2006 NEWS

2006 News > 8/30/06

GLAVINE READY FOR FRIDAY'S START

By Tony DeMarco, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

DENVER -- Even after 629 Major League starts and 287 victories in a Hall of Fame-worthy career, you still can feel a little bit of uncertainty. And that's exactly where Tom Glavine is on the eve of taking the mound for the first time in 16 days.

Of course, Glavine never has started a game after blood clots were found in his left shoulder, either.

Bullpen sessions have helped ease health concerns about his return, scheduled for Friday night in Houston.

"The finger is good -- nice and warm,'' Glavine said. "I feel good physically. Everything from that [health] standpoint is fine.''

But a finesse/control pitcher needs innings pitched and hitters faced to remain sharp. And missing a couple turns in the rotation -- not to mention undergoing an angiogram procedure -- have thrown the always-prepared left-hander an unexpected curve.

"The thing I'm wondering about is how my control is going to be, having so much time off,'' Glavine said. "I'm such a creature of habit. I like keeping things on a schedule -- the same routine, same preparation. I felt good physically before [the blood clotting was discovered], and I felt good mechanically. I'm trying to keep that on track as much as I can now.''

Returning on Friday will give Glavine an opportunity for up to six starts in the final month of the regular season -- more than enough time to regain his usual precision. Whether he makes that many remains to be seen, and Glavine and pitching coach Rick Peterson already have discussed workload options in light of the Mets being so far ahead in a weak National League East.

"Two weeks from now, we can take a look at it again,'' Glavine said. "We have the luxury of doing it that way.''

Orlando Hernandez also threw a bullpen session on Wednesday, and is scheduled to long-toss on Thursday. Manager Willie Randolph said if all goes well, Hernandez could be put back into the rotation on Sunday in Houston. That would bump Steve Trachsel back to Monday against Atlanta at Shea Stadium, when he would pitch on five days' rest.