CINCINNATI -- Right-hander Vincent Velasquez, the Astros' second-round Draft pick this year, is eager to get his rehab under way and start the long road to recovery after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Wednesday in Houston.
Velasquez, taken at No. 58 out of Pomona, Calif., tore a ligament in his elbow throwing a fastball Aug. 24 while pitching for Rookie League Greeneville. He's likely going to miss all of next season and is targeting to return in time for the 2011 instructional league.
"Every pitcher has a setback, every player has a setback at some point in their lives," Velasquez said. "Everybody goes through it. I'm not worried because I still have a lot of years of development. I'm sure when I come back after the Tommy John surgery I'll be stronger than my ability, and I won't be worried because I know that since I've been through Tommy John, I've got nothing else to worry about."
Velasquez is recuperating at his home in California and will have the stitches removed in two weeks. He plans to report to Kissimmee, Fla., in about a month to begin his rehab, but he won't be able to throw a baseball for six months. He turned 18 years old in June and figures to have a bright future.
"A lot of people come back strong," he said. "I'm looking at the bright side of this, just trying to develop and get stronger. That's only going to benefit me. The thing about it was it really wasn't a complete tear, so that's a plus. It's good to get it over and get it done."