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RailCats ‘RC’ logo

GARY — After being released by the Colorado Rockies with shoulder issues, Andrew Rohrbach drove straight to the orthopedic center.

His release in 2016 came after a career of highs and lows with injuries.

He'd had Tommy John surgery after in 2011 while at College of the Canyons and pitched just four innings in 2013 while he was still recovering from the surgery.

He was then recruited by Long Beach State and went 7-2 with a 2.05 ERA in 2014, which earned him a ninth-round pick in the draft that year by the Rockies.

He made two starts in 2014 in the Northwest League, and was released with his injury two years later.

After his release, he learned he needed shoulder cap surgery.

"It's kind of a new thing," Rohrbach said. "The surgeon said only a couple of people have ever had this. The most recent is Julio Uriasis the Dodgers starter that tore his capsule. It's a new thing, and you just have to push through it."

The humerus went through the labrum in his shoulder and to the cap that holds the bone.

During his rehab, he worked with Dr. Jeff Bowne, who had played for RailCats manager Greg Tagert in 1998 in Evansville.

"If Jeff recommends someone, I trust him whole heartedly," Tagert said.

That the RailCats were looking for a starter, Rohrbach took the call.

Rohrbach has been working out at the local high school in Santa Clarita, California, to prepare for another shot at pro ball.

The expectation for the RailCats is that it'll come today. With the recent release of Marshall Pautsch and trade of Braulio Torres-Perez, the 'Cats are in need of a starter. Rohrbach is slated to sign his contract before today's noon game against Cleburne.

"I just want to see how (the shoulder) reacts and continue my baseball career as long as I can," Rohrbach said.

Tagert saw Rohrbach toss a bullpen session Wednesday.

"He assures us that this can not be a rehab assignment, this is not what we do," Tagert said. "I know he has some concerns ... but he is motivated and determined and you can't underestimate those qualities."

Rohrbach is joining a four-man rotation off of the injury rehab, which will give him more innings sooner, and less rest between starts.

"The four-man is new to me," Rohrbach said. "I have confidence that I've learned a lot through rehab about how to prepare and get my shoulder ready."

After Charle Rosario as the ace of the staff and Alex Gunn the second starter, the RailCats have had a revolving door at the Nos. 3 and 4 spots in the rotation.

Jeff McKenzie, who was released on May 31 after a break in his leg on a come-backer, is also expected to rejoin the rotation.

The RailCats had promoted Torres-Perez from the bullpen and used relievers to try to fill the open starter spot.

"If hI had to do it again, I wouldn't do that with the bullpen," Tagert said. "For our club, it was best for Braulio to play out of the pen."


Sports Director

Hillary has covered prep, pro and college sports -- and even a Dixie Baseball World Series -- for newspapers north and south of the Mason-Dixon Line since 1995.