Hartsock: Dragons pitcher living dream after near career-ending injury

It’s every Little Leaguer’s dream to play for pay, a dream that became a nightmare for one Dayton Dragons pitcher.

Aaron Fossas underwent Tommy John surgery his junior year at Wake Forest and the Massachusetts native admits there were times he had serious doubts about his future.

“There were a couple of days there when I thought my career was over,” Fossas said. “My arm came back and the Reds said they would give me a chance to sign and see what happens. I’m living on borrowed time and enjoying every second of it.”

Aaron’s uncle, Tony Fossas, has been a long-time part of the Reds minor league coaching staff including two stints as pitching coach for the Dragons.

“He stresses professionalism and being mentally tough and knowing what it takes day in and day out to do your job. So it’s a huge help to have his wisdom.”

His uncle might have helped open a door, but Aaron earned the opportunity to advance. The undrafted free agent was 2-0 for the Reds rookie league team in Arizona last season, and he’s 2-0 with the Dragons in 10 games out of the bullpen this season.

“I want to be out there with ball in my hand,” Fossas said. “I’ve closed in the past, I’ve started, and right now I’m doing long relief so whenever my number is called I’m excited to go out there and try to help out.”

If the major league dream doesn’t work out, Fossas can fall back on his education. He’s one of the few players to come through Dayton with a masters degree after spending five years at Wake Forest.

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