Chorye Spoone won't get a true read on his velocity or the effectiveness of his sinker until he faces more batters, but he believes that his command is actually better than before his shoulder surgery.
"I was able to work on my mechanical issues so I could throw without pain. And I'm throwing more strikes now than I did before," he said.
Spoone had a slap tear repaired in his shoulder and his rotator cuff cleaned up in September 2008. The Pasadena native spent last spring rehabbing instead of pitching, but he's been full-go in Sarasota.
"It feels so good to be down here and be able to throw, and to be back healthy after everything I went through with the shoulder," he said.
"I'm getting stronger each time I throw. I don't know where my velocity or any of that stuff is, but I'm not too worried about it. The only thing I'm worried about is throwing strikes and everything else will take care of itself."
Spoone gave up a run in the fifth inning of Monday's intrasquad game, but his only real sin was a walk. Two ground balls resulted in an infield hit for Robert Andino and an RBI single for Matt Angle.
"I thought I threw really well," said Spoone, who threw a light bullpen session today and could pitch in Friday night's exhibition game or another intrasquad game.
"Of the six batters I faced, I walked one, pop up and four ground balls. The problem was two really well-placed ground balls. A good two-strike curveball to Angle, he slapped it between the five and six hole.
"I had good movement on my ball, good breaking stuff, good changeup. I wasn't too worried about the run because nine out of 10 times, a ground ball is an out anyway. I felt really, really strong."
Jason Bartlett SS
Dioner Navarro C
Ben Zobrist 2B
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce RF
Kelly Shoppach DH
Dan Johnson 3B
Ryan Shealy 1B
Justin Ruggiano LF
James Shields RHP