July 18, 2006
The following excerpt from Chris Jackson's Minor League Report ran in the July 16 edition of the Daily Breeze.
For every pitcher that has a miraculous comeback from Tommy John surgery, there are many more who do not.
Former El Segundo and Loyola Marymount left-hander Billy Traber has had a bumpy road back since he was shut down late in his rookie season with the Cleveland Indians in 2003 to have the reconstructive procedure on his elbow.
"When you sit out a year and a half, you forget how to play, your body has to be re-trained," Traber said. "Coming back strong right away? Honestly, that rarely ever happens."
After missing all of 2004, he took the long road back last season, working his way up from single-A Kinston to double-A Akron and triple-A Buffalo. Between the three levels he went 8-11 with a 4.83 ERA.
"What I was told and what I lived for about 18 months -- even more when you count that season in '05 -- is you're just trying to get back on your feet," Traber said. "Where you want to be is throwing easy and pain-free. It may not be the hardest and be the most accurate, but if you're doing it without pain, it's a step forward."
To read the entire article on Traber, click here.