Mike Pelfrey to have surgery Tuesday

Updated: April 30, 2012, 6:53 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

HOUSTON -- New York Mets right-hander Mike Pelfrey will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on Tuesday in Gulf Breeze, Fla., assistant GM John Ricco said.

The procedure, which will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, typically requires a 12-month recovery time and likely will result in Pelfrey becoming a free agent next winter.

Pelfrey, 28, has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Doctors presented the option of the blood-spinning procedure that would result in platelet-rich blood being injected into Pelfrey's elbow, which might allow for a comeback attempt in a month. But given that may only have a 10 percent success rate, Pelfrey and his advisors opted to undergo the surgery now, while he is under contract to the Mets for $5.6875 million this season.

Pelfrey is not eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season, but he is expected to be non-tendered at the Dec. 2 deadline and made a free agent, team sources said. Otherwise, the Mets would be obligated to pay Pelfrey at least $4.55 million next season -- 80 percent of this year's salary.

Right-hander Chris Schwinden stepped into Pelfrey's rotation spot Friday at Colorado and was charged with six runs (five earned) in four innings. He is due to make his second start Wednesday at Houston.

Longer term, right-hander Chris Young may claim the rotation spot within a month. Young, working back from May 16, 2011 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, threw a simulated game Monday at the team's complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He may begin a formal rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie on Saturday.

Young, 32, went 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four early season starts for the Mets last season before succumbing to the shoulder injury. He re-signed on a minor league deal during spring training and has June 1 and July 1 outs in his contract if he is not promoted to the majors by those dates.

Meanwhile, center fielder Andres Torres was activated from the disabled list for Monday's series opener in Houston. Torres reinjured his left calf on Opening Day. The Mets demoted infielder Zach Lutz to Triple-A Buffalo to clear roster room.

Torres' return shifted rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis to left field for the first time in his professional career. But Nieuwenhuis remained in the leadoff spot, with Torres batting seventh.

Right fielder Lucas Duda is out Monday with flu-like symptoms.

Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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