Vancouver Canadian Cobi Johnson.

Mark Steffens / PNG

Cobi Johnson admits his Tommy John surgical procedure expertise was higher than most.


The Vancouver Canadians’ reliever missed the 2017 NCAA season with the Florida State Seminoles as a result of operation, a now-frequent process for pitchers that replaces a broken ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) within the elbow with a tendon normally taken from elsewhere within the physique.

Johnson did have a sophisticated help group all through the method, because of his father. Dane Johnson is the Toronto Blue Jays’ bullpen coach, and has labored in varied capacities for the workforce since 2000.

He acquired Cobi to talk to Jays hurler Aaron Sanchez, who has by no means had Tommy John surgical procedure however noticed his innings restricted throughout his 2016 breakout marketing campaign as a result of concern that he would put on out. Cobi additionally spoke to R. A. Dickey, the previous big-league knuckleballer who was born with out that UCL, and San Diego Padres top-flight prospect Cal Quantrill, who had Tommy John in 2015.

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“My dad, being my dad, acquired me in contact with them,” mentioned Johnson, 22, who additionally acquired a textual content in the course of the course of from Jays nearer Roberto Osuna, who has undergone the surgical procedure. “It gave me an opportunity to bounce some questions off folks.

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“It clearly helped me, however Tommy John nonetheless sucked.”

Even with him lacking that Florida State marketing campaign, the Los Angeles Angels picked Johnson within the 2017 draft, utilizing a 29th-rounder on the 6-foot-4, 220-pound right-hander initially from Vacation, Fla. He says that he contemplated signing with them, however opted to return to highschool for his redshirt junior season this yr.

The Angels didn’t draw back from Johnson due to Tommy John. No groups appear to fret an excessive amount of about it. Jon Roegele’s Tommy John Surgical procedure Database studies that there have been 169 pitchers who took to the mound within the majors by July 5 who had undergone the operation in some unspecified time in the future. That was 26.Four per cent of all of the pitchers within the bigs this season to that date, and it included 12 Los Angeles Dodgers alone and Tampa Bay Rays reliever Jonny Venters, who has made it again to baseball’s high stage after a 3rd Tommy John.

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You’d assume, although, that it might toy with a pitcher’s thoughts. Johnson admits, “it’s a scary factor,” that year-long rehab and that realizing that the pitching arm that introduced you to some form of prominence has been surgically altered.

Vancouver Canadian Cobi Johnson.

Mark Steffens /


The Seminoles have been cautious with Johnson this previous season. He made 14 appearances out of the bullpen totalling 20 1/Three innings, and he had an 0-1 report and a 3.54 earned run common to go together with 27 strikeouts and 13 walks. He didn’t pitch within the remaining three weeks of Florida State’s season.

The Jays chosen Johnson within the 30th spherical on this yr’s draft in June and assigned him to Vancouver, their short-season, single-A affiliate within the Northwest League.

He’s been requested to shut out video games some by C’s supervisor Dallas McPherson, and thru his first 9 appearances for Vancouver he had an 0-Zero report, a 3.21 ERA, three saves and 14 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 14 innings.

He maintains that he hasn’t paid consideration to what his fastball has topped out up to now, which is uncommon for a pitcher, notably at this stage. The C’s have it besting at 95 m.p.h. up to now. He additionally throws a curveball and a change-up.

“I would like to remain wholesome and I have to be constant,” Johnson mentioned when requested about what it’s going to take for him to maneuver up within the ranks. “I believe I’ve great things.”

He does come by his great things naturally. Dane Johnson, 55, pitched 12 years in professional ball after the Jays picked him within the second spherical of the 1984 draft. A 6-foot-5, 205-pound right-hander, he spent three seasons in The Present, together with going 4-1, with a 4.53 ERA, in 38 reduction outings for the Oakland Athletics in 1997.

“One of the best recommendation he’s ever given me has been to take it in the future at a time and attempt to management solely what you may management,” admitted Cobi, who says that his movement and mechanics are just like his father’s. “You’ll be able to overthink issues if you’re not cautious.

“He’s nice. We discuss a minimum of a few occasions per week. It’s my first yr in professional. He needs to know all the things I’m doing. We speak about baseball. We speak about all the things. He’s my dad.”

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