Feb 15, 2010, 12:48 PM EST
Pat Neshek reported to the Twins’ spring training complex early to get back on the mound and face live hitters again 14 months after Tommy John elbow surgery. And because he’s a blogger in addition to being a side-arming setup man, Neshek wrote an interesting update on his progress:
On Tuesday I faced hitters for the first time and things went great. One of the hitters I faced back in November … said that I had a lot more zip on the ball this time around. … On Friday I faced hitters again. It took me a couple days to get over the soreness, normal soreness I should say from pitching a couple innings worth of hitters.
My velocity felt good but I felt like it still wasn’t where I was at during my peak. On the other hand my slider was a ton better and got some remarks from the hitters. I asked both guys what they thought my velocity was and they said I was sitting most likely around 88-89 on my fastball. … With this injury you slowly get your velo back by doing more and more mound work and feeling comfortable with mechanics. I was really happy because in November my fastball high speeds were 85 & 86.
Prior to the injury Neshek had a 2.91 ERA, 143 strikeouts, and .188 opponents’ batting average in 121 innings while averaging just 89.9 miles per hour with his fastball, so it sounds like most of his velocity has already returned. Minnesota has made a bunch of nice moves this offseason, but getting Neshek back at something resembling his old self could push the Twins over the top in the AL Central.
Oh, and speaking of Neshek, he gets some pretty amazing “fan” mail.
- Grant Balfour may file a grievance over Orioles’ decision to back out of contract 18
- Former Major Leaguer Gabe Kapler wants collisions to remain part of the game 27
- Carlos Beltran introduced by the Yankees, takes a shot at the Mets 29
- The Grant Balfour-Orioles deal is dead 25
- Kevin Youkilis is going to play in Japan 30
- Hall of Fame voting expert: Greg Maddux makes it. No one else does. (105)
- I don’t know what the best baseball song is, but it ain’t John freakin’ Fogerty (101)
- Happy Birthday, Ty Cobb! (89)
- ‘Tis the season for people acting incredibly dumb (74)
- The Yankees agree to a one-year, $2 million deal with Brian Roberts (74)