It’s just like ole times, seeing Tom Glavine shuffle into the clubhouse at Disney, flip flops on, styrofoam coffee cup in hand. Only this time a few more flecks of gray in his hair, and a little more candid with what’s going on with his body.
Coming off shoulder and elbow surgery, and trying to wind up his 42-year-old body to get back on the mound, Glavine admitted he was feeling some “crankiness,” as he put it, in his left shoulder.
He said shoulder soreness is something he’s dealt with every spring for 15 years and anticipated facing at some point in his comeback, but because he’s coming off surgery, it’s something he’s paying close attention to. Here’s how he put it:
“A lot of what I’m feeling is very similar to what I’ve felt in past years, and most years I probably have no concern over that, ‘Well that’s typical spring training,’” Glavine said. “But when you’re coming off surgery, and the uncertainty of what to expect when you deal with that, it gives me probably some measure of concern I wouldn’t have had in the past. But it’s not like I’m ‘Oh my god, something’s wrong’ or any of that stuff. I think it’s typical spring training crankiness, coupled with coming off surgery that I knew sooner or later I’d have to work my way through.”
Glavine played some long toss on Wednesday morning in camp and anticipated getting on the mound to throw either a side session or some batting practice on Thursday.
From there, he’ll get with Roger McDowell and work out a plan to get him ready for that first start in the fifth spot in the rotation April 18. That should get him into a spring training game, he said, late next week or next weekend.
So the “crankiness” doesn’t appear to be slowing him down. Coming off surgery, for a guy who turns 43 on March 25, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. It’ll just be something to keep an eye on the next few weeks.
I did toss out a question about Tommy Hanson and whether Glavine feels like he’s in competition with the young prospect to secure a spot in the rotation. Here’s his response:
“No, I think for me, its’ all about getting healthy,” Glavine said. “My only competition, so to speak, is with myself and trying to get ready for April 18. I understand Tommy Hanson and who he is, and that in all likelihood he’ll be here next year and I won’t. But that’s down the road. I don’t have any control over that right now other than ‘Hey, maybe I go out and have a good year and maybe they want me to come back next year.’”
In other news, I thought you guys might want to hear what Don Sutton had to say this morning about his impressions of Tommy Hanson.
He seemed even more impressed with talking to Hanson after he pitched than with watching what he did yesterday in his three innings vs. Panama (one unearned run, striking out three of first four batters, etc).
“When you talk to a guy like that for five minutes, you throw the birth certificate out the window,” Sutton said. “He has four pitches, he’s a quick learner, makes great adjustments. I just wish for him great health. I think he has a chance to be a superstar.”
Sutton said he’s talked to Hanson twice now, including Tuesday when Hanson told him he wasn’t happy with his curveball but he’d get it worked out.
“He kept it simple,” Sutton said. “He’s a quality young man. I’m impressed with the person. He’s a young man who understands him. A lot of pitchers, young and old, have a problem with their identity as a pitcher, they want to be somebody else.”
COMING ON THURSDAY:
Garret Anderson in the batter’s box. Bobby Cox said again the plan was to get Anderson in there tomorrow against Venezuela. The game starts at 2 p.m. by the way, not 1, because Venezuela asked for extra time over travel concerns.
For some who’ve asked why Anderson is starting so late, it’s because he signed late. He needed time to work back into the flow instead of jumping right back in against game pitching. He’s the kind of hitter though, a veteran guy, who figures he needs maybe 30-35 at-bats to be ready for the season.
Chipper Jones is going to be a part of David Letterman’s Top 10 Reasons to Watch the World Baseball Classic on Thursday’s show. Each of 10 guys will read one reason – I presume – along with Derek Jeter, David Wright, Jimmy Rollins, etc. Check it out if you like. Me? I’m on spring training time. Might be asleep!
Josh Anderson CF
Yunel Esocbar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Jason Heyward LF
Omar Infante 3B
David Ross C
Kenshin Kawakami P
(Kawakami’s will take his first swings today. From what we saw in the cage, he can handle a bat.)
Johnny Damon LF
Brett Gardner CF
Xavier Nady RF
Juan Miranda 1B
Angel Berroa 2B
Jose Molina C
Kevin Russo 3B
Ramiro Pena SS
Ian Kennedy P
Off we go….this is where it ends. (Insert your own lyrics?!)