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From almost career ending to star pitcher, Dylan Cease keeps on amazing

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Forty years ago, an injured elbow for a pitcher signaled the end of their career.

But then came Tommy John Surgery, and for South Bend Cubs pitcher, Dylan Cease, luckily it did.

"I think about that all the time the fact that they can take a ligament out of your hamstring and drill a hole in your bone and tie it through in your elbow and you get to play again it's crazy, I'm very grateful," Cease said.

In high school, Cease had all the tools to be a 1st round draft pick in the MLB draft but he faced some uncertainty. 

"That was a pretty tough time because there was so much uncertainty in my life," Cease said.

The Georgia native injured his elbow his senior year of high school, forcing him to miss nearly the entire season and undergo Tommy John Surgery.

"Once I knew I needed it, I just kind of went into the mode of, alright there's nothing you can do, just got to get back," Cease said.

The injury cost him millions of dollars as Cease slid to the 6th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and he said the worst part was just waiting. Even after finally being cleared to pitch, Cease faced another challenge beyond just throwing strikes.

"I definitely had to learn to trust it again, that took me a while especially coming out of high school, it wasn't the same as it is now, I felt like everything was up in the air. Once I started lifting at the facility, put on a lot of weight and strength, I thought there was a good chance I could come back even better than I was before," Cease said.

Once he trusted it, Cease began to thrive. Last season in 12 starts with the Eugene Emeralds, he posted a 2-0 record with a 2.22 ERA to go along with 66 strikeouts in just 44 2/3 innings. In fact, Cease says the surgery in a way made him a better pitcher.

"My mechanics weren't great in high school and I didn't really know how to change them or fix them, I just kind of played, I've really learned to loosen up and be relaxed and be more efficient and put less stress on my body," Cease said.

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