June 10, 2013 - Midwest League (MWL) - Clinton LumberKings
Appleton, WI - Seven months ago, Anthony Vasquez was on an operating table to undergo life-saving brain surgery. Fast forward to Monday night in Appleton, and the left-hander was back on the mound. Vasquez tossed five innings in his return to the mound in an 8-2 loss to the Timber Rattlers at Time Warner Cable Field.
Vasquez, an 18th round draft pick by Seattle in 2009, made his Major League debut on August 23, 2011 against the Cleveland Indians. That day, he became only the 10th Seattle Mariner to win his first start. He started seven games for Clinton in 2009 and eight games in 2010.
In 2012, Vasquez was sent to AAA-Tacoma were he started 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three starts. His numbers eventually tailed off and was placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation in early June and was shut down for the season.
Last November, Vasquez complained of headaches which eventually led to vision problems. The Mariners staff put Vasquez through an MRI which revealed a ruptured blood vessel in his brain. The rupture was caused by an arteriovenous malformation, a serious, and sometimes fatal neurological disorder.
Vasquez underwent a complex, life-saving, five-and-a-half hour brain surgery at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix to repair the damage.
Just three months after the serious injury, world-renowned surgeon Robert Spetzler, MD, cleared Vasquez to return to the Mariners training complex.
In his return to the mound, the left-hander allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits in five innings. With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth, Wisconsin plated two for a 4-2 lead. They scored four more in the seventh to build a comfortable 8-2 lead.
Clinton's offense was quieted by Wisconsin right-hander Tyler Wagner who scattered six hits over six innings. He earned his sixth win of the year, and second against the LumberKings. Jordy Lara was the only Clinton player to produce a multi-hit game. Vasquez was saddled with the loss.
The LumberKings return home for a three-game series against the Peoria Chiefs, their final home stand of the first
half. They send left-hander Tyler Pike (4-3, 2.55) to the mound against Chiefs' right-hander Silfredo Garcia (2-1,
5.84). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM CT at Ashford University Field.