Braves reliever Simmons has elbow surgery

Braves rookie reliever Shae Simmons is expected to miss the entire 2015 season after having Tommy John surgery for a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

Simmons, 24, had a 2.93 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings last season before going on the disabled list July 29 with a sore shoulder. The promising right-hander didn’t pitch again last year.

When he ramped up his offseason throwing program about 10 days ago, it was his elbow and not the shoulder that became sore. An MRI revealed the UCL tear and Simmons was operated on Thursday by Dr. James Andrews at his clinic outside Pensacola, Fla.

The hard-throwing Simmons was expected to compete for a setup role in a revamped Braves bullpen. After he notified the Braves of his elbow soreness, the team quickly signed three more veteran relievers to minor league contracts, including former closers Jose Veras and Matt Capps.

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