From the Myrtle Beach Pelicans
MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Atlanta Braves right-handed pitcher Scott Proctor will join the Myrtle Beach Pelicans beginning with the team's June 7 game against the Winston-Salem Dash as he continues his path back to the big leagues from 2009 Tommy John surgery. Proctor underwent Tommy John on May 8, 2009 and has been rehabbing with the Gwinnett Braves and the GCL Braves this season.
A fifth-round draft selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1998, Proctor has not pitched in a Major League Baseball game since September 26, 2008 because of injuries to his right elbow. During the 2008 season, the Stuart, Florida native missed 63 games due to elbow tendinitis in his pitching arm. After signing with the Florida Marlins in January of 2009, Proctor's elbow issues continued. He was placed on Florida's 15-day disabled list on March 27 with right elbow inflammation, and it was determined that he would need the reconstructive procedure shortly thereafter.
Proctor started his rehabilitation process with the Gwinnett Braves (AAA) on April 9 but struggled in the International League, making his first appearance just over 11 months after his surgery. Atlanta General Manager Frank Wren said after Proctor's eight appearances, in which he went 1-2 with an 11.25 ERA, "Once he got into a regular workload with Gwinnett, it was apparent that he needed more time. Rather than doing it haphazardly by starting the program in the middle, we went back to the start to make sure it's a progression we can continue to build off of." The Braves sent the right-hander to their spring training facility in Orlando in late April. For the last two months, he worked there throwing batting practice and pitching in simulated games.
Now 33 years old, Proctor broke into the major leagues with the New York Yankees in 2004, pitching in 26 contests and going 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Two years later, the Florida State University product pitched in 83 games for the Yankees and went 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA. In 2007, he returned to his original club when the Dodgers acquired him via the trade deadline on July 31. Combined between the Yankees and Dodgers that year, Proctor made 83 appearances, third-most of any pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Tommy John surgery is a reconstructive procedure that involves replacing a ligament in the medial elbow with a tendon from elsewhere in the body. Full rehabilitation usually takes around one year for pitchers who undergo the surgery. In 2009, fellow Braves pitcher and Tommy John rehabber Tim Hudson made six minor league rehab starts on his road back from surgery, two of them as a member of the Pelicans. Hudson first appeared in a Myrtle Beach uniform on July 19, less than a year after his August 8, 2008 Tommy John surgery. The right-hander has rebounded from his injury to start the 2010 campaign 6-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 12 starts.
The Pelicans begin a three-game series on Monday night with the Winston-Salem Dash in town. Southpaw Brett Oberholtzer (2-3, 5.03) gets the ball in the series opener for Myrtle Beach against Winston righty Nate Jones (4-2, 4.94). The first game of the series will be another installment of Kids Eat Free Monday in which all kids ages 12 and under receive a coupon for a free hot dog, chips, and a drink with the purchase of a game ticket. Tuesday is the team's first Bark in the Park Night where fans are invited to bring their furry four-legged friends to the park for the middle game of the three-game set.
For tickets, contact the Pelicans box office at (843) 918-6000 or (877) 918-TIXX or visit the Tickets page at MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.