Gavin Floyd clears first hurdle in rehab from Tommy John surgery
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter September 14, 2013 10:48PM
Chicago White Sox Vs Tampa Bay Rays. Chicago White Sox pitcher No.34 Gavin Floyd, walks off the field with an injury in the 3rd Inning. Saturday April 27, 2013 I Photo by Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: October 16, 2013 6:59AM
White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd has gotten through the first hard part of recovering from Tommy John surgery.
The next hard part will be waiting to see where his career goes after the rehab process as he enters free agency.
“I started throwing two weeks ago, so I’m in the early stages of throwing,’’ said Floyd, 30, who had the procedure in May. “I started with short toss and now it’s medium toss.
“There’s a long-toss program and then there’s a mound-work program. After that it’s like, ‘You’re good,’ and then throwing every couple days. At that point I think my arm strength should be where it’s just going out there and getting innings pitched and mixing up pitches.
“There’s a process to this whole thing, so I’m going through the process and I feel good.
“The first throw, you’re like, ‘What’s it going to feel like?’ After that, it was good.’’
The Tommy John rehab process has become so common for pitchers some consider it inevitable for many throwers.
Because of that, some teams adopt the philosophy that it can be advantageous to take a pitcher post-surgery, knowing the elbow is probably going to be stronger for it.
The Cubs signed right-hander Scott Baker in the offseason even though he had not pitched all last season after his surgery in April.
Last season, the Cubs agreed to acquire pitcher Arodys Vizcaino from the Atlanta Braves while he was on the disabled list after his surgery as part of the trade for pitcher Paul Maholm.
And in 2004, they signed then-free agent Ryan Dempster after he had undergone the surgery in August of 2003 and was released by the Cincinnati Reds at the end of that season.
Floyd knows those kinds of signings have become more common, although he also realizes he faces the prospect of proving he can again be effective.
“I have no idea,’’ he said of the path ahead. “My agent [Mike Moye] is getting together with me in October to talk.
“Obviously, my focus is to get healthy and get back on the mound, and it’s all going to be a matter of seeing how things progress, and things will kind of sort themselves out.’’
The Sox have a laundry list of needs for next season, but pitching isn’t necessarily one of them.
“We’ll take a look at where Gavin is in his rehab and how the roster is coming together this offseason and then decide the best course of action,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said.
Floyd is staying positive.
“I’ve worked my butt off to try to come back as wisely and as quickly as possible,’’ he said. “There have been a lot of guys who have had Tommy John and been in very similar situations. Everybody heals differently. So far, things have been going smoothly. I guess, in time, we’ll find out.’’
The Sox acquired Floyd and pitcher Gio Gonzalez from the Philadelphia Phillies in December of 2006 for pitcher Freddy Garcia. Floyd’s best season was 2008 when he finished 17-8 with a 3.84 ERA. It was the only season he reached the 200-innings mark with 2061/3.
His record in seven seasons with the Sox is 63-65 and he is 70-70 in his career.