3 Tommy John comeback stories to keep hopes alive for Rangers ace Jacob deGrom

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You’ve heard of tropes that involve falling down and getting back up again.

There are other ways to cope with loss, like watching a romantic comedy after a breakup or looking up draft picks after the Mavericks get bounced from the regular season. Too soon on that one, too?

If you’re a Rangers fan, it might sting to think about a Jacob deGrom return. That pesky elbow surgery will keep the Rangers ace out for a year and change. His five-year, $185 million deal is something the Rangers have to deal with, not those of you at home. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cope.

How about a comeback story? Nothing quite like the odds being stacked against a player and watching them return to glory.

DeGrom’s former manager Buck Showalter said it himself. You can come back from these injuries now, including the dreaded Tommy John surgery. It’s not the same deadly blow it once was to a hurler’s career.

Here are a couple of comeback stories to keep your hopes alive for deGrom in the 2024(?) season and beyond, even if the Rangers seem just fine without him.

Yeah, Jacob deGrom

DeGrom changed the way Tommy John surgery was viewed. He underwent surgery in October 2010 and came back in May 2012, and until that point, no pitcher had ever won a Cy Young after that procedure.

Of course, deGrom did. Keep in mind that deGrom will probably be 36 years old by the time he pitches again for Texas, but Justin Verlander proved career years are possible near 40 years old. DeGrom got his Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019 and was an All-Star in 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2021.

Yu Darvish

Yu probably saw this one coming, huh? Sorry.

The former Texas Ranger had Tommy John surgery in March 2015. He was a three-time All-Star in Texas before the injury. About as derailing of a moment in a pitcher’s career as possible.

Darvish has been serviceable if not good in most of his seasons since. He started for the Rangers again in 2016 and 2017 (All-Star). He was 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA for the Padres 2022 and had another All-Star selection the year prior.

Maybe Rangers pitchers aren’t completely cursed?

Stephen Strasburg

It’s fair for Rangers fans to be thinking about a World Series right now.

Texas is off to its best start in franchise history (40-20), Nathan Eovaldi is dealing, Marcus Semien is leading a sizzling offense and the bullpen is improving. The Rangers are winning games without deGrom.

Can this continue when he returns? Too forward thinking. But Strasburg showed winning a World Series after Tommy John surgery is doable. Heck, he was the 2019 World Series MVP nine years after he underwent the procedure. He has a 1.46 ERA in the postseason.

This isn’t to promise a deGrom comeback for the ages. But it’s a decent way to cope, or even be hopeful.