BASEBALL NOTES: Tommy John surgery robs Loomis of shot at Orioles

2013-09-08T17:30:00Z 2013-09-09T16:00:09Z BASEBALL NOTES: Tommy John surgery robs Loomis of shot at OriolesGeorge Castle Times Correspondent
September 08, 2013 5:30 pm  • 

The frustration of knowing he was on the Baltimore Orioles’ radar likely pains Bishop Noll alum Andy Loomis more than the after-effects of his Tommy John elbow-ligament transplant surgery.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter told The Times in early July lefty reliever Loomis would be considered for a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk if he needed a southpaw in the bullpen. Five weeks later, Loomis underwent the operation by Dr. James Andrews, the nation’s leading baseball orthopedic surgeon.

“It’s been my dream to be called up to the big leagues,” said Loomis, a Whiting native who now lives in Crown Point. “I knew I was close, and my arm (went bad).

“I just got to get back at it. I got a brand-new elbow.”

Loomis is in a rehab program at Select Therapy in Schererville. Typical recovery time from Tommy John surgery is a full year.

Loomis, 27, who also attended Purdue, had “a good run ... 19 scoreless innings” around the time Showalter looked optimistically at his chances. But one day soon afterward, his arm “locked up.”

“Every time I threw a ball, it hurt,” he said.

Loomis was then demoted to Double-A Bowie (Md.), where the pain continued. Several exams produced initial diagnoses of a bone spur, then tendinitis.

“They didn’t match up with my symptoms,” he said.

Finally, Loomis saw Andrews at his Birmingham clinic on Aug. 12. Andrews conducted the surgery the next day.

In addition to an ulnar collateral ligament tear, Loomis had a flexor tear with six bone fragments removed from the elbow area.

While he recovers, with the security of another contractual season with the Orioles, Loomis again will provide counsel to Bishop Noll’s baseball team during indoor workouts in January. He’s also looking for full-time offseason work.

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