By KEVIN HARRIS
NEW ALBANY —
New Albany High School senior Josh Rogers will miss the rest of the 2013 season after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow during last Saturday’s 5-1 victory against Fort Wayne Carroll at Mount Tabor Field.
According to New Albany baseball coach Chris McIntyre, Rogers will have Tommy John surgery to repair the elbow in late April or early May by Cincinnati Reds’ team doctor, Dr. Timothy Kremchek. McIntyre said a tendon from Rogers’ wrist will be taken out and put into his elbow.
“There is not a team in the state that can afford to lose an All-State pitcher,” McIntyre said. “Obviously, it changes our team quite a bit. But it will be other guys’ opportunity on our team to step up.”
Rogers, who signed a national letter of intent to pitch at the University of Louisville next season, is expected to have a recovery period of nine to 12 months, but it is up in the air whether he will be ready by the start of the 2014 season for the Cardinals.
Despite losing his best pitcher and top player, McIntyre looked on the bright side. He thinks the upcoming rehabilitation will help Rogers get in shape for his collegiate career.
“Actually, it’s good timing for him,” McIntyre said. “He’ll probably come back stronger than ever.”
McIntyre said that Rogers “felt an unusual soreness” during his four-inning stint on the mound against Carroll. McIntyre said Rogers felt pain that he had never felt before.
The left-hander pitcher was still effective against the Chargers, giving up one run on three hits with nine strikeouts.
Earlier this week, Rogers saw Kremchek and had an MRI done on his elbow, which confirmed the season-ending injury.
“[It] had to be one of the roughest days of my life. But [I’ve] appreciated all of the support,” Rogers told the Hoosier Hills Hoops website on Wednesday. “[I] won’t miss a practice or a game. My role is to now be a cheerleader for my team.”
Last year, Rogers posted an 8-1 record with a 0.77 earned-run average. In 63 innings pitched, he had 97 strikeouts and walked only 12 batters.