Brigham confident despite injury

While pitching at instructs, Rangers prospect Jacob Brigham learned that he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery. Lone Star Dugout spoke with the 19-year-old about his development, his surgery, and his thoughts.

In his first full season of professional baseball, Jacob Brigham had an extremely successful year. The 19-year-old right-handed pitcher made 15 starts with the Spokane Indians and posted a 3.16 ERA.

But not long into his stint with the Rangers' fall instructional league team in Arizona, Brigham learned that he would need to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

The news was certainly a surprise to Brigham, who felt healthy at instructs.

"I just sort of got into instructs and I felt really good," said Brigham. "I was throwing harder than I had the whole season. I felt really good.

"I just thought it was a little dead arm maybe so they shut me down and they got an MRI just sort of as precaution. Nobody really thought anything was really wrong. It ended up being torn."

Brigham specifically was working to improve his fastball command and his changeup before the injury. The Florida native had pitched in two games and was pleased with his progress.

"I pitched in two games at instructs," he said. "I made great improvements and it was a really good instructs before I found out I was having surgery."

After going under the knife on Wednesday, Brigham plans to report to the club's minor league complex in Surprise, Ariz., the next day.

"I'll be in Arizona right after surgery for a solid year of rehab," explained Brigham. "I have surgery on Wednesday and I'll be out there on Thursday."

The pitcher's rehab schedule will begin light and slowly grow until he is able to throw a baseball once more.

"Just sort of making sure the healing process is going well and making sure the surgery went well as far as infection and all that," said Brigham when asked about going to Arizona. "After about a month, we'll start doing rehab and various small things. Four months I believe is when I first pick up a baseball."

Despite the 2008 season-ending injury, Brigham remains confident that he will stay the same on the mound.

"I see myself as a power pitcher and I'm still going to be a power pitcher," he said. "I don't think [the surgery] will affect me. I'm going to learn a lot from it of course. It's going to make me stronger as a pitcher more than anything.

"I'll definitely be back, that's for sure."

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