The unfortunate news that hit Major League Baseball on April 7 was that Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers) would soon be receiving Tommy John surgery (TJS).
On April 29 against the New York Yankees, DeGrom pitched a one-hit shutout until the bottom of the fourth inning when he suddenly went down with arm pain. He was placed on the disabled list the next day. He was reported to be on track for a rehab assignment by the end of last month, but after being transferred to the 60-day IL on June 6, he received the shocking news that surgery was inevitable.
This is the second time in his career that DeGrom has had TJS. In 2010, when he joined the New York Mets, he suffered his first TJS 안전놀이터 after pitching six games in the Rookie League. Thirteen years later, he will undergo the same surgery in the same area.
He”ll be scheduled for surgery soon, but if he has it this month, we can expect him to be back next July.
There’s a pitcher who comes to mind in this regard. The Toronto Blue Jays’ Hyun-jin Ryu. Ryu received his second TJS on June 18 last year. It had been 18 years since he had it done in the same spot in 2004, when he was a sophomore at Dongsan High School in Incheon.
Ryu is in the final stages of his rehabilitation with the goal of returning to action shortly after the All-Star break next month. He plans to make a minor league rehab start in the middle of this month, and if all goes well, he could join the rotation on July 15, the start of the second half.
Due to the similar timing of his surgery, DeGrom is bound to go through the same rehabilitation process as Ryu.
CBS Sports, a leading U.S. media outlet, published an article on pitchers who have undergone TJS twice, highlighting Ryu as the ideal rehabilitation model for DeGrom. “Texas took some risk of injury when they signed him last winter, but they probably didn’t expect the worst-case scenario to come so soon,” said reporter Dane Perry, who wrote, “DeGrom, who underwent his first TJS in 2010, will join a select group of pitchers who have had the procedure twice and are attempting to make a successful comeback.
The most notable pitcher to successfully return to the majors after two TJS surgeries is DeGrom’s teammate, Nathan Eovaldi. Ivaldi underwent the procedure in 2007 and 2016. Today, he’s one of the best starters in the majors and a candidate for the AL Cy Young Award.
Perry writes, “At 33, Ivaldi has established himself as one of the game’s most dominant pitchers. Other pitchers who have come back from two TJS surgeries include Jameson Taillon, Daniel Hudson, Jason Isringhausen, Chris Capuano, and Joaquim Soria, with Ryu Hyun-jin and LA Dodgers Walker Buehler soon to be added to that group.
According to Perry, of the 40 pitchers who have received TJS two or more times, only five have gone longer than DeGrom. Ryu Hyun-jin is the longest at 18 years. This means that DeGrom should use Ryu as a model for his rehabilitation.
“Ryu is the best model for him,” Perry said. Ryu has pitched at an All-Star level in the past, but has been plagued by frequent injuries. When he returns from this surgery, he will be 36 years old, similar to Ryu.” “Right now, Ryu is in the bullpen pitching phase. He is focused on joining the rotation right after the All-Star break.
“Ryu’s path can be a great example for DeGrom, who has many similarities,” he added, “He’ll have a lot of challenges, but it’s not impossible for him to have a successful rehabilitation like Ryu did.
Ryu and DeGrom were once rivals for the NL Cy Young Award in 2019. A healthy starter at the time, DeGrom was facing the biggest setback of his career.