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MLB Bullets wishes Chris Archer a speedy recovery

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And hopefully a return to an AL team.

Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Even the most casual baseball fan knows what a disaster the words “Tommy John surgery” can mean for a season, but at least with Tommy John, the return to play outlook is good, and the turnaround of 12-18 months is well-established.

Thoracic outlet syndrome, on the other hand, a surgery which Pirates pitcher Chris Archer is about to undergo, has a much more uncertain outlook. Jay Jaffe digs into what it might mean for Archer — and looks at his brief 33 start career with the Pirates since being traded by the Rays.

But while the numbers on the page suggest Archer should be back to business in the 2021 season, TOS has marked the end of many careers, or at least a downward trend from once very promising pitchers. Alex Cobb had it, so did Matt Harvey. But Phil Hughes is the story spotlighted by Jaffe in another FanGraphs post, and it’s a stark reminder that sometimes this can mean the end of the line for some pitchers.

Many suggest it likely marks the end of Archer’s time with the Pirates, which makes the trade look awfully smart in retrospect for the Rays.

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.