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Mets pitching prospect Jeff Walters diagnosed with torn UCL, will need Tommy John surgery

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Triple-A closer Jeff Walters will likely join the growing ranks of Tommy John surgery recipients in 2014, after an MRI revealed that he had torn his UCL.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

It appears the plague of Tommy John surgeries in 2014 will claim yet another young Mets player.  Jeff Walters, the closer for the Las Vegas 51's, was diagnosed today with a torn UCL.

Walters had shown considerable promise as the closer for the Double-A Binghamton Mets in 2013, recording 38 saves while striking out 9.64 batters per nine innings and walking 2.57 per nine innings, good for a 2.09 ERA and a 2.56 FIP. Since joining the 51s, Walters has struggled considerably more, seeing his strikeout rate plummet to 5.91 and his ERA skyrocket to 8.86. While Vegas is not a particularly friendly place for pitchers, it's hard to imagine his injury didn't play some part in this precipitous decline.

Walters will have plenty of other Mets players to help guide him through the process of recovering from the injury with Bobby Parnell, Matt Harvey, and Jeremy Hefner all in various stages of recovery from the same surgery.