The San Diego Padres announced that right-handed pitchers Reggie Lawson underwent successful Tommy John surgery on Friday. Not the best-case scenario for Lawson, but he has the proper mentality to survive this bump in the road.
For a pitcher, the life of a professional baseball player can be very rough.
News of an elbow issue for Lawson was not a surprise, as the pitcher reported elbow issues to begin the 2019 season while throwing in Amarillo. Instead of having surgery, the pitcher elected for PPR (platelet-rich plasma) injections into the elbow. The early response was excellent as Lawson threw well in the Arizona Fall League and the Don Welke Classic.
His velocity was back in the mid-’90s with his fastball, and the pitcher was really starting to show promise with his curveball and his changeup. Things were promising for Lawson as he prepared for his first major league camp in Peoria.
In speaking to Lawson a few weeks ago, the pitcher was in great spirits. He was excited to be in spring camp as we discussed his health and life in general. Lawson reported that his elbow felt fine, and he was focused on improving his offspeed deliveries. The pitcher seemed very positive about his future.
The conversation that morning turned towards Kobe Bryant. The pitcher was still visibly shaken from the loss of the basketball player. At the time we spoke, the death of Bryant rang fresh in the minds of us both. It had only happened a few weeks prior. Lawson spoke about how hard Bryant worked day in and day out on preparation and the little things. The Padres’ pitcher spoke about the proper mentality and how Bryant was a great inspiration to him. “I live by that mentality now,” Lawson proclaimed.
Reggie Lawson pitched well this spring in Peoria, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out three batters while only allowing one hit. The further injury to his elbow happened in his last spring appearance, which was the day before baseball halted play for the Padres. The setback is a tough blow for Lawson, but he has the personality to persevere.
The road will be long for Lawson, but he is certainly up for the challenge.
At 22, there is still plenty of time for this native of California to get back onto the field and perform. The native of California is a tremendous worker off the field. Numerous minor league players and coaches speak of Lawson’s relentless work ethic. That “Mamba Mentality” is going to be tested, but Lawson will surely respond from the challenge just fine.