on Tuesday. Heller is currently dealing with a bone spur in his right elbow, but will join Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's bullpen once he returns to full health.
Heller was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow bone spur Monday.
The disabled list assignment is retroactive to March 27, meaning that Heller could return as soon as Friday, though there haven't been any indications how long he'll need to recover. The 26-year-old had been set to open the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, so it's likely he ends up there once he's able to return from the disabled list.
Heller was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.
Heller was fighting for a low-leverage relief role on the Yankees' Opening Day roster, but it turns out there simply wasn't enough room in the team's already stacked bullpen. The 26-year-old doesn't have much left to prove in the upper minors, as evidenced by his 2.88 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 13.1 K/9 across 56.1 innings with the RailRiders last season, so he'll likely be shuttled from the minors to the big club when additional relief help is needed.
Heller appeared in nine games for the Yankees last season, allowing just one run in 11 innings. The 26-year-old righty is probably big-league ready, as he recorded a 2.88 ERA in 56.1 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilked-Barre last season, striking out 36.8 percent of batters. New York's bullpen is one of the deepest in the league, however, and doesn't have room for him unless expanded to eight men. Even if he does make the team, Heller is likely to be very deep on the closer depth chart and therefore not much of an asset in most leagues.
|10/3/2017 vs Minnesota|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2013||ASX-Mahoning Valley Scra||1||3||3.13||21||1||0||0||2||37.1||37||16||13||0||2||14||39|
|2014||AFX-Lake County Captains||4||1||2.43||28||0||0||0||4||37.0||19||10||10||3||2||16||64|