Over the last few years, you’ve probably heard the term “microfracture surgery.” Jason Kidd, Reggie Bush, and Grady Sizemore are among the prominent athletes who have undergone the procedure.
But do you have any idea what microfracture surgery is? PawSox designated hitter Ryan Shealy can explain the operation, after having it performed on his left knee in May of last year.
“They puncture holes in the bone trying to promote new cartilage growth when you have a bone on bone situation,” Shealy said. “It was a bad deal. I was on crutches for two months and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but it’s come back great. I had great doctors and great rehab people to help me through it.
“That’s kind of been the story of my career, even dating back to college. I somehow managed to have Tommy John surgery as a first baseman which is really uncommon. I threw a ball to second base and ended up tearing a ligament. I had a couple of knee cleanups in the minor leagues and then last year, I had microfracture knee surgery and missed most of the season.”
(photo courtesy of Louriann Mardo-Zayat)
Shealy became a minor league free agent and signed with the Tampa Bay organization. But after spending two-and-a-half months with Durham, he left the Bulls on June 15th and joined the PawSox.
“I had an out clause in my contract,” Shealy said. “I liked the Red Sox growing up and I’ve always admired the way they’ve gone about their business as an organization. I almost signed with them in the off-season – it came down to Boston and Tampa. I chose Tampa and that organization has so many corner infielders that it was hard to get at-bats every day in Durham. It’s nice to be here. This is a lot younger team, but hopefully I can help them grow as players and get myself going again too.”
In his first week with Pawtucket, Shealy has been a force in the cleanup spot. In 7 games, he’s batting .409/.552/.682 with 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 6 walks.
“I’m just starting to be the hitter that I can be,” Ryan told me. “After missing all of last year, it was tough early to be honest with you. I wasn’t able to go play winter ball, and in spring training I just got eaten up. I got off to a terrible start in the first month, but I’m starting to feel like I used to feel.”
That bodes well for Pawtucket. Shealy is a former MVP of the Pioneer League and the Texas League, and had a monster month for the Kansas City Royals in September of 2008 when he belted 7 home runs and drove in 20 runs in 20 MLB games.
“That September I played about as good as I could in the big leagues,” Shealy said. “Then last spring, I was the last guy sent down by Kansas City so that was tough and I took that hard. But talk about perspective – I went to Triple-A and blew out my knee and that was some real perspective because it’s one thing to get sent down to Triple-A, but when you lose a whole season that is really tough. I’m just glad to be playing again and I’m really enjoying it.”
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At the start of the season, Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown were sharing catching duties for the PawSox.
Now they’re both on the disabled list.
(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Wagner remains out of action after breaking his hand in late April, and on Wednesday, Brown was placed on the D.L. with a strained left thumb. Dusty told me that x-rays were negative, but he will fly back to Boston to get an MRI.
“There’s definitely some damage to the ligament,” PawSox manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’re not sure how extensive it is – we’re going to get more information after he sees the doctors in Boston – but he’s going to be on the D.L. for at least seven days. We won’t put him in harm’s way until we know for sure that he’s able to go out there at 100%.”
Gustavo Molina will be the primarily starter while Brown is out, and Juan Apodaca was promoted from Double-A Portland to be his backup.
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Over the last couple of nights in Scranton, there’s been a rather loud fan right below our broadcast booth that has some of the most unusual material I’ve ever heard.
On Tuesday, he blasted the home plate ump by yelling, ‘That call was reprehensible!”
On Wednesday, he showed his support for #4 Eric Bruntlett by bellowing, “Let’s go square root of 16!”
Now that he’s shown off his vocabulary and math skills, I’m expecting the dude to delve into a little science in the final game of the series on Thursday. I’m thinking he’ll praise the curve ball of Scranton/WB starter Tim Redding by screaming, “Now that’s how you use Bernoulli’s Principle!”
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Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer surrendered his 505th career home run on Tuesday to tie the all-time major league record held by Hall of Famer Robin Roberts.
But the 47-year-old pitcher also earned his 266th career win to move into a tie for 36th in all-time wins with Bob Feller.
When informed of Moyer’s achievement, Feller barked, ‘Get those darn kids off my lawn.’
(Just kidding. “Rapid Robert” strikes me as something of a grouch.)
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The PawSox will look to win three straight road games for the first time in 2010 when they face Scranton/WB on Thursday night at 7:05. I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.
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