Remember Joe Beimel? Number 97 on his jersey, the long hair, and perhaps the first great beard in Nationals history?
The 35-year-old relief pitcher spent half of a season with the Nats, back in 2009, before being traded for Ryan Mattheus. The lefty had a so-so stint in Washington and now, according to Yahoo! Sports, there may be a reason for it.
Tim Brown of Yahoo! has reported Beimel underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this month to repair a torn ligament in his elbow. Apparently Beimel had been pitching with the tear for 3-4 years. That means Beimels elbow was hurting when he made 45 appearances for Washington.
The reliever has yet to pitch this season after being cut by the Rangers a week before Opening Day. He struggled with a 5.33 ERA last season in 35 games with Pittsburgh.
The Nats got Mattheus in return which in hindsight was a pretty good move. Mattheus has posted a 2.60 ERA in 54 total games with the Nats since being called up in June of 2011. This is all after, however, Mattheus needed Tommy John surgery himself. Mattheus actually had the surgery the same month he was traded to Washington, in July of 2009.
Beimel says he will try and continue his career next season, but with his age and a recovery time of 12-18 months it wont be easy. He is left-handed though and has an overall good resume. Hopefully next time he can try out with a healthy arm.