Stephen Strasburg has a torn elbow ligament and most likely needs Tommy John surgery, bringing the pitcher's promising rookie season to an abrupt end.
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Friday an MRI on the right elbow revealed a "significant tear."
Strasburg will travel to the West Coast for a second opinion, but Rizzo anticipates the 22-year-old right-hander will need the operation that requires 12 to 18 months of rehabilitation.
"I look at the bright side," Rizzo said. "Tommy John surgery is a surgery that we've had great success at. The success rate for guys coming back from Tommy John and retaining their stuff is very good."
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Strasburg struck out 14 batters in a sensational major league debut in June. He is 5-3 with a 2.91 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 68 innings.