Coming off of an impressive freshman season in 2012, sophomore right-handed pitcher John Curtiss will miss the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
Curtiss likely sustained the injury in the Longhorns’ season ending loss to Kansas in the 2012 Big 12 tournament, as he was forced to leave the game with two outs in the seventh inning with what at the time was being called a sprain. The injury proved to be more significant than originally thought during the offseason, however, requiring the righty to undergo surgery.
The surgery on Curtiss’ right elbow was successful, and he is on track to return to the Longhorns’ pitching staff in 2014. It typically takes a year for pitchers to recover completely from Tommy John surgery.
In his senior year at Southlake Carroll High School, Curtiss pitched 72 2/3 innings for the Dragons, which was 8 1/3 more innings than he pitched in his freshman season with the Longhorns. Following the news that he would miss the upcoming season, Curtiss remained confident in his teammates and pledged to make a strong effort to be ready for 2014.
“I’m looking forward to contribute in any way I can to the program this season,” Curtiss said. “I think the team is going to be pretty good this year. I know I will work hard to get back.”
Curtiss appeared in 28 games, four starts, for the Longhorns last season, sporting a 2-3 record and a 3.50 ERA. He allowed just 55 hits in 64 1/3 innings and struck out 48 while holding opposing batters to a .237 average.
He began the 2012 campaign in the starting rotation, but was sent to the bullpen after suffering losses in his first two starts against Duke and Stanford. He rejoined the rotation on May 19 against No. 7 Baylor, pitching 4 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a Longhorns win against the Bears, before starting what turned out to be Texas’ final game of the season against Kansas on May 24.
Both of Curtiss’ wins came in relief last season, and he also picked up a pair of saves out of the bullpen. Each of the three losses he suffered came as a member of the starting rotation.
The Longhorns were hopeful that Curtiss would emerge as a full-time starter in 2013, but they will now be forced to look into other rotation options. Texas should have a deep pitching staff in 2013, as many of last season’s top performers on the mound were underclassmen.