Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

After Difficult Journey, Silverio Eager to Make Up for Lost Time; Crash, Surgeries Derailed Career, but CF Is Now Back in Jacksonville

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

After Difficult Journey, Silverio Eager to Make Up for Lost Time; Crash, Surgeries Derailed Career, but CF Is Now Back in Jacksonville

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Elliott

Alfredo Silverio remembers his last trip to the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

It came in August of 2011, and the then-24-year-old outfielder for the Chattanooga Lookouts had a big series, with seven hits (including two home runs) and six RBI.

It was the last month of action for Silverio in minor-league baseball. Now, two years older and 10 pounds heavier, Silverio will play in his first regular-season game in over 30 months when he opens this season as the Jacksonville Suns' starting centerfielder.

The Suns' opener is set for Thursday, the first of a five-game series against the Huntsville Stars at the Baseball Grounds.

It's been a long, agonizing time for Silverio since 2011, when he led the Southern League in total bases (289), extra-base hits (76) and triples (18). He hit .306, fifth-best in the league.

Shortly after Silverio finished a season of fall-league ball in his native country of the Dominican Republic, he was involved in a car accident. His car glanced off a concrete wall and rolled several times. He spent more than a week in a hospital, briefly losing his memory.

He eventually had to undergo Tommy John surgery on his right throwing arm, costing him the 2012 season.

The Miami Marlins acquired him through the Rule 5 Draft from the Los Angeles Dodgers in December that year.

He was penciled in as starting the 2013 season in Jacksonville following his recuperation from the elbow surgery. But the arm was slow in regaining full strength, and he started last year on the disabled list. He stayed on the DL for 60 days, at which time the Marlins opted to have a second Tommy John surgery performed on the right elbow, wiping out Silverio's 2013 season.

One car accident equals two lost seasons and what might have been the start of a major-league career for the talented Dominican player. It's an accident that Silverio says he has put behind him.

"I've forgotten about the accident. For me, it never happened. …

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