Thursday, June 18, 2009
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Some players make it back from reconstructive elbow surgery faster than others. Atlanta Braves pitching prospect Tim Gustafson wasn't one of the lucky ones.
The former Parkview and Georgia Tech standout had his 2007 season cut short by elbow problems and missed almost all of last year after surgery, making just three brief appearances in the rookie Gulf Coast League before having a setback.
Gustafson is back on the mound now, though, and has advanced three levels in three months, going from low Class A Rome, to high Class A Myrtle Beach to Class AA Mississippi.
Gustafson, 24, was a starter at Rome before being hurt, but is working out of the bullpen in his comeback. He has made 17 appearances, three with Mississippi since being promoted in early June.
The former football and baseball standout at Parkview had his most success this year while at Myrtle Beach. The ninth-round pick by Atlanta in 2006 had a 2.03 ERA in 10 games for the Pelicans in the Carolina League.
Former South Gwinnett and Georgia outfielder Joey Side is just starting his rehab from the reconstructive elbow surgery he underwent this spring. The Arizona Diamondbacks prospect will miss this season.
Side, 25, tried to rehab his elbow after missing most of last season at Visalia in the high Class A California League, but finally had to have surgery.
Side was a sixth-round draft choice by Arizona after playing for Georgia in the 2006 College World Series. He spent his first full season at low Class A South Bend in 2007, hitting .291 and playing in the Midwest League all-star game.