Without Bad Luck, He'd Have No Luck at All

Jarod Plummer seems to have the pitches to make an impression. He certainly possesses impeccable control. What he doesn't have, though, is luck. No, this is a guy that can't seem to catch a break.

Plummer has the size pitching coaches love to see in their protegees -- 6-5, 200. He's also as hard a worker as you can find. Yet, somehow just when it seems that he's ready to take his place among the better prospects in the organization, that fickle finger writes and out he goes again with an injury.

He broke in so well, too. He was drafted down in the 26th round of the 2002 selection process, not because he was an afterthought but because it was reported he was bound for college. The Dodgers came up with the cash to change his mind so he reported to the Gulf Coast entry and looked extremely sharp. His record was only 2-2 but he had a 2.94 ERA, and struck out 41 batters in 33.2 innings while walking only seven.

A guy that can throw strikes like that with good stuff is certainly a find. The Dodgers thought so, moving him up to Great Falls to help in the playoffs. Help? He was a whole fire and rescue team by himself, throwing eight shutout innings, while winning two games including the Pioneer League title clincher.

Clearly, he seemed destined for bigger things. However, in the off-season, back home in Texas, somebody jumped his buddy. Although not involved directly in the argument, Jarod leaped in to help a friend. The result was a broken hand and while he settled matters, he also wasn't able to pitch when spring training started.

After rehabbing the injury, he was back in the Gulf Coast League to tuneup, getting in four innings before being rushed up to the South Atlantic League franchise then known as South Georgia. He was rusty, though, and it showed as he was only 1-2, 4.34. He even walked 10 men in 18.2 innings, not typical of him at all. (He did strike out 21, however).

Last season he reported in shape only to start experiencing shoulder aches. He bean the year at Vero Beach, did okay, then had to be shut down. When he returned, it was back to Columbus where a 2-1, 2.45 mark was more in his style. He once again threw strikes, walking only five while fanning 23 in 22 innings. That got him back up to Vero where he finished 4-4, 3.86 with only 14 walks in 63 innings.

He seemed ready to make a move this spring only to have arm woes attack him once more. Used sparingly at Vero as a result, he managed to get in 11 innings for a 1-1, 2.31 mark that included the usual on-target pitches -- only four walks.

However, he was back on the sidelines again to rehab. Finally deemed ready for action, it was back down to Columbus once more. Not at all where he expected to be but at least he's a member of the starting rotation. He hasn't regained his full arm strength yet and is 2-1, 4.17. Still, if the opposition is waiting around to wear him down, they do it in vain for once more the control is nigh perfect. In the 41 innings he's thrown for the Catfish thus far he's given a free pass to just five men while striking out 39.

When he's right, he throws his fast ball in the low 90's with good secondary pitches. It's just that he hasn't been completely healthy in three years now. Still, he's out there throwing the ball over the plate and coaches will tell you good things usually happen if you can do that consistently. Maybe it's time Lady Luck agreed.