A couple of weeks ago we learned that Pirates starter Jameson Taillon had to undergo season-ending surgery to repair his right flexor tendon. At the time it was reported that he did not need Tommy John surgery.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. During Taillon’s flexor tendon surgery on Tuesday the surgeon determined that he also needed Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and performed the procedure. It was the second time Taillon has had TJ surgery. He also missed time in 2017 due to testicular cancer. The guy has just been unable to catch a break.
Taillon, 27, has been out of action since May 5. Before that he allowed 24 runs (17 earned) on 34 hits and eight walks with 30 strikeouts in 37.1 innings spanning seven starts. All this comes a year after he showed tremendous promise in 2018, posting a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts.
Now he’s out until 2021.
Bobby Jenks was a key part of the 2005 world champion White Sox. By 2010, his effectiveness as a closer fell off and he signed with the Boston Red Sox for the 2011 season. He’d pitch in only 19 games that year, suffer a back injury and would never pitch again.
In the year or so after that, we heard that Jenks was arrested for driving under the influence. And then we heard that his back surgery was botched, and his baseball career was over. Then, after years of silence, we learned last spring that Jenks won $5.1 million in a medical malpractice suit against the doctor who performed his surgery.
We did not, however, know all the details until Bobby Jenks wrote about them at the Players’ Tribune this morning. This is must-click link stuff, folks.
Jenks talks about how a seemingly innocuous pitch to Jorge Posada in an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game in 2011 was the last pitch he’d ever throw. He talks about the presumably simple surgery that would supposedly get him back on the field. And then the scary complications in which he almost died due to leaking spinal fluid resulting from the botched surgery. Then, after using painkillers to deal with back pain, Jenks’ fell into drug addiction, all of which culminated in him finding himself half-naked and crazed in a car that didn’t belong to him with police and rescue workers surrounding him.
Jenks got clean but his wife left him. And then he mounted a multi-year lawsuit during which he learned that the reason his back surgery was screwed up was because the surgeon was performing two surgeries at one time, which is an apparently common practice called “concurrent surgery,” that sounds like it totally should NOT be a common practice.
Yet Jenks has survived. He’s been sober for over seven years and he seems to be in a good place. But boy did he have to go through something harrowing to get there. Definitely take the time to read it.