Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Phil Humber entered the league with the New York Mets. A first-round pick out of Rice in 2004, Humber had Tommy John surgery in 2005. After bouncing around the league for a few seasons, Humber settled down with the Chicago White Sox. The righty enjoyed what is sure to be the highlight of his career on April 21, 2012, when he threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners.
Tommy John surgery success stories
Tommy John underwent a radical new procedure in 1974 that allowed him to pitch for another decade and a half. Well, the surgery that now carries Tommy John's name has an impressive list of players who have managed to come back as strong as ever. Here's a look at some of the best success stories.
Smoltz converted to reliever after having Tommy John surgery in 2001 and tacked on 154 saves to an already impressive career. He retired in 2009.
Wagner missed most of 2009, but returned and wound up traded to the Red Sox. He joined the Braves for a final season in 2010, notching his 400th career save against the Tigers.
Wilson was drafted by the Giants in 2003 and underwent the procedure that same year. He eventually made his major league debut in 2006 and has been a fixture as the Giants closer. Unfortunately, Wilson had to undergo another TJ surgery in April 2012.
Soria had Tommy John surgery before his major league career even began, but he's managed to become an elite reliever (despite playing in Kansas City).
Liriano struggled in his first season back, but was a big reason the Twins won the AL Central in 2010, being named the AL Comeback Player of the Year. He also pitched a no-hitter in 2011.
Hudson had surgery in August 2008 and didn't return until after the All-Star break in 2009, but managed to show the Braves enough to get a three-year extension. Oh yeah, he made the All-Star team in 2010 to boot.
Dempster actually made it back to the mound in just under a year after having the procedure in 2003. He's had stints as a dominant reliever and a serviceable starter since.
Burnett missed the Marlins' championship run in 2003 when he left after four starts to have the surgery. That's OK, he had several impressive years since and won a title with the Yankees in 2009. He now pitches for the Pirates.
Carpenter missed 465 days after having the procedure in 2007, and won the 2009 Comeback Player award in his return, going 17-4 with a 2.24 ERA. He was also crucial to the Cards' World Series win in 2011.
Moyer missed the 2011 season after Tommy John surgery and returned at age 49 to make an impressive run at the record books, making the Rockies 2012 roster and quickly becoming the oldest pitcher to ever win a game.
It's too early to tell what the long-term prognosis is going to be for the Nats phenom, but since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Strasburg is every bit as impressive as the 2010 rookie version that wowed the baseball world. The right-hander's velocity and control are intact.