Recently, Tommy John surgery has become common. With the success rate increasing, almost all players are returning safely. Some clubs even select pitchers who have undergone Tommy John surgery in the draft. It is a blessing brought about by medical advances.
Even so, Tommy John surgery is still burdensome. This is because the recovery period is long. It takes about 1 year to 1 year and 6 months for a pitcher to come back. If you don’t, you should be away from baseball for more than one season. It is a huge loss for the players as well as the team. In particular, if the team’s position is weak, it may be completely excluded from future plans. There is nothing more terrifying than being forgotten.
Fielders are slightly better off than pitchers. The gap period is shorter. However, beasts also usually take about 8 months. So the return of Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper (31) is very surprising.
On April 12 of last year, Harper felt pain in his elbow while throwing home from the outfield. He went into the reference game, but his pain got worse and worse. The ominous prediction became a reality. His outfield defense came to a complete halt when damage to the medial collateral ligament in his elbow was discovered. Philadelphia did everything possible to avoid surgery, but in the end, the opinion that surgery was necessary did not change. First of all, Harper said, “There is no problem with hitting,” and postponed the surgery and played as the designated hitter.
Not having surgery right away was the right choice in the end. Thanks to this, Harper was able to step on the postseason stage after 5 years. Harper, who wielded a strong blow from the beginning, recorded 8 hits (0.400), 2 home runs and 5 RBIs in 20 at-bats in the Championship Series and was selected as the MVP. Although winning the World Series had to be promised next, Harper’s surgery delay made another postseason memory.
After the festival, Harper was put on the operating table. It was November 23rd. Philadelphia said that Harper could swing in mid-May and is aiming for a comeback during the All-Star break in July. The doctor who performed Harper’s surgery is Dr. Neil Elatrache, the highest authority in this field, who supervised Shohei Otani’s Tommy John surgery in 2018. At that time, Ohtani returned as a designated hitter after 7 months.
The Winter Meeting was held about 10 days after Harper underwent surgery. Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, was there. Boras said of Harper that “he has super healing qualities” and promised to return much sooner than anyone thought.
No one really believed what Boras said. However, Boras’ words were not bluffing. Philadelphia president Dave Dombrowski announced ahead of the game that “Harper will not be placed on the 60-day injured list.” It was that a player who could miss the first half would be left on the 40-man roster. That suggested Harper’s recovery was remarkably fast, even as Philadelphia watched (if he was on the 60-day injured list, he wouldn’t be back until May 30). “It’s a positive situation, but we haven’t set a specific date yet,” Dombrowski explained.
It was in April that Harper’s early return became visible. Harper, who was warming up in the outfield, started batting practice before he knew it. He pointed out to some that he was moving too hastily. Then Philadelphia reiterated that rehabilitation is being done safely under the supervision of doctors and trainers.
Early in the season, Harper obviously didn’t play. But as he constantly made his presence known, it seemed as if he was coming into the game. Representatively, there was a rumor that Harper would return to first base. With Rhys Hoskins out for the season with a torn cruciate ligament in his knee, Philadelphia hopes Harper will come out at first base to ease the team’s troubles. Thanks to this, Harper became a hot topic once again.
Harper, who spurred rehabilitation, created a new history. On the 3rd, he returned in the second game of the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, 160 days after surgery. According to John Rosel, who collects data related to Tommy John surgery, it is the shortest period among beasts who underwent Tommy John surgery. His previous record was 182 days by Tony Womack in 2004. For reference, Ohtani, who was operated by the same doctor as Harper, took 218 days.
Harper’s return is even harder to believe if you look at the data released by Philadelphia-area media. According to the data, 137 fielders underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010-18. They took an average of 150 days to swing a bat after surgery and an average of 323 days to play. Harper beat the average by half. He has to take into account that the material is from five years ago, but Harper’s return period is nonetheless shocking.
Harper hasn’t played his minor league rehab games. Philadelphia also omitted the minor league game, judging that it was only a formality. Instead, he raised his senses by using the latest pitching machine Traject. This machine implements each pitcher’s delivery and pitches identically, and trains as if he were actually entering the plate. Harper considered this drill more effective than a minor league game.
Harper, who made his major league debut at Dodger Stadium in 2012, also made his debut this season at Dodger Stadium. His first trip went 0-for-4 with only 3 strikeouts, but in the very next game he went 3-for-3 with 2 walks and 5 on-base, reporting that he was back in good shape.
Unfortunately,안전놀이터 with Harper’s return, Philadelphia fell into a four-game losing streak. At the same time, the 50% win rate, which had been difficult to recover, collapsed again. It is currently fourth in the National League East Division, but Philadelphia overcame the early crisis last year and hit from the middle. After 21 wins and 29 losses in the first 50 games, they succeeded in advancing to the postseason by recording 66 wins and 46 losses from June. If the decisive event that changed the atmosphere of the team last year was the change of manager, we hope that Harper’s return this year will be a turning point.
Philadelphia won thousands of horses. Harper’s addition will have a positive impact not just on the lineup, but on the team as a whole. Attention is focusing on whether Harper’s miracle will lead Philadelphia to another World Series.