2009 NEWS

2009 NEWS > 5/28/09

AFTER 5 SCORELESS INNINGS, GLAVINE SAYS HE'S READY

By Adam Rosenberg
Original Article HERE.

Tom Glavine proclaimed himself nearly ready to return to the major leagues in word and deed.

Glavine threw five scoreless innings and earned his first minor-league win in 22 years for the Class AAA Gwinnett Braves Thursday in a rehab start against Indianapolis. He gave up six hits, striking out two and walking one. He left the game with a 7-0 lead and the G-Braves went on to win 10-6.

Glavine said he will pitch again Tuesday, either with the Atlanta club or in a final minor league rehab start. That game would come at Class A Rome against Augusta.

Im not going to sit here and tell you that Im 100 percent thrilled with my location, said Glavine, who has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from shoulder and elbow surgeries last August. Im 100 percent thrilled with my stuff but not necessarily with my location. But, hey, I might throw a side session on Saturday or Sunday and say Boom, there it is. Well play that by ear.

Glavine said he expected to speak with the Braves about his plans by today.

Im going to pitch another [rehab game] Tuesday or Im going to pitch in the big leagues Tuesday, Glavine said. I think part of that will be largely on how I feel about where I am and how I would feel about going in and pitching to a big league lineup right now. The other part is going to be how I feel. So far, I felt good during the course of the game and everything Ive experienced after I go out there and throw has been pretty consistent.

Glavine threw 67 pitches Thursday, 41 for strikes. He was consistently in the low-80s on the radar gun, but his fastball occasionally reached 86 mph. In his previous start last Saturday, he gave up three earned runs and five hits in a three innings also for Gwinnett, when he threw 56 pitches, 33 for strikes.

I did a much better job of pitching than the other night, Glavine said. I felt like my location was a lot better.

Glavine got out of two jams with double plays. In the third inning, he escaped a first-and-third, no-out situation with a foul-out and a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play. In the fifth, Indianapolis put runners at first and second with no outs after a double and a walk. Glavine induced a 5-4-3 double play and then ended his day by fielding a sharp come-backer.

If I hadnt got my glove up, it would have hit me in the mouth, Glavine said.

The 43-year-old lefthander suffered a setback April 12 when he re-aggravated his shoulder swinging the bat in a rehab start for Class AA Mississippi. Thursday he took his first live at-bats since the injury. He had a two-strike sacrifice bunt in the second inning and looked at three straight strikes in the fourth.

Im not going to say Im not concerned about [hitting], but its not like Im going up there afraid to swing the bat, Glavine said. Ive been swinging the bat at the ballpark, taking BP, and I havent had any problems . I know at some point Im going to have to swing the bat and I fully intend to do it but for right now, Im more concerned with going out there and getting comfortable, building arm strength and those types of things. I dont think they care too much about my hitting.

Glavine was 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 Atlanta starts in 2008 before season-ending surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow and clean out wear-and-tear damage to the shoulder. He had never been on the DL before last season.

The 305-game winner is working on a one-year, $1-million contract that includes up to $3.5 million in bonuses, including $1 million if he makes the active roster.