LoHud.com—July 4, 2010
That was the day Robbie Aviles became a professional pitcher.
It's deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra once said.
Three weeks after his older brother signed with the Seattle Mariners, Robbie Aviles officially became a Cleveland Indian yesterday in a signing ceremony that's practically become a family tradition.
Cleveland snapped up the Suffern right-hander in the seventh round of the MLB draft on June 8. It was not one of the teams that had been after him during a season-long scouting binge by every major league team.
But then, not much played out the way the Avileses had planned.
With a 6-foot-4 frame and a fastball that reached 93 mph, Robbie was being talked about as a possible second-round pick. Then, in the sectional semifinal against Mamaroneck, he left after a few pitches with what turned out to be a partially torn elbow ligament. The injury sent his stock plummeting.
"I left (the negotiating) up to my mom and dad," he said. "They all knew that I wanted to sign. It's always what I wanted to do. It's just unfortunate that the elbow happened, so it threw a little bump in the road. But I wanted to sign, so we got somewhat agreeable terms that we were both happy with."
The Indians have arranged for him to have Tommy John surgery with Dr. David Altchek, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon, in New York City. He will rehab at Altchek's Hospital for Special Surgery for a period of roughly four to six weeks before flying to Cleveland's training facility in Goodyear, Ariz.