What is it like to recover from Tommy John surgery?

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Phillies reliever Mario Hollands underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow last April, knocking him out for the season and cutting into a part of his 2016 campaign as well. We read and hear about the surgery so often that it no longer seems like a big deal, but Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer investigated Hollands’ recovery and it really makes you feel for the ever increasing amount of pitchers requiring the procedure.

But few are prepared for the sort of mental and physical stress of a yearlong rehab. Six days a week. The same people, the same exercises. Every day. The easiest tasks, like straightening a left arm that earned Hollands more than $1 million over the last two seasons, are impossible.

“They didn’t tell me,” Hollands said, “how miserable the first three months were going to be.”

Hollands added, “It feels like I was in a coma for a year.” While he was rehabilitating in Florida, the Phillies continued their rebuilding process. Faces Holland was familiar with are now on different teams — like Ken Giles — and the team has brought in new players to replace them. Hollands said he was mostly alone in Florida aside from an occasional visit by his friends.

Gelb notes, at the beginning of the column, that Hollands read “probably 30 books” during his rehab process. The yearlong rehab process included seeing the same faces and doing the same exercises over and over.

That sounds like enough to drive one stir crazy. And it makes you appreciate the myriad pitchers to undergo the surgery and have to put in the hard work to get back to the majors.

Padres claim 2-time All-Star catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from Mets

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — The scuffling San Diego Padres claimed catcher Gary Sánchez off waivers from the New York Mets.

The two-time All-Star was designated for assignment after playing in three games for the Mets. He went 1 for 6 with three strikeouts and an RBI, looking shaky at times behind the plate.

With the disappointing Padres (24-29) getting meager offensive production at catcher, they hope Sánchez can provide a boost. Austin Nola is batting .131 with three extra-base hits and a paltry .434 OPS in 39 games. His part-time platoon partner, second-stringer Brett Sullivan, is hitting .170 with four extra-base hits and a .482 OPS in 21 games since getting called up from the minors April 16.

Luis Campusano has been on the injured list since April 17 and is expected to be sidelined until around the All-Star break following left thumb surgery.

San Diego is responsible for just over $1 million in salary for Sánchez after assuming his $1.5 million, one-year contract.

The star-studded Padres have lost seven of 11 and are 3-3 on a nine-game East Coast trip. They open a three-game series at Miami.

San Diego becomes the third National League team to take a close look at the 30-year-old Sánchez this season. He spent time in the minors with San Francisco before getting released May 2 and signing a minor league contract a week later with the Mets, who were minus a couple of injured catchers at the time.

After hitting well in a short stint at Triple-A Syracuse, he was promoted to the big leagues May 19. When the Mets reinstated catcher Tomás Nido from the injured list last week, Sánchez was cut.

Sánchez’s best seasons came early in his career with the New York Yankees, where he was runner-up in 2016 AL Rookie of the Year voting and made the AL All-Star team in 2017 and 2019.

He was traded to Minnesota before the 2022 season and batted .205 with 16 homers and 61 RBIs in 128 games last year.

With the Padres, Sánchez could also be a candidate for at-bats at designated hitter, where 42-year-old Nelson Cruz is batting .245 with three homers, 16 RBIs and a .670 OPS, and 37-year-old Matt Carpenter is hitting .174 with four homers, 21 RBIs and a .652 OPS.