Your heart has to go out to Orioles southpaw Adam Loewen. The 24-year-old could be facing a career-ending injury. Tests done on his surgically repaired elbow are not good. He has reinjured the stress fracture in his throwing elbow that caused him to miss most of last season and almost all of this season.
Loewen spent some time letting reality set in after the game on Sunday. He sat in the player's lounge at the Yard and didn't feel up to facing reporters. Dave Trembley spoke to Loewen yesterday and said he's "down". That's understandable.
The lefty handled the original injury at the beginning of the 2007 season like a pro. Loewen was patient and diligent in his rehab and thought he was healthy enough to return at the beginning of this season, even though he had a 4-inch titanium screw in his elbow.
He was wrong. Pain forced him to go on the disabled list last April, upon which he spent a little over 2 months rehabbing down in the Minor Leagues. Even then, Loewen never appeared frustrated and handled the setback with his upbeat, positive personality.
The news that the pieces of bones that were being held together by the screw have split apart once again is devastating. This could be an injury that could take a very long time to heal--if at all. It's a tough reality to come to terms with. Loewen will talk to Dr. James Andrews, the famed orthopedic surgeon who performed his original surgery, to discuss his chance of recovery.
It's a tough lesson that life isn't fair and that bad things happen sometimes to good people. Loewen is very well-liked and has a tremendous amount of talent. It would be hard to accept that his arm is shot. We'll have to wait and see.
If Loewen is done, it will be a huge loss for the Orioles organization. He was their 2002 first-round draft pick and signed for $4 million. It was the biggest contract given to a draft pick up to that point in time. He, along with Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, was one of the cornerstones on which the Orioles' future plans were to be built.
If there is a silver lining, it's that Loewen is just 24 and left-handed. If rehab is possible, even it takes a couple years, he may be able to hold onto the hope that one day he could make a comeback. As Jim Palmer says, "If he's left-handed and breathing, he can always find a job."