NEW YORK (AP) Top Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian will have Tommy John surgery next week and be sidelined until 2018.
New York said by Dr. Neal ElAttrache will operate Tuesday on the 23-year-old right-hander, taken with the 16th overall pick in the 2015 amateur draft.
''I feel for the kid. He worked very hard to get back,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday. ''It wasn't meant to be, and my heart goes out to him. You see the look in his eyes every time he takes the mound, and you understand how bad this kid wants to be here and to pitch in the big leagues.''
Kaprielian's 2016 season was cut short in April after his third start at Class A Tampa because of a strained right flexor tendon. He returned to pitch in the Arizona Fall League and went 2-3 with a 4.33 ERA in seven starts, striking out 26 in 27 innings.
He was limited to one major league spring training appearance, striking out three in two scoreless innings against Toronto on March 16, then was assigned to Class A Tampa again for the start of this season.
New York said April 6 he felt right elbow pain and put him on a minor league disabled list. He then had scans and was examined by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.
''They usually talk about 14-to-16 months as the timetable,'' Girardi said.