Red Sox Prospect Reflects On Tommy John Surgery


The Red Sox acquired left-handed reliever Danny Rosenbaum last year in exchange for minor league catcher Daniel Butler. As he rose through the minors, the former 22nd round draft pick looked to have a nice career ahead of him as a left-handed specialist.

But then, Rosenbaum got news that would make any pitcher cringe. He would have to decide between giving up his baseball career, or have a procedure known as Tommy John surgery. The procedure involves replacing the damaged ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow with a tendon from either the knee or hamstring.

Knowing what challenges he could face, the Xavier University alum decided that the risk was worth the reward and elected to undergo the procedure. He made his first rehab start last week with the Lowell Spinners.

“It is tough to say right now. I’m still getting a feel for pitching in games again. I just want to at least to get back to where I was prior to surgery. Anything else that might happen is a bonus,” said Rosenbaum when asked about the biggest difference in his pitching post-surgery.

He went on  to speak of his setbacks explaining “The biggest struggle was mentally for me. Knowing and that I had a major operation done and thinking that I could be doing all of this hard work, but there was a possibility of never pitching again. The most important thing was to learn to have patience and trust the process. I had a minor set back at the end of spring training with some tendinitis but i needed to realize I hadn’t done this in over a year and my arm still had to adjust to throwing everyday.”

Asked on what could be improved to help avoid injury Rosenbaum explained “There is so much research being done. You can do all the right things growing up, taking care of your body and arm, but it still can happen because it’s such an unnatural movement to throw a baseball. It’s really unpredictable in my eyes. Players are throwing harder than ever and your body can only take so much until it gives out.” Then went on “Just know your body. I am my best coach. Players need to listen to their arms. It’s OK to take breaks and give your body a rest. This is a very competitive game and sometimes that can get you in trouble.”

Rosenbaum went on to talk about how current Red Sox manager John Farrell, and two-time Tommy John patient, had helped him in his recovery form the procedure.  “Yeah I have received a lot of advice from former coaches, new coaches and teammates including: Nationals Pitching Coordinator Paul Menhart, Red Sox Manager John Farrell, Lowell Pitching Coach Lance Carter among many teammates. Everyone said basically the same thing. Yes its frustrating, but just trust the process and be patient.”

We wish Danny the best of luck in his recovery.