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Mississippi State's Landon Sims To Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Out For Season

All-American righthander Landon Sims on Monday announced he will h Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season at Mississippi State.

The news was not unexpected, as Sims left his March 4 start at Tulane with a trainer, having struck out 10 of the first 11 batters he faced. While no official update followed, Mississippi State great Will Clark made a guest appearance on the radio broadcast the following day and said Sims told him he heard a pop in his elbow.

Expected or not, it was still dismal news for Sims and the Bulldogs. He last year emerged as the Bulldogs’ relief ace and earned All-American honors after going 5-0, 1.44 with 100 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. He earned 13 saves and helped Mississippi State win the College World Series.

Sims this year transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation to take over as Mississippi State’s No. 1 starter. He was voted a Preseason All-American in the role by MLB scouting departments and was off to a strong start to the season in his new role. He went 0-2, 1.15 with 27 strikeouts and two walks in 15.2 innings this spring.

Sims was projected as a first-round draft pick coming into the season and his premium fastball-slider combination made him perhaps the best college pitcher in the country. While he lacks much starting experience, he likely still will get strong consideration as a first-round pick in July, especially given the nature of the college pitching class, which has been beset by injuries. Sims is the latest high-profile pitcher to go down injured this season, joining Connecticut lefthander Reggie Crawford, Arkansas righthander Peyton Palette and Alabama lefthander Connor Prielipp as potential first-round picks who are out following Tommy John surgery.

In addition to Sims, Mississippi State righthander Stone Simmons also announced Monday he will have Tommy John surgery. Simmons made three appearances this season and had thrown 4.1 perfect innings with six strikeouts. Last season, he went 1-1, 4.81 with two saves in 24.1 innings over 19 appearances.

Righthander Preston Johnson started Friday against Princeton, moving up one spot to take over for Sims at the front of the rotation. On the season, he is 2-0, 2.82 with 33 strikeouts and nine walks in 22.1 innings. Righthanders Parker Stinnett (3-0, 3.57) and Cade Smith (3-0, 2.05) followed Johnson in the rotation against the Tigers. Stinnett is the new entry into the rotation after mostly pitching out of the bullpen at the start of the season.

Mississippi State has the talent on the mound to still have a strong pitching staff, even without Sims and Simmons. But those injuries will test its depth. Newcomers Brooks Auger and Pico Kohn will be leaned on out of the bullpen, as well as veterans Brandon Smith, Mikey Tepper and Cam Tullar.

Establishing more options in the bullpen and getting sophomore righthander Jackson Fristoe back on track after a slow start as a midweek starter will be critical for Mississippi State as it moves forward. The Bulldogs (10-7) will begin SEC play this weekend with a series at No. 18 Georgia.

John Savage Photo By Stephen Dunn Getty Images 2 2

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