Relative to the rest of the MLB, there’s nothing really special about Seth Maness. He’s spent the last four seasons as a relief pitcher for the Cardinals, putting together solid numbers and proving to be a good bullpen depth option. But if you put him in a lineup next to other mid-tier relievers on most teams, he wouldn’t stand out. So why did the Royals, Cubs, Nationals and thirteen other MLB teams send scouts to his personal showcase?
It may have been as much learning about arm surgeries as learning about what he can do on the mound. Maness had experimental arm surgery last year after tearing his UCL. The surgery more commonly associated with this injury is Tommy John, and that surgery has a recovery time of about a year and some pitchers won’t fully return to form for two years. Maness’ surgery, super creatively named “primary repair”, has him ready to return after seven and a half months.
Not every UCL injury qualifies for primary repair, but if Maness has success after going through this surgery it could have major impacts on the game. You can bet the GMs and owners who sent scouts to watch Maness are looking for information on how this surgery may be effecting his arm. This surgery could be a major step forward in the rehabilitation process for UCL injuries.
What separates primary repair from Tommy John is that “It is a repair and buttressing of the existing ligament at the bone, not Tommy John’s reconstruction of the ligament.” I’ll be honest, wasn’t too sure what buttressing means but it sounded slightly sexual. After a quick incognito Google search I found that it basically means to reinforce.
Maybe I’m a simpleton…nope, I’m definitely a simpleton…but this sort of sounds like flipping a house by slapping a fresh coat of paint on it and putting in some hardwood floors. It will be interesting to see if the surgery just leads to more complications, because Maness is basically an episode of Flip or Flop right now. Thoughts and prayers to Christina and Tarek’s marriage by the way, but let’s be real, there’s only one superstar couple flipping homes right now. Plus Tarek looks like Sidney Crosby’s unathletic brother.