Imagine if your arm fell asleep and never woke up. That maddening scenario became a reality last year for Kyle Landis who was diagnosed with a musculocutaneous nerve injury and missed the entire 2010 season. After a long rehab, Landis is back on the mound and having a career year going a combined 9-1 with a 2.34ERA in 57.2 innings for the High-A Kinston Indians and Double-A Akron Aeros. It’s a sharp difference from being unable to have the spacial presence to open a door knob when the rare injury first occurred. In the story Landis talks about dealing with the horrific injury, not knowing if he’d ever play baseball again, the difficulty of a year long rehab process, and the increase in success and velocity he’s experienced since returning from the injury. It’s a must read story.
It was one of baseball’s most improbable stories, Chris Coste finally made it to the major leagues in 2006 as a 33 year old rookie, after a decade in the minor leagues. His first four years were spent in playing for his hometown Fargo Moorhead Red Hawks in the independent Northern League. The Cleveland Indians then signed Coste in 2000 where he made his affiliated debut with the Double-A Akron Aeros. From there Coste played parts of the next six seasons in Triple-A with stints playing for the Buffalo Bisons, Pawtucket Red Sox, Indianapolis Indians, and the Scranton Wilkes Barre Red Barons before making his big league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. Coste’s big league career peaked when he was a key cog in the Phillies 2008 World Series championship. The accomplishment inspired the longtime catcher to write a book titled The 33-Year-Old Rookie: My 13-Year Journey from the Minor Leagues to the World Series. Coste’s final big league game would come in 2009 as a member of the Houston Astros. Following Tommy John surgery in 2010, he had hoped to return for one final run but came to find out that his 38 year old body just could not hold up. In the story, Coste talks about his new role as Associate Head Coach at Concordia College, his cult following in Philadelphia, and coming to terms that his playing career has reached its end.
According to the Tulsa Drillers official twitter page @TulsaDrillers, top pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz will miss the remainder of the 2011 minor league season following emergency surgery to remove his appendix. It brings an end to an outstanding season for the 2010 first round pick of the Cleveland Indians out of Ole Miss who was the centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Rockies. In his Rockies organizational debut at Double-A Tulsa on Wednesday night, Pomeranz went 7 innings allowing two hits and striking out four in a Drillers win. Overall between the Drillers as well as the Indians High-A Kinston Indians, and Double-A Akron Aeros, the 6’5″ lefty posted a 4-3 record with a 1.84ERA, walking 38 and striking out 116 in 98 innings of work. Opposing hitters are batting just .197 against Pomeranz on the season. Tough way to end a spectacular first season as a pro, which had talk of an impending September call-up.
Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper injured what appeared to be his hamstring in the 8th inning of the Harrisburg Senators game against the Akron Aeros. Harper who had walked, was injured going from first to third on an Archie Gilbert double. The video below shows Harper being helped off the field and unable to put much if any weight on the leg.
Top pitching prospect Drew Pomeranz did not expect to be traded less than a year after signing with the Cleveland Indians who made him the fifth overall pick in 2010 out of Ole Miss. But in a trade deadline blockbuster, Pomeranz was was dealt to the Colorado Rockies, as the player to be named later, and the centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez deal. The 6’5″ lefty is now in two weeks of limbo as he cannot officially be traded until August 15th, a calender year after he signed with Cleveland. So for now Pomeranz is back in his hometown of Memphis having cleared out his locker and said goodbye to his Akron Aeros teammates. He will report to the Indians camp in Goodyear, Arizona on Wednesday where he will remain until joining the Rockies organization on the 15th. In the story. which is a great read, Pomeranz talks about being shocked that he was traded, the awkwardness of being in limbo, and the prospects of pitching at Coors Field.
The Colorado Rockies have traded Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians for a package that includes Drew Pomeranz (who will be a player to be named later as he cannot be traded until August 15th, a year after he signed), Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride. The 22 year old Pomeranz was the 5th overall pick out of Ole Miss in the 2010 draft and has been lights out since turning pro. This season he is a combined 3-3 with a 1.98ERA and has struck out 112 batters in 91 innings between the High-A Kinston Indians and the Double-A Akron Aeros. He was a participant in the 2011 Futures Game. The 6’5″ lefty has as high a ceiling as any pitcher in the minor leagues. White went 1-0 with a 3.60 in 3 starts with the Indians earlier this year before going on the DL with a finger injury. The 22 year old pitched a simulated game on Monday and was scheduled to start tonight for Akron before being scratched upon news of the pending trade. White went 10-10 with 2.45ERA in 25 starts between Kinston and Akron in 2010. He was the 15th overall pick of the 2009 draft out of North Carolina. Gardner is another product of the 2009 draft. The Indians took the 23 year old in the third round out of UC Santa Barbara. He is currently 7-8 with a 4.99ERA in 19 starts for Akron. Gardner was 12-6 with a 2.68ERA in 28 starts for Kinston in 2010. McBride is a 26 year old with a solid bat who has yet to play above the Triple-A level. He was second round pick by the Indians out of LeHigh University way back in 2006 and has been in the Indians organization since. After not hitting more than eight home runs in any of his previous minor league seasons, McBride broke out with a 44 Double, 18 Home Run, 99 RBI year between Kinston and Akron in 2009. He followed that up with a 31 Double, 21 Home Run, 79 RBI year between Akron and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in 2010. This season McBride has once again split between Akron and Columbus and has posted a combined .279, 26 Double, 15 Home Run, 56 RBI year to this point.
Eight long years after being the 31st overall selection in the first round of the 2003 draft, Adam Miller is once again on the cusp of finally making it to the majors. Miller is back at Double-A Akron after missing the 2009 and 2010 seasons following his fourth surgery to repair ligament damage to the middle finger on his throwing hand. As unlikely as it would seem and despite a surgically disfigured finger, Miller has regained some of the form that once had him among the brightest pitching prospects in the game. Miller sat down with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto and talks about his long road back to baseball.