Texas Rangers

This Rangers prospect is throwing off a mound again nearly a year after Tommy John surgery

When the Texas Rangers beat writers last saw Cole Ragans in late October, he was finishing up a throwing program from his Tommy John surgery last March, but not before skipping town for a week to get married.

All went well then, the left-hander said on Friday, and all is going really well for him physically. He is throwing off a mound again, and he has had no issues with his repaired elbow.

Ragans said that he has thrown off a mound for two weeks, reaching 25 pitches this week, and will begin to incorporate changeups in his next few bullpen sessions. He hopes to start throwing all of his pitches in a couple of weeks, and he sees the light at the end of the tunnel – pitching in games.

“I want to say end of April or beginning of May,” he said. “I have to build up to five innings here and then join a team. Everything feels great. My elbow, no soreness, no tightness, nothing.”

Ragans was considered a top-five prospect entering last spring before he was injured in minor-league spring game. He underwent surgery March 28, 2018.

He has slid to the Rangers’ No. 12 prospect in the latest rankings by the fine folks at Baseball America, but the Rangers still consider him a key piece of their rebuild.

Ragans said that the excitement is building, but he’s still months away from pitching in a regular-season game.

“I’m trying to stay in the moment, because I know I’ve still got four or five months,” Ragans said. “It’s getting exciting because I’m about to be able to start throwing all pitches, and then live BPs where I get to face actual hitters, and then I get into a game. It’s exciting to look forward, but at the same time I need to stay in the moment and get my work in.”

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.