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John Lamb could be in the big leagues by 2014 despite his slow recovery from Tommy John.
Following a 2010 season where he went 10-7 with a 2.38 ERA in 28 starts across three levels at just age 19, John Lamb was among the top prospects in all of baseball. What the left-hander had done at such a young age was extremely impressive, especially considering he finished the season in Double-A.
Lamb went 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA in eight starts in Double-A to open the 2011 season, but he just didn't appear to be right. His strikeouts were significantly down, as his stuff wasn't the same as it was a year ago, leading some to question whether there was an underlying injury.
After those eight starts it finally came out that there was an injury that was having an effect on his performance, and he would require Tommy John surgery.
Lamb has not pitched since mid-May 2011, but he is getting closer to a rehab assignment per Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
Even if Lamb doesn't pitch in a game until mid-August as reported, he would still be able to get innings in by pitching in the fall instructional league or the Arizona Fall League.
Then he would be able to possibly start 2013 back in Double-A, and have a chance to reach the big leagues before the end of the year.
Also considered: Mike Montgomery, Chris Dwyer, Luis Mendoza, Aaron Crow, Will Smith, Zack Greinke