Saturday, March 13, 2010

Name that Twin, Part 4

The new mystery Twin is to the right.

Yesterday's was pitcher Loek Van Mil, the Dutch prospect most known for being the tallest man to play professional baseball (he's 7-foot-1.)

But of more immediate interest: He suffered a partial tear of his UCL in 2008 and has not undergone Tommy John surgery. He's rehabbed and pitched with it — which is what Joe Nathan hopes to do with his injury.

As I understand it — and any reader who knows more about orthopedics than I do is more than welcome to chime in — this is an option if the damage is close to the muscle, where the ligament is thicker and stronger.

That was the case with Van Mil. Pat Neshek, on the other hand, had his tear close to the bone. His attempt to rehab failed.

I have not seen any published information on where Nathan's tear is. To me, the fact that he's seeking second and third opinions hints that rehab is a realistic option. Or perhaps it's an act of desperation; Nathan is already at an advanced age for a pitcher, and recovering from ligament replacement surgery is not a hasty process.

Getting back to Van Mil: He's raw, he's barely pitched above A ball, and he's no real threat to make the major league roster in 2010, maybe not even 2011. A lot of talent — he's said to have a mid-90s fastball — but not a lot of innings, and coming out of Europe, he was notably inexperienced as an amateur. A real work in progress.

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