Via David O’Brien –
Scott Proctor is ahead of schedule in his return from elbow surgery, and the Braves think the tough-minded setup man could be ready in April.
“I feel great,” said Proctor, 33, less than 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery and already throwing full bullpen sessions. “I haven’t felt this good since high school.”
Manager Bobby Cox said. “He’s really coming and just has to build up arm strength. I think his first [game] appearance will be in the middle of March. He’s not far off.”
Proctor was one of the best relievers in baseball when he churned out consecutive 83-appearance seasons in 2006 and 2007. He had a 3.52 ERA with 89 strikeouts in a whopping 102-1/3 innings for manager Joe Torre’s New York Yankees in 2006.
Despite injuring his elbow during 2008 spring training with Torre’s Dodgers, Proctor still made 41 appearances around a midseason stint on the disabled list. He had a 6.82 ERA in 33 games before pain forced him to the DL.
Proctor signed with Florida and hurt his elbow again in 2009 spring training, requiring ligament-transplant surgery that ended his season before it began.
“I came into [Marlins] camp and it was feeling good. But something went wrong,” he said. “And when they went in they found that my ligament — the term [Dr. James] Andrews used was that it was yellow mush. It was pretty much non-existent.
“The way I look at it now, I’ve got a rebuilt engine and a brand-new transmission. So I’m good to go.”
…my ligament…was yellow mush…
Proctor had a heckuva year in 2006 for the Yankees. But, much like George Frazier in the 1980′s, it ended bad for him in Yankeeland. In any event, I always liked the guy and wish him well in this comeback attempt. He’s already cleared one hurdle. And, it would be nice to see him get past this one too.