Braves' prospect Cole Rohrbough pitched in his first Extended Spring Training game this afternoon, which is the first major step in his recovery from rotator cuff tendonitis.
Rohrbough threw two perfect innings, six up and six down, with two strikeouts in the appearance. He's scheduled to have three or four more outings to work up to five innings and then leave Orlando on May 14th for one of the Braves' minor league affiliates.
"It felt good," Rohrbough said. "No pain or anything."
The left-hander first experienced some pain in his shoulder after his second live batting practice outing in spring training. He then was brushing his teeth when his shoulder started hurting, which made him go in the next day and tell the trainers.
"It was a pain I never felt before," according to Rohrbough. "The pain just never went away. The trainers said it was bicep tendonitis, so they just shut me down."
The Braves then sent Rohrbough for a MRI on his shoulder, and Dr. Xavier Duralde, Atlanta's Lead Orthopedist, happened to be in Orlando and read the report. His diagnosis was rotator cuff tendonitis, with no tear, and Rohrbough was simply instructed to rest his arm.
"They just told me it was wear and tear on my arm," Rohrbough explained. "It was a huge relief (it wasn't more serious)."
The Braves gave Rohrbough some anti-inflammatory medicine and immediately put him on some strengthening exercises for his shoulder. While all of his teammates were heading out to either Rome or Myrtle Beach, Rohrbough had to stay behind in Orlando at the team's spring training complex.
"It's been a drag," Rohrbough admitted. "I'm anxious to get out of here. Orlando is fun, but it's tough knowing everyone has gotten started."
Rohrbough does not expect any discomfort in his arm. He said he's fine tonight after his appearance this afternoon, and Rohrbough does not anticipate any pain Tuesday when he wakes up. He's already had several sessions off the mound and has not felt any discomfort.
The Braves have not said where they will send Rohrbough when he's sent to a team. He was 2-0 in Rome last season in six starts and had a 1.29 ERA, with 38 strikeouts in 28 innings. Rohrbough was perhaps projected for Myrtle Beach before his injury, but the Braves may send him back to Rome for a few weeks to get more work there before they send him to the Carolina League.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at email@example.com.
Rohrbough gets work in Extended
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