Andrew Brackman has had a disastrous first full season since returning from Tommy John surgery. The numbers, from Pete Abe:

The stats for Brackman: 1-11 with a 6.72 ERA in 18 starts in low A ball. He has struck out 79 over 85.2 innings. But he also has walked 64, thrown 22 wild pitches and given up 89 hits.

Andrew’s awful performance have lead some to declare that he is a bust. However, an understanding of the procedure he had and the necessary recovery time actually makes this season a moderate success:

Medically, most pitchers are ready to return to action in 12-15 months. Frequently, it’s another year before they return to form.

“It takes a good two years to really have a good feel again,” says Gordon, who struggled with tendinitis his first year back.

Orioles pitching coach Mark Wiley calls it getting the “feel of the ball.” It’s finding the arm slot, the release point, basically, learning how to pitch all over again. “They keep their heads above water and contribute but they’re not as consistent” the first year back, Wiley says.

“We’re doing now in a year basically what it takes us a whole lifetime to do (the first time),” adds Lieber, who was listed on the Yankees’ 40-man roster last January with hopes of earning a spot in the rotation for the ’04 season.

This August will mark two years from the surgery for Brackman. The key to this season for him was staying healthy and building up some arm strength, and he did both. He has currently hit a wall or “dead arm period,” something that happens to most TJS patients. If he pitches like this to start next season, the bust label may be appropriate. Until then, he remains a lottery ticket, one that could pay off in a big way should the Yankees remain patient with him.

No Responses to “Andrew Brackman And Understanding Tommy John Surgery”

  1. Yea, I’m not worried about Brackman. I always figured this season was going to be a bad one for him. Hopefully he’ll look better next year.  (Quote)

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  2. Very pricy signing for such a risk… by the time he comes around (if he rebounds) the contract is half spent. There are plenty of option years but they are not really that cheap unless he is a superstar.  (Quote)

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  3. Beat me to it, I was just thinking of a post on the subject. Brackman was reportedly 90-92 at best with his fastball in the early innings, and dropped lower than that later in the game. His curve has no bite or control.

    I think the worst part about signing Brackman was not the money (which the Yankees can spare) but the major league contract. It forces them to accelerate his development, when he clearly has major issues to work out. I know Boras always looks for major league deals for his clients, especially college players, but in this case, I think the major league contract is going to be problematic for Brackman.

    I am not sure if his problems are related to health, mechanics, or some combination thereof, but whatever the cause, Brackman is not the same pitcher he was earlier in the season, when he could touch the mid-90’s with the heater and throw strikes. I think they should put him on the DL and send him to work with Nardi Conteras.  (Quote)

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  4. When one thinks of high ceiling and high floor…see Brackman!
    People forget Sandy Kofax, it took him a few years to become the pitcher he ended up being. The same can be said of Randy Johnson. Why should we expect Brackman to be any better?
    Having him work with Nardi is a great idea, Eric! This guy will be very special or a big bust but, he will need time to develop into one of the two.  (Quote)

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