Hagadone returns to rehab after elbow surgery

Hagadone returns to rehab after elbow surgery

CLEVELAND -- Nick Hagadone was in the Indians' clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon, his left arm in a cast, chatting with teammates and in good spirits under the circumstances. The left-handed reliever is done for the season following surgery on his throwing elbow, but he is back rehabbing in Cleveland.

Hagadone considers himself fortunate, because his recent injury did not result in a second career Tommy John surgery. Instead, the pitcher fractured the medial epicondyle bone in the joint and, following a stabilization procedure performed by Dr. James Andrews last Thursday, Hagadone is expected to miss six-to-nine-months.

"It was one pitch. I think it was the fourth pitch of my rehab outing [on July 15]," Hagadone said. "It kind of felt like my whole elbow exploded. It's not really what you want to feel when you're on the mound. It swelled up really bad and I knew something was wrong. Luckily, it was the lesser of the issues they thought it could've been."

Manager Terry Francona echoed that sentiment.

"It's the lesser of two evils," Francona said. "You never want to have somebody have surgery, but if you're going to, this was better news than what could have been."

Tommy John surgery, which Hagadone had done on the same elbow in 2008, typically requires a 12-18 month recovery process.

The 29-year-old Hagadone, who was initially placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a back issue on July 8, has a 4.72 ERA in 143 games in parts of five seasons with Cleveland. This year, the lefty appeared in 36 games, posting a 4.28 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks in 27 1/3 innings. Cleveland transferred him to the 60-day DL on Tuesday.

Worth noting
• After reeling in star pitcher Johnny Cueto in a trade with the Reds on Sunday, Kansas City acquired utility man Ben Zobrist from the A's in a deal prior to Tuesday's game against Cleveland. Francona spent time with Zobrist on the Japan All-Star Series tour with the Major League All-Stars this past offseason.

"I've always been a big Zobrist fan from afar, for a while," Francona said. "I had a chance to be with him on that Japan tour this past winter. ... Watching him prepare was really a treat. I was really impressed. I teased him every day, I said, 'Hey man, you've got the wrong uniform on. I'm gonna stick an Indians uniform in your locker.'"

• The Indians have been linked to Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez in recent non-waiver Trade Deadline reports, and now Cleveland has been tied to Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna (currently in Triple-A). The Miami Herald reported that the Indians have inquired about Ozuna's availability, noting that the Marlins had sent scouts to Cleveland. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro tweeted that it "would take big return to move" Ozuna.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.