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Twins and Gibson Discussion and Extension

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:11 PM
http://www.startribu...lier/507159692/   Interesting to see how this plays out. I'd have to think an extension is likely since the T...

Twins Spring Training Highlights

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:49 PM
I'll try to update this thread anytime I'm able to grab some spring training highlights. Here are a few from today:  

Article: Report From The Fort: Breaking Down Baldelli...

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 10:27 PM
FT. MYERS, FL – Was Rocco Baldelli's starting lineup on Monday a preview of the one we'll see at Target Field on Opening Day? The manager...

A new venture

Other Baseball Yesterday, 09:52 PM
I started a new site, with a heavy focus on scouting reports of minor leaguers, but the intent is to host all of my baseball writing curr...

Article: Minor League Pay: Some Progress at Last?

Other Baseball Yesterday, 08:37 PM
When the Cedar Rapids Kernels host the Lansing Lugnuts in a three-game series beginning July 13 of this summer, Lugnuts players will have...


The Tommy John Files: RHP-Turned-Advance Video Scout Jeremy Hefner

Posted by Brandon Warne , 28 May 2018 · 616 views

jeremy hefner minnesota twins
This is an excerpt of a post that appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it, and consider subscribing here.

Tommy John celebrated his 75th birthday last Tuesday, but the surgery that bears his name is well over 40 years old. In fact, enter a room of pitchers and you’ll find that the sampling of those who’ve had Tommy John surgery is akin to going to a fraternity and trying to find a dude who has ever had a hangover.

Orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe performed the first procedure — also known as ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction — on the Los Angeles Dodgers lefty back in 1974. Ever since, it has not only become more ubiquitous, but also more proven in terms of players returning their previous form after extensive rehab.

With a room full of pitchers who’ve had the procedure and a seemingly different story of recovery from each one, I thought why not give each pitcher a chance to explain what their triumphs and tribulations were like as they battled to come back from the surgery.

Previous editions:

LHP Zach Duke

Every pitcher is asked the same questions; every pitcher will almost certainly give different answers.

These are the Tommy John Files:

Player – Twins advance video scout Jeremy Hefner

The surgery — when/where/who performed it?

The first one was Aug. 28, 2013 by Dr. David Altchek, the Mets’ team doctor in New York City. He does Tommy Johns for a lot of guys. Dr. James Andrews did my second one on Oct. 9, 2014 — 13 months later.

The injury — when/where did it happen?

I think I actually tore mine maybe in Spring Training or April in 2013. So I pitched most of the year like…not in pain necessarily, but in discomfort. It didn’t really affect my velocity or movement until like late July or August.

After the All-Star break, I was really starting to hurt and it was starting to affect my performance. So that’s when we decided to go ahead and pull the plug, get the MRI and try to see what was in there. We kind of had the idea that it was torn, but we didn’t have images of it torn until August. Then I ended up having the Tommy John surgery after that.

I had two of them. (Rays reliever) Jonny Venters has had three. I don’t think anyone’s ever had three in pro ball, but I’m not sure about that. I think he had one before pro ball.

Was the pain instantaneous, or over time?

Mine was a chronic deal. I was having discomfort, but it was manageable to where it wasn’t affecting my performance. That’s why we decided to just continue on. It eventually got to the point where it wasn’t manageable anymore.

I basically handled it like Matt Magill — (writer’s note: the next Tommy John File) — with anti-inflammatories between starts. It just got progressively better as I got closer to my next start date. So like the day after (a start), I couldn’t even wash my hair. It was so painful. But then once I eventually recovered and ready for my next start, I was relatively normal.

The second time around, I was rehabbing and was full go. I was in Florida State games in late July. I was throwing 90-94 mph — back to where I normally was. I had a long game against Daytona — a long first couple innings — and after that, I kind of wasn’t the same.

I struggled getting through my between-start bullpen. I made another start in St. Lucie, and I was throwing like 82-83 mph on the scoreboard. I was like “OK, that was a misfire.” I was throwing against (Twins High-A affiliate) Fort Myers, actually.

So I threw another fastball as hard as I could, and it was like 81 mph. So I was like “Uhhh, OK.” There was no pain — well, not much pain — like I could feel some discomfort but I thought it was normal working back and getting used to throwing again. I pulled myself out of the game. They did the tests and I was in NYC the next day for an MRI. I went and got a second opinion from Dr. Andrews.

At that point, I thought I was going to retire. Like I was done. I didn’t want to do any more surgeries. I had put a full year worth of work into rehabbing and all that kind of stuff. So I took three months off, went home and talked to my wife and my family. Eventually, I got to the point where I felt like I had something to give to the game, so we had our third child and two weeks later we flew to Pensacola for the second surgery.