Emergency Break

It's been an interesting month for Drew Pomeranz, to say the least. Make that year.

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The former Ole Miss left-handed pitcher, the fifth pick in the 2010 MLB draft last June by the Indians, was traded to the Rockies after moving up the Indians ladder this year. Remember, a lot of Ole Miss fans held out hope last summer Pomeranz would return for his senior season.

Hope without hope, actually. Fifth picks in the draft don't return for more schooling. They play professional ball. And Pomeranz did, signing his $2.65 million bonus on Aug. 16, 2011. A year and one day later, a timeframe as allowed by MLB, his trade to the Rockies was finalized.

Then after only one outing in Tulsa, he had an emergency appendectomy. He made a start for Tulsa on Wed., Aug. 17 with the Colorado GM and other members of the Rockies front office in attendance.

On 23 days of rest, Pomeranz retired the first 19 batters he faced and finished with seven innings of scoreless, two-hit baseball.

Then came Saturday.

"I had surgery Saturday night," Pomeranz said. "My parents drove through the night (from Memphis to Tulsa), and I came home for a few days. Until Friday."

That was the recovery time they said he would need. A week, basically. Appendectomies aren't what they used to be. They even said he could throw again soon.

He's had an impressive year. There was no hint, however, that he might have been traded. At least not until just a few weeks ago.

Drew Pomeranz
Bruce Newman

"I didn't expect it," he said. "Teams do what they have to do. They have their reasons, and you've just go to adjust. It's all basically the same thing, just in a different place and with a different team."

Pomeranz said he was told from the start to be ready for anything. He said Indians' relief pitcher Chad Durbin had some sound advice.

"I talked to him every day (when both were in the Indians organization). He said ‘Always keep your bags packed.' I really hadn't had time to settle anywhere anyway."

His pro career has been solid. As a matter of fact, Pomeranz said he felt all his outings had been good.

"I don't think I had a bad one," he said.

Which is why he is on pace to be a Major League pitcher before much longer. Could it be this fall? Will the Rockies call him up in September? Reports were he might be called up – before the surgery sidelined him, that is.

"Once they start letting me throw again (this weekend), I should be good to go," Pomeranz said. "I'll just wait and see."

There have been some surprises so far, like last weekend when the illness hit.

"It was bothering me Saturday after I woke up," Pomeranz said. "They say it's emergency when it's your appendix. They usually do it right on the spot, so I guess that's why they call it an emergency. The procedure, from what I hear, takes about 20 minutes. It's so minor."

Of course, he wouldn't know exactly how long it took since he was under anesthesia. And after that, he didn't want to just sit around the house.

"So I came down to Oxford (Tuesday), because I got bored," he said.

A little time to catch his breath, although not the way he would have wanted a break from baseball. And now it's back to the Drillers to see if he will be called up. He meets his Tulsa teammates in Little Rock Friday.

"It's been a pretty interesting summer for me," Pomeranz said.

Make that an interesting year. Nobody can dispute that.

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