Phillies prospect Mark Appel out for season after elbow surgery


Phillies pitching prospect Mark Appel’s season is over. The right-hander had surgery to remove a bone spur from his elbow Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Appel, 24, made eight starts for Triple A Lehigh Valley before going on the disabled list in late May after a start in which his fastball velocity dropped and he did not get out of the first inning.

The Phillies said Appel would require four to six months of recovery. He is expected to be ready for spring training.

The Phillies acquired Appel from Houston as part of the package for Ken Giles in December. The Phils also got Vince Velasquez, part of their major-league rotation, in the deal.

Appel was a highly touted pitcher at Stanford and twice a first-round draft pick. The Pirates took him eighth overall in 2012. He did not sign, returned to school and was selected first overall by the Astros in 2013.

Appel struggled during his time in Houston’s minor-league system. The Phillies hoped a change of scenery would unlock his potential, but that did not happen in 2016. He went 3-3 with a 5.17 ERA in eight starts for Lehigh Valley before going on the disabled list with what at first was diagnosed with a shoulder strain. Team medical officials later zeroed in on an elbow issue.

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