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PhoulBallz Interview: RHP Ben Brown talks TJ recovery, O'Hoppe, cancelled season

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Out of action since last May when it was determined he required Tommy John surgery, righty pitching prospect Ben Brown is using the downtime of the pandemic hiatus to continue his physical recovery. 

A 33rd round draft selection of the Phillies back in 2017, Brown made his professional debut that same year, posting a 2.57 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP in 10 appearances in the rookie level Gulf Coast League. 

The following season, Brown began to make a name for himself in the GCL, striking out 16 batters in one July appearance.  He would post a 3.12 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 10 games (eight starts) before earning a promotion and finishing the season with a pair of outings with Class A short-season Williamsport.

Brown, a Long Island, NY native, opened last year with Class A Lakewood.  In four appearances with the BlueClaws, he struck out 20, walked four and allowed no runs in 13 2/3 innings and looked well on his way to making an impact on betting odds and available promo codes before he was sidelined with the elbow injury.

This week, I talked with the 20-year-old Brown about his rehabilitation progress, missing out on the 2020 season and more.  Read ahead for that complete interview.


-Where are you in terms of recovery and what is the routine for you as of late?

I am about 14 months out of surgery now, still continuing to build back arm strength. Im at the point where I really don’t need much 1 on 1 rehabilitation attention but i’m lucky to have great trainers up here to take care of me when I need it. My days consist of early morning yoga, mid day throwing and post throw pilates or lift depending on the day.

-To get a better idea of your recovery, if a minor league season was taking place, where would you be at this stage?  Rehab games?  Not there yet?  Beyond that?

If there were a season I would be right around the point where I would be returning to games. I’m a little pushed back due to COVID, but I will definitely be ready to go and built up for 2021 or any opportunity that might come before that.

-It seems you had the chance to work with fellow Long Islander Logan O'Hoppe a bit.  Can you give some thoughts on him and how excited the LI crew was for his inclusion in the Phillies' player pool this year?

Logan is the best. We are all so proud of him and, honestly, we are not surprised at all. He works so hard and is always doing things to mentally and physically better himself. I was able to throw with him before he left and it's hard to believe that he is only 20 years old.  He is so advanced behind the plate.

-What was your reaction to the cancellation of the season?

I was really upset. I know that I wouldn’t be back till late this year, but a lot of my teammates and friends were really looking great this spring training and I was looking forward to seeing them succeed.

-What was the hardest part about the injury for you and are there any big lessons you can take from it to help you moving forward?

Hardest part of my injury was definitely the feeling of not having control of whether or not my elbow was gonna recover. There are so many bad days and bad weeks, so I was constantly in a mental and physical battle. Thankfully, I also had a lot of really good days and weeks that would get me through the hard times.

-How much baseball are you watching now that MLB has returned?

I have not stopped watching. I have a pretty good setup with a game playing on the TV and a game playing on my computer every night.

-Do you report on your pitching work to anyone with the Phillies or are you given a program and they trust you to stick to it?

I'm in contact almost every day with the training staff regarding how I am feeling and what my throwing program will be like for the week. They have been awesome and whenever I'm feeling any sort of discomfort they are on the phone with me right away. Very grateful for how I have been treated during the rehab process. Our trainer Alex Plumm is just incredible. As for the baseball side we all have weekly phone calls with pitching coaches and we send in video and things like that.

-Do you have any TV, book or video game recommendations for people still dealing with lockdowns?

Honestly, I haven’t really watched much during this quarantine, besides baseball, and regretfully I have not read anything either.  Lots of pitching lessons and landscaping for my uncle’s company take up a lot of that quarantine free time.

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