Triple-A Gwinnett reliever Stephen Marek is headed for season-ending elbow reconstruction surgery, Braves director of player development Kurt Kemp said Friday.
Marek will undergo “Tommy John” surgery on Wednesday in Birmingham performed by Dr. James Andrews, a surgery that typically requires a 12-month recovery. Kemp said Marek found out about his diagnosis late Thursday.
“I talked to him and he was really upbeat about it,” Kemp said. “He knows it’s a process. He’ll make the most of it and get back healthy.”
Marek’s elbow stiffened up following Sunday’s outing in Gwinnett and he was placed on the disabled list Monday with an inflamed right elbow. An MRI confirmed he needed surgery.
Marek was one of the top contenders for the Braves bullpen during spring training. He was also a “close second” choice to Cory Gearrin when the Braves called up an additional reliever April 22, Fredi Gonzalez said.
Marek had been scoreless through 9 1/3 innings over his first eight innings for Gwinnett, with 14 strikeouts and no walks. He struggled over his last two outings, giving up five runs and four walks in 5 1/3 innings combined.