Homewood’s John Ely realized a startling fact when he had Tommy John surgery April 24 – he probably had pitched with a torn ulnar collateral ligament for years.
A Houston Astros farmhand after pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers the past three years, Ely said he “never had arm trouble…only a little pain the end of last season and in spring training.”
But when orthopedic surgeon James Andrews looked at the afflicted right elbow during surgery, he found the damage and speculated the injury dated back to his teenage years.
“Something in there was allowing me to pitch for how many years,” said Ely, who is rehabbing in Kissimmee, Fla. “It finally blew up in my face. He (Andrews) wasn’t convinced I needed (Tommy John) going in, but when he went in, he found (the ligament) was completely torn.”
Ely was told he should be back pitching next spring training. He’s not hanging crepe losing a year.
“It’s all part of baseball,” said Ely, originally signed by the White Sox. “I’m not that worried about it. I’ll get the stuff back. It’ll be a brand new arm. I’ll earn my spot next year.”
Floyd also rehabbing: The Sox’s Gavin Floyd, another recent Tommy John surgery “alum,” showed up at U.S. Cellular Field Sunday wearing a black arm brace and sporting the same upbeat attitude as Ely.
“I feel pretty strong,” Floyd said. “It’s a long journey, but I take it one step at a time. I’m just excited to start the (rehab) process.
“I’ll enjoy the moment, and come here and hang out with the guys.”
Floyd had periodic elbow problems in 2012. He finally broke down this season. Odds are the Sox won’t pick up his $9.5 million contract that runs out this season.
Hoosier master of Sale: It’s a long way from being “Indiana Mr. Baseball” in 2007 to beating Sox ace Chris Sale twice in five days.
But there was Norwell High (near Ft. Wayne) product Jarrod Parker Friday night talking about being a cog in Oakland’s 18-3 surge through second victory against Sale.
“He’s an unbelievable pitcher; we know we have to bring our ‘A’ game,” he said of Sale.
Parker said he grew up a Sox fan and liked watching Jack McDowell.
“Getting to pitch here is kind of a dream come true,” he said.
The list: The Cubs and Sox both are candidates for 90-loss seasons at their present rates. That’s not common in the same season.
Previous dual 90-defeat seasons since 1945 were: 1948, Cubs 64-90, Sox 51-101; 1949, Cubs 61-93, Sox 63-91; 1980, Cubs 64-98, Sox 70-90, and 1986, Cubs 70-90, Sox 72-90.