Mike Steele, a Michigan State University assistant coach for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, was a three-time minor league all-star. He said he had a hard time recovering after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Tommy John surgery is risk for baseball players, but ‘part of the game,’ pitching coach says

Mike Steele was a three-time minor league all-star before Tommy John surgery put his pitching career on hold. A growing number of pitchers face the surgery — which repairs ligament damage in the elbow — as a result of overuse and poor technique, according to Major League Baseball’s Pitch Smart program. The program aims to reduce pitcher injuries, particularly among youth players. “A lot of my past teammates and former players had the Tommy John surgery,” said Steele, a Michigan State University assistant coach for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, who had the surgery in February 2002 while playing for the Detroit Tigers. “Especially nowadays when you get a lot of kids who haven’t trained a lot.