By: Lauren Cascagnette
DUNEDIN, Fla. — Toronto Blue Jays pitching prospect Ryan Borucki had to shut down too early for his liking last season with the Vancouver Canadians.
Borucki was sidelined after pitching only 6.2 innings because of his elbow, but that has not stopped him from having a positive outlook on his professional future.
Having Tommy John surgery in his senior year of high school did not stop the left-handed pitcher from continuing to strive for his baseball goals, regardless of the difficulty.
“[The injury] was frustrating for me because I feel like I could’ve done a lot better,” said Borucki, sitting on a sunny bench at the team’s minor league complex. “But when you get hurt, you look, you regret things.
“First day I get here, I throw bullpen and my elbow started flaring up, and it was frustrating, but everything happens for a reason. I try to make the best out of everything, I don’t dwell on too much stuff.”
After going through the surgery at a young age and crucial time in his professional career, Borucki’s mentality on his health has been swayed.
“I’m more cautious about how I’m feeling all the time,” he said. “I don’t just run out without doing rehab stuff. Last year I used to rush out. It’s not added pressure, but I want to be able to be healthy.”
That means having a much different routine than when he was 18 and 19.
Borucki credits his father with getting him into the game.
“My dad (Ray) … he played professional baseball and he got all the way up to triple-A (with the Phillies organization in 1982),” said the pitcher. “He took me everywhere, threw me in batting practice, caught my bullpen, stuff like that.
“He really pushed me, I’m basically the product of him. He really pushed me and molded me the way I am.”
However, Borucki’s dad was not too fond of the position his son chose.
“He was a third baseman. Funny thing about it is he always says he hates pitchers,” the Jays prospect said. “He always tells everyone that he coaches how much he hates pitchers, but ironic enough I’m a pitcher.”