Felix Bautista Injury Update: All-Star reliever on track for 2025 return despite additional surgery

Felix Bautista
Felix Bautista and the Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles closer Felix Bautista underwent additional surgery on his pitching elbow on Friday. However, the Orioles clarified that it won't be a hindrance to his recovery timeline after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October and his expected return for the 2025 season.

According to the Albany Herald, Bautista had right elbow debridement and an ulnar nerve transposition done by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas. The surgery will clear the scar tissue and move away the nerve to avoid compression.

The 28-year-old pitcher injured his right ulnar collateral ligament while pitching against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 25. He's expected to miss the entirety of the 2024 season and will be cleared to pitch for the 2025 campaign.

Felix Bautista earned first All-Star selection and Mariano Rivera award

Hailing from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Felix Bautista made his debut in April 2022 for the Baltimore Orioles. Last year, before getting injured, he earned his first All-Star selection.

No reliever was as good as Bautista, who went 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP across 56 appearances. Despite pitching 61 innings due to injury, the right-hander topped MLB bullpen pitchers in strikeouts (110) and was third in the AL in saves (33) this season.

He also won AL reliever of the month in April, May and July. The last pitcher for the Orioles to accomplish that was Jim Johnson in May 2012. Following an impressive season, Felix Bautista won the Mariano Rivera Award, which is given to the AL's top reliever.

Despite missing the last dash of the regular season, Bautista ended 11th in the AL Cy Young voting. He would have ended up higher had he not got injured in August.

“He’s going to get through this. He’s got very good health and work ethic otherwise,” general manager Mike Elias said in September. “But obviously, we’re going to miss the hell out of the guy.”

Bautista played a big role in the club winning the stacked AL East division, so the Orioles will miss him for the 2024 season.

Click here for 2023 MLB Free Agency Tracker Updates. Follow Sportskeeda for latest news and updates on MLB.

Quick Links

Edited by Bhargav