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Comeback complete: Jose Contreras called up by Pirates

May 3, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 5 Getty Images

Jose Contreras has successfully come back from Tommy John surgery at age 41.

Contreras blew out his elbow pitching for the Phillies last season, but decided not to call it quits and signed a minor-league deal with the Pirates. And after six appearances in the minors Pittsburgh has called him up while demoting Jared Hughes to Triple-A.

Hughes was very effective for the Pirates last season as a 26-year-old rookie, throwing 76 innings with a 2.85 ERA, but his secondary numbers were much less impressive and he struggled in 14 innings this year.

It’s hard to guess what Contreras has left in the tank at this point, but before the elbow surgery he was a solid setup man for the Phillies and posted a 3.74 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 85 innings from 2010-2012 while missing time with various injuries.

  1. El Bravo - May 3, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    That’s pretty awesome. This guy has proven me wrong about 50 times now.

    • dirtyharry1971 - May 4, 2013 at 2:51 AM

      Proven wrong? He’s never been proven right!! A total bust who should have retried 10 years ago!! Cant wait to see this guy get pounded again!!

  2. redguy12588 - May 3, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Pirates are just looking for someone to eat up some innings for a bit.

    • xavier46 - May 3, 2013 at 6:59 PM

      Isn’t everyone?

    • mazblast - May 4, 2013 at 1:16 AM

      xavier46 (a fellow Musketeer?) is right. Every team needs that guy who can go 2-3 innings in a blowout, go multiple innings in extras, the guy who knows his role is to help others do theirs.

      Besides that, at his age and experience, he must have some incredible stories to tell the young guys.

  3. darthsat - May 3, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    How does a 40something year older come back from TJS after less than a year? Crazy.

    • bleedgreen - May 3, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      Word on the street is that he’s actually older than 41. Probably closer to 50. He’s a Cuban defector with no real birth certificate.

  4. haterzinc - May 3, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Bartolo colon a Lil bit

  5. sgtr0c - May 3, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Good luck, Jose! I will just be happy to see you in an updated jersey file photo, I feel this pic has been used a lot. Thank you for your time as a Phillie and again, good luck.

  6. kiwicricket - May 3, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    He was closer to 41 when he originally defected from Cuba!
    Glad he is back in the league.

  7. drone501 - May 3, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    i heard jose and castro played on the same little league team. welcome to pittsburgh jose.

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