Dodgers, Angels notes: Some Dodgers pitchers owe much to Frank Jobe

first_imgThe odds have increased in the players’ favor over the years. Jobe originally gave John 100-to-1 odds of making a return to the major leagues. John went on to a long and storied career in baseball. Currently, the surgery carries a 95 percent success rate.Dodgers head athletic trainer Stan Conte said that even Jobe was slow to come around as a disciple of his own work.“He was strong enough to critique his own surgeries,” Conte said. “The willingness to risk his ego and reputation for the good of the player doesn’t happen very often.”Conte noted that Jobe only performed 16 Tommy John procedures between 1974 and 1986, “because he wasn’t quite sure it would work.”Besides Billingsley and Elbert, Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson and outfielder Carl Crawford owe their careers — at least, their speedy recovery from elbow injuries — to Jobe’s pioneering surgery.Their stories are part of the strong testament to Jobe’s skill and legacy.“There’s no question he’s a pioneer,” Conte said. “I think he would appreciate that title.”Dodgers beat RangersHanley Ramirez’s two-run homer in the first inning paced the Dodgers to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Texas Rangers at Camelback Ranch. Zach Lee threw two scoreless innings after allowing a double to Shin-Soo Choo to begin the game. Lee, whose Cactus League debut was delayed when he strained his right latissimus dorsi muscle early in camp, walked none and struck out one.Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig did not play because he was excused to deal with a “personal matter,” according to the club. He’s expected to return Sunday. Angels drop twinbillHector Santiago pitched four scoreless innings in the Angels’ split-squad loss to the Cubs, 3-2, at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The right-hander and projected fourth starter allowed one hit, walked none and struck out five facing a lineup of mostly minor leaguers.Michael Kohn and Buddy Boshers each threw a scoreless inning of relief. C.J. Cron and Raul Ibanez hit RBI singles, and Howie Kendrick went 2 for 3. Chris Valaika’s RBI double and Jorge Soler’s RBI triple in the ninth inning off Josh Wall gave the Cubs the lead in the ninth inning.Joe Blanton started the Angels’ other split-squad game, and allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 7-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields. Troy Tulowitzki hit two of the Rockies’ four home runs off Blanton.The right-hander, who is fighting for a job in the second year of his two-year contract, saw his Cactus League ERA rise to 14.29 in his second start.Matt Long (3 for 3), Tommy Field (2 for 3) and Andrew Romine (2 for 3) accounted for seven of the Angels’ nine hits.NotableZack Greinke will face live batters for the first time since straining a calf in his Cactus League debut Feb. 27. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Greinke will pitch against minor-league hitters at Camelback Ranch. … The Dodgers still have not scheduled Tommy John surgery for pitch Ross Stripling, who underwent a procedure Monday to remove bone spurs from his right elbow in an attempt to alleviate swelling. Stripling said the swelling has subsided already and he hopes to have the ligament-replacement surgery within two weeks. … Baseball’s new instant replay rule (7.13) will be in effect for the Angels’ next four games, beginning with today’s contest against the Arizona Diamondbacks. GLENDALE, Ariz. — Only a handful of current Dodgers players knew Dr. Frank Jobe as the club’s top physician. Some, like pitcher Clayton Kershaw, only remember Jobe issuing a routine physical after they were drafted into the organization. Being poked in the arm isn’t a powerful memory.Jobe, who died Thursday in Santa Monica at age 88, ceded the title of team doctor to become a special advisor to the chairman in 2008. Only nine current players (Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Scott Elbert, A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, Javy Guerra, Matt Kemp, Scott Van Slyke and Chris Withrow) were drafted or added to the Dodgers’ major-league roster prior to Jobe’s promotion.Two of those players owe Jobe a tremendous debt of gratitude, however, and they know it. Billingsley and Elbert both had Tommy John surgery to replace a ligament in their elbow last year. Jobe invented the surgical procedure in 1974 in order to repair a ruptured tendon in the left elbow of John, then a Dodgers pitcher. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “Neal ElAttrache did my surgery and he works at Kerlan-Jobe (Medical Center) in L.A.,” Billingsley said. “I can’t say enough about what (Jobe) has done for guys’ careers, inventing the surgery.”Billingsley, a first-round draft pick in 2003, didn’t know much about Jobe when he was given the standard physical after being drafted.“I was an 18-year-old kid, just graduating high school,” he said. “I’m just on cloud nine from being drafted in the first round. What the Dodgers really put in guys’ minds is the history of the organization. (Jobe) was definitely one of the guys you would hear discussed from the instructors, people in the organization. His name would come up all the time, just what he’s done for the Dodgers.”Both Billingsley and Elbert knew they were in good hands by trusting ElAttrache, a Jobe protege, and the surgery to do their work.“There’s a percentage that don’t come back from it but (the odds) were definitely in my favor,” Elbert said. “I put in the work, they’ve got it down to a science.”last_img read more