Braves left-handed reliever Andrew McKirahan will miss the 2016 season after suffering a torn elbow ligament in his first spring training appearance, general manager John Coppolella said Saturday.
McKirahan left the game Wednesday when he felt pain in his forearm after throwing his fifth pitch. McKirahan had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and likely will need another procedure to continue his career.
“You really feel for the kid because this will be his second,” Coppolella said. “I thought he had a real shot to make our club.”
McKirahan figured to have a tough time winning a bullpen role this spring. There are at least three other experienced left-handers in line for jobs.
That includes two left-handers on the 40-man roster, 2015 holdover Matt Marksberry and new veteran addition Ian Krol. Non-roster candidates include veteran Alex Torres, Hunter Cervenka and Rule 5 draft acquisition Evan Rutckyj.
“We feel like we still have good depth there,” Coppolella said.
McKirahan, 26, appeared in 27 games for the Braves in 2016 and posted a 5.93 ERA over 27 1/3 innings. He joined the big-league club in mid-April and appeared in three games before major league baseball suspended him 80 games for a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs.
The Braves claimed McKirahan off waivers from the Marlins during 2015 spring training.