Michael Ynoa (Jeff Chiu / AP)
A's pitching prospect Michael Ynoa will have Tommy John surgery causing him to miss the entire 2011 season. Ynoa showed promise on the mound during his brief stint in the minors, but it will be a long road to recovery for the young pitcher.
ESPN.com's Rob Neyer brings up an interesting point that the A's will be faced with down the road:
The injury could also make for an interesting decision in a couple of years. Ynoa won't pitch next year, but the A's will have to decide whether to protect him from the Rule 5 draft after the 2012 season. At that point, even in a best-case scenario, Ynoa will likely have only pitched at the low Class A level in his first year after surgery, assuming no further setbacks.
The success rate of Tommy John surgery is historically fairly high, so it is highly likely that Ynoa will be pitching again in 2012, mostly likely at close to his feared 95 mph fastball. My guess is that considering the investment the A's put in for him, barring no setbacks, he would be added to the 40-man roster to avoid losing him to another team willing to keep him on their roster for an entire season.