Mariners Insider Blog

A few good thoughts for Anthony Vasquez

Some scary news came out today about Mariners prospect and Rainiers pitcher Anthony Vasquez. The lefty starter was forced to have emergency brain surgery last week after doctors found a lesion on his brain.

From the Mariners press release ...

On Wednesday 11/14, Anthony complained of mild visual disturbance in his righteye and mild vertigo. Was seen by Dr. Robert Luberto, determined that further testing was needed. MRI scan revealed a moderately sized lesion in Anthony’s occipital lobe, and was taken to Borrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. Diagnosed with an AVM (arterial-venous malformation), surgery was performed to remove AVM on Friday 11/16. Anthony was discharged early this morning (11/19) and is expected to recover, possibly returning to pitching in as little as 3 to 4 months. – Mariners Medical Director Dr. Ed Khalfayan

Greg Johns of talked with Vasquez's father, Rudy, who is a scout in the Angels' organization. Some really frightening stuff, but it sounds as though Vasquez will recover fully and pitch again.

From Greg's story ...

Doctors discovered Vasquez, 26, had a ruptured blood vessel in his brain and performed 5 1/2 hours of surgery Friday after the former 18th-round Draft pick felt some problems with his vision while working out at the Mariners' training complex in Peoria, Ariz., where he was recovering from a shoulder injury.

"He's a miracle," said his father, Rudy, who is a scout in the Angels' organization. "We have a strong faith in Jesus and Anthony's faith has always been strong as well. There's no other way to say it. When the neurosurgeon came out he said, 'Your son should be dead, but he's not.'"

By Monday afternoon, Rudy was driving Anthony from Phoenix to their home in San Antonio, Texas, still amazed by the positive outcome of what had been such a swift and potentially tragic situation.

The former USC standout felt some headaches about 10 days earlier, according to his father, but didn't think anything was wrong until he had some vision problem and dizziness on Wednesday during a throwing session.

After tests showed a lesion in his brain, things began moving quickly and when doctors performed surgery Friday morning at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, they found a ruptured arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which is a life-threatening tangle of blood vessels in the brain.

Yet by Monday, Vasquez had been discharged and was headed home with his dad, who said doctors indicated he should stay away from heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks, but should be fine to resume a normal life after that. And, yeah, if all goes according to plan, he could be pitching again by next spring.

"It was frightening, but it's an amazing story," Rudy said. "They said he dodged a silver bullet. It's unbelievable. We know it happens every day to somebody in this world. This time it was us and we're just thankful he's OK."If you pray, keep him in mind.  If you don't, send a few positive thoughts. Vasquez is a good kid, who deserves to not only keep chasing his dream but live a normal life.