May 27, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kyle Drabek (4) throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsIt has been a little over a year since Kyle Drabek went under the knife and had his second Tommy John surgery of his career. On Saturday night in Dunedin, he appeared in his first game action since the surgery and hopefully took his first step on the road back toward rejoining the Toronto Blue Jays.
The initial results were not pretty, as Drabek was touched for 2 runs over 2.1 innings pitched, surrendering 5 hits, 2 walks, and striking out a pair. The big blow was a solo home run at the hands of Cubs prospect Javier Baez (ranked #15 in baseball by MLB.com).
Still, the statistics are of minimal concern to Drabek and the Blue Jays. He has a long way to go before the team starts examining his stats to determine if he’s ready to help the Major League club.
Drabek is slated to be on assignment for 30-days, and the Blue Jays intend to use every ounce of that time to determine what to do next. Given his injury history and relative ineffectiveness in the Major Leagues, the Blue Jays may opt to transition Drabek to a bullpen role where it would be less taxing on his arm and also give him a chance to focus on the pitches that make him effective.
The 25-year-old right-hander is coming off a disappointing season, cut short by the need for elbow surgery. He was 4-7 at the time of his injury with a 4.67 ERA, a 5.9 BB/9 ratio, and a 5.9 K/9 ratio. Over the course of his three-year Major League career, Drabek 8-15 with a 5.34 ERA, a 5.8 BB/9, and a 5.9 K/9.
The 18th pick in the 2006 Amateur Draft, Drabek was a big piece, along with Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Taylor, in the December 2009 trade that sent former ace Roy Halladay to the Philadelphia Phillies.