Pirates pitcher Mike Crotta has a sense of humor about the gigantic screw inside his elbow

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

Mike Crotta did not have what you would call an ideal Tuesday. The 27-year-old pitcher in the Pirates organization had an appointment with Dr. James Andrews and left with a giant screw in his right elbow.

"Scoped plus a screw, that's a lot of traffic going through the bow," Crotta tweeted.

Crotta says he won't be game ready until August and you couldn't have blamed him  if he left Andrews' office in a funk. The righthanded reliever struggled to stay in the bigs after making Pittsburgh's opening day roster in 2011 and he's not getting any younger. He needs to be pitching.

But all credit goes to Crotta for maintaining a sense of humor and a positive attitude. He spent the day tweeting pictures of his X-rays (above) and the bone spurs that were removed from his elbow (editor's note: gross). He also lamented his lost ability to scratch himself and had fun with fans who noted just how ridiculously big Crotta's new screw was.

"I actually stopped at home depot and picked it up," Crotta tweeted. "I was hoping for Phillips head but Andrews works exclusively flat head haha"

No joke, though, that this really is huge and it's a sobering reminder just how devastating throwing a baseball can really be on the human body. My own elbow hurts from just looking at it.

Crotta appeared in 15 games for the Pirates in 2011, posting a 9.28 ERA over 10 2/3 innings. Here's hoping the screw fixed whatever was going on with his performance and that he gets back with the Pirates sooner rather than later. He definitely gained at least one new fan here.

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