The news just keeps getting worse for Joey Devine.
The A’s right-hander will miss the entire 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Tuesday, the second time in his career he’s been forced to have the procedure. The recovery process is expected to take 12-18 months.
“In instances like this, you don’t even consider what it means to the club,” A’s manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com. “It’s all about him, right now. The frustration level and the sadness he’s going through ... having worked his way as diligently as he did to come back, it’s tough.”
Devine was placed on the 15-day disabled list March 28 retroactive to March 24 and then was examined by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday.
Andrews performed the surgery, which included an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, an ulnar nerve transposition and a debridement of the flexor tendon, on Tuesday in Pensacola, Fla.
Devine returned to the majors for the first time in three years last year after missing the 2009 and 2010 seasons following his first Tommy John surgery on April 21, 2009.
Since that surgery, he’s only appeared in 26 big-league games. This spring, Devine appeared in just three games, posting a 13.50 ERA.
Devine was expected to compete for the closer role this season after Andrew Bailey, who also happens to be injured, was shipped off to the Boston Red Sox in the offseason.
Grant Balfour has taken over as closer and entering Tuesday night’s game, had two saves under his belt and had yet to allow an earned run in four appearances.