Monday, February 23, 2009

Voyageurs: No breaking sidearmer's spirit

David Wasylak should not be, which is meant in the most positive light possible.

There was an item on The Canadian Press wire noting the Ottawa Voyageurs and American Association's Grand Prairie AirHogs have swapped lefty pitcher Jacob Ramos for Wasylak. The 26-year-old sidearmer was in the Can-Am League briefly with Qu├ębec and Worcester last season (he's a Massachusetts native).

Wasylak suffered a major compound fracture in his right forearm as a teen and suffice to say, it looked like he was going to lose the arm:
"... it was a long time before physicians knew, one way or the other, how much use Wasylak would regain in the arm. When the cast came off, the fingers on his right hand were motionless. It was almost a year before he could use a knife to cut a steak. Driving was out of the question because he could muster no strength in the arm."
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, June 2006
Wasylak also lost his father at an early age and made his way through three college programs, helping Lubbock Christian University make an appearance in the NAIA World Series in '06. He had a 3.63 ERA with Laredo in the United League last season and did not allow a home run in 34 2/3 innings, averaging just more than a strikeout per frame (albeit on a team which averaged almost that many; there's a lot of free swingers in that league).

This is not meant to be a testimonial to Wasylak's ability, but it's hard not to hope it works out for someone. Pitching coach Mike Kusiewicz battled arm problems throughout his playing career and eventually dropped down and became a sidearmer, so it figures that the Voyageurs might take a chance on one.

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