The 2018 season has been a struggle for the San Francisco Giants. While they sit at a game over .500 at 55-54 and within sniffing distance of the division leaders, they still have three teams ahead of them in the standings. Compounding the problems is that some key contributors have not been able to stay healthy with Madison Bumgarner, Joe Panik, Jeff Samardzija, and others all missing time.
One of the bigger missing pieces has been Johnny Cueto. Cueto had been great up until last year in his career and was poised to be a big part of the Giants’ success in 2018. However, he went down with the dreaded “elbow sprain” and there have been whispers for quite some time that he may have to undergo Tommy John surgery at some point. Apparently, that point is now.
Well, it’s official. Johnny Cueto will undergo Tommy John surgery.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) August 2, 2018
Cueto has made just nine starts in 2018 and has posted a reasonable but su-par for him 3.23 ERA and 4.71 FIP in those appearances. He hasn’t been right for a while and now the Giants will be without him at all for the rest of this season and, at the very least, most of next season as well.
Complicating things for the Giants is that they are on the hook for a lot of money with Cueto. Cueto is signed through the 2021 season (with a club option for 2022) at an annual rate of $21 million. The team just has to hope that he recovers from the surgery well and can regain form enough to recoup some of that investment. That is going to be no small task as he will be in his mid-30’s after he recovers and that is assuming that there is no drop-off from the injury itself.