"The Angels gave me the choice to have surgery or to rehabilitate it, but the doctors didn't give it much of a chance to hold up," said Skaggs, 22. "I want to get it fixed as soon as possible so I can come back in 2016 fresh and ready to go."
Skaggs, who went 5-5 with a 4.30 earned run average in 18 starts this season, suffered what was initially diagnosed as a flexor tendon strain in a July 31 game in Baltimore, and there was some hope that he might return this season.
But there was too much inflammation in the area for an initial MRI test, performed last weekend in Tampa Bay, to reveal the ligament tear.
A pair of contrast MRI tests performed last Monday and Wednesday in Los Angeles confirmed what Skaggs called a "high-grade" tear—but not a complete tear—in the ligament.
Skaggs said he consulted several current teammates, as well as former minor league teammates such as Oakland’s
Dr. Neal Elattrache, the Dodgers team physician, will perform the surgery, which requires a 12- to 18-month recovery process, on Wednesday at the Kerlan-Jobe clinic.
"I feel like I made the right choice for my career and the team," Skaggs said. "I don't want to go out there at 75% and pitch with a torn UCL. … I came to the conclusion in my heart and my gut that I had to get this done. I know the rehab process is mentally draining, but I have to deal with it."
The success rate of Tommy John surgery, according to medical experts, is 85% to 90%, but Skaggs' age and the fact that he has had no prior arm injuries makes him an ideal candidate.
“Forty years ago, this was a career-ending injury, but Tommy John is a career-saving surgery,” Manager
General Manager Jerry Dipoto said Skaggs' injury won't really change his approach toward the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline. He's been trying to add rotation depth, but his options are limited because players have to clear waivers or be available to be claimed on waivers before being traded after July 31.
Dipoto also said that the loss of Skaggs wouldn’t prompt the Angels to pursue aces such as