Dodger pitcher Darren Dreifort, the No. 1 pick in the 1993 draft, was told Wednesday that he must have season-ending reconstructive elbow surgery.
The decision to have Dreifort undergo the procedure that helped Tommy John resurrect his career, a high-ranking Dodger official said, was made after he experienced pain pitching in front of coaches and staff members Wednesday. Scott Boras, Dreifort's agent, confirmed the decision.
"It's upsetting to all of us, particularly Darren," Boras said. "We were hoping the injury would resolve itself these last six weeks. He got his velocity back, but the pain was intolerable.
"Darren told me it was just killing him."
Dreifort threw fastballs for 10 minutes, but stopped because of the pain. Dreifort, who made the Dodgers' opening-day roster last season and saved six games the first two months, was informed of Jobe's decision before boarding a flight back to his hometown of Wichita, Kan.
"What we would have liked to have seen is him pitch pain-free," Dodger physical therapist Pat Screnar said, "and that's not what we had today."