Right-hander Frank Herrmann underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Wednesday morning. Dr. David Altchek performed the surgery in New York.
It usually takes 12 to 18 months to recover from ligament transplant surgery. Herrmann, the longest tenured Indian on the 40-man roster, could compete for a spot in the bullpen early next season.
Herrmann, 28, made two appearances this spring. He injured his elbow on Feb. 25 against Oakland.
Lonnie Soloff, Indians head athletic trainer, said Herrmann wanted to try and treat the injury conservatively in an attempt to avoid surgery. He thought he might have a chance pitch at some point this year.
Dr. Altchek, however, felt the surgery was necessary. Herrmann was also examilned by Dr. Lewis Yocum, another noted elbow and shoulder specialist.
Herrmann, who made the Indians as a non-drafted free agent out of Harvard, spent most of last season at Class AAA Columbus. When he did pitch for the Tribe, he did well, posting a 2.33 ERA in 15 appearances. He struck out 14, walked four and allowed 12 hits in 19 1/3 innings.
Always a hard thrower, Herrmann complemented his 95 mph fastball with a knuckle curve last season that prevented hitters from sitting on his fastball.
Herrmann has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Indians. He was 4-0 with a 5.11 ERA in 40 appearances in 2011.
In other Tribe news, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who left his last appearance with cramping in his right calf, says he's fine. Manager Terry Francona said the Indians have to find a spot to work him back into game action.
DH Mark Reynolds was in the lineup Wednesday for the first time since March 6. He'd been out with a sore back.