Orioles pitcher Félix Bautista had a right elbow debridement and an ulnar nerve transposition Friday, a follow-up procedure for the Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery he had in October.
The Orioles said they don’t expect the surgery to alter his timeline to return to the mound in 2025. Bautista is under contract for the next two seasons.
The procedure — a common one for pitchers following Tommy John surgery — cleaned up scar tissue in the elbow and moved his nerve to free it from being compressed by scar tissue in the area. It was performed in Dallas by Dr. Keith Meister, the same doctor who operated on him in October.
Bautista injured his elbow in August and was diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. He tried to return for the playoff run, progressing all the way to facing live hitters before being shut down.
Bautista has been a central part of the Orioles’ bullpen, breaking into the majors in 2022 after spending almost a decade in the minors and becoming the team’s trusted closer in 2023. He was a first-time All-Star and had a 1.48 ERA with 33 saves in 61 innings pitched last season.
Knowing Bautista will not be available for the 2024 season, the Orioles signed Craig Kimbrel to a one-year deal, with an option for 2025, to serve as the team’s closer.