Braves lose reliever who helped win World Series last year to Tommy John surgery

Atlanta Braves fans were surprised Tuesday morning when Tyler Matzek was left off the postseason roster.

Manager Brian Snitker broke the news that Matzek felt discomfort in his elbow, which knocked him out of at least the NLDS and he would be evaluated.

That elbow discomfort will knock him out for likely all of next season too.

Matzek underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday.

“Hate it for him,” Snitker said Wednesday afternoon. “He’s struggled with things all year. I don’t know, maybe this is the reason. And I think him going ahead and getting it done and starting the process, I think he feels really good about that.”

The lefty missed close to two months of the regular season with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He pitched to a 3.50 ERA this season. In September, his ERA was 4.76. He allowed at least one run in half of his outings that month.

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Tyler Matzek during the championship celebration for the 2021 world champion Atlanta Braves at Truist Park Nov. 5, 2021, in Atlanta. 

Matzek was dominant during the Braves’ World Series run last year. In his 13 appearances, he held his opponents scoreless in 11 of them. He pitched to a 1.72 ERA (three earned runs in 15.2 innings), including two scoreless frames with four strikeouts in the title clincher.


“He’s still a young man, can have a really good career as we’ve seen what he can do,” Snitker said of the 23-year-old. “I hate it for him that he can’t experience this again. But talking to him, when he left to go for the examination, he was in a good place, and I think he felt good about his future and going ahead and taking care of this.”

Tyler Matzek of the Atlanta Braves walks to the dugout after retiring the side during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park Nov. 2, 2021 in Houston.

The Braves trail the Philadelphia Phillies 1-0 in a best-of-five NLDS. Game 2 was scheduled to start at 4:37 p.m. ET, but it is in a rain delay with the first pitch expected after 7:30 p.m.

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