by: Phil Orban Updated:CHARLOTTE —
Knights starter Scott Carroll had his scoreless inning streak stopped at 19 in a loss to Gwinnett Saturday night, but he still leads the league in ERA among pitchers with at least four starts.
Carroll bounced back quickly in his first season removed from major elbow surgery.
A torn ulnar collateral ligament used to mean a player’s pitching career was over, now it means Tommy John surgery and a year-long recovery that challenges physical and emotional toughness.
“When you’re first coming back from Tommy John surgery you don’t have anything to do but rest and let it recover itself,” Carroll said.
Master the monotony of sudden inactivity and it is time to build arm strength back. Once a player’s arm is healthy, the next battle is mental.
“Depending on what pitch they tore their elbow on they’re kind of hesitant and tentative to throw that pitch coming back from surgery,” said Carroll.
Carroll has been nearly untouchable in the first month of the season after missing all of 2013 with a torn UCL. He did not allow an earned run in his first three starts, all of which were wins.
“I’ve really just embraced this whole process and taken it on and realized this is an opportunity I’m given. I’ve got a new arm, I’m just going to take that opportunity as something good and just keep riding this wave,” Carroll said.
If Carroll keeps pitching like he has to start the season that new arm could be headed to Chicago soon.