BATON ROUGE – LSU freshman pitcher Eric Walker, will miss the 2018 season and will need Tommy John surgery, coach Paul Mainieri announced on Thursday.
Walker has been diagnosed with a tear in the ulnar collateral ligament of his right elbow and will undergo reconstructive surgery. He is scheduled to have Tommy John surgery next Wednesday in Arlington by Dr. Keith Meister, the head team physician of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team.
"Obviously, the news on Eric's elbow is very disheartening," Mainieri said. "First of all, my heart bleeds for Eric as this is not the conclusion to a wonderful freshman year that any of us envisioned. Eric was a rock all year in our weekend rotation and a vital contributor to our SEC Championship, as well as our appearance in the College World Series."
Walker started 17 games for the Tigers in 2017, posting an 8-2 record with a 3.48 ERA in 95.2 innings. He recorded 23 walks and 78 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .233 batting average. A Freshman All-American and Freshman All-SEC selection, Walker pitched LSU to wins in the SEC Tournament championship game versus Arkansas and in the NCAA Regional championship game versus Rice.
Mainieri stated that Walker is "an outstanding young man with great leadership ability" and will come back to the 2019 season better than before. He stated that not having Walker next season is a blow to the team but he remains confident in his players.
"We will have many outstanding candidates that will develop, and I'm sure we will still have a formidable pitching staff for next season.," Mainieri said.