PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Brad Lincoln, the Pittsburgh
Pirates' top draft pick last year and a former star at the
University of Houston, had reconstructive elbow surgery Tuesday and
will miss this season.
Lincoln, who had ligament damage repaired, is the latest former
Pittsburgh first-round draft pick to require a major arm operation.
Six of the last seven pitchers the Pirates have drafted in the
first round have needed major surgery: Lincoln, Bryan Bullington,
John Van Benschoten, Sean Burnett, Bobby Bradley and Clint
Only Burnett, Van Benschoten and Bullington have pitched in the
majors, and Van Benschoten appeared in only six games in 2004 and
Bullington pitched in one game a season later. Bullington missed
the 2006 season and Van Benschoten was limited to five minor games
last year after not pitching in 2005.
Lincoln tried throwing at the Pirates' spring training complex
in February and again last week, only to be shut down both times.
The Pirates expect him to resume his career next year.
The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews, the Birmingham,
Ala.-based orthopedic surgeon who specializes in ligament
Lincoln was 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA for Houston last season before
the Pirates made him the No. 4 pick in the June draft, paying him
an estimated $2.75 million signing bonus. He was 1-2 with a 6.75
ERA in four games at Class-A Hickory before a rib cage injury ended
his first pro season.