2008 NEWS

2008 News > 4/15/08

GLAVINE PLAYS CATCH, REPORTS PROGRESS

By Mark Bowman, MLB.com

MIAMI -- When Tom Glavine awoke on Monday, his right hamstring was much better than expected. After experiencing even more improvement on Tuesday, the Braves' veteran left-hander had even more reason to believe that he'll be able to dodge the disabled list yet again.

"My range of motion [on Sunday] was OK," Glavine said before the Braves opened a three-game series against the Marlins at Dolphin Stadium on Tuesday night. "My range of motion today is better. When I stand up and try to touch my toes, I can get down a little further before it actually grabs."

When the hamstring strain forced Glavine to exit Sunday's game against the Nationals before he'd even recorded an out, there was certainly reason to wonder if the 42-year-old hurler was destined for his first career trip to the disabled list.

But he's experienced nothing but improvement and was able to play catch on Tuesday without a problem. His real test will come on Wednesday or Thursday when he attempts to complete a bullpen session in preparation to start on Saturday against the Dodgers.

"Things have to continue to progress," Glavine said. "The telltale sign is getting on that mound and landing on that leg and making sure that it supports what I'm trying to do."

Glavine has made 672 career starts without ever having to go on the disabled list -- and he obviously would like to keep that streak intact. His ability to make at least 32 starts in every non-strike-shortened season dating back to 1990 provides indication that he has been willing to pitch through numerous aches and pains.

Because he's never dealt with leg ailments before, he's unable to confidently say he'll be able to make Saturday's start. But it's obvious that he's planning to at least provide some rare good health-related news to the Braves pitching staff.

Within the past week, the Braves' top two relievers -- Rafael Soriano and Peter Moylan -- have been placed on the disabled list. Mike Hampton, who plans to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, was lost from the rotation before he even got a chance to throw his first pitch in three years.

So the Braves will likely send Buddy Carlyle, who was promoted from Triple-A Richmond on Tuesday, to the mound to start Friday night's game against the Dodgers. If Glavine is unavailable, Jeff Bennett or Jorge Campillo would likely start Saturday afternoon's game.

But for now, Glavine is remaining hopeful that he'll be able to take the mound again this weekend.

"Having never been on the DL or dealt with stuff like this, you kind of want to be the guy who provides the steadying force," Glavine said. "I still hope I'll be able to get out there Saturday and do that."