View Full Version : Reds Notes: Wilson walking a thin line (3/4)

03-05-2006, 01:08 AM
03/04/2006 5:17 PM ET
Notes: Wilson walking a thin line
Rehabbing starter eager to get back to full strength
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Trying to rehabilitate his way back from shoulder surgery, pitcher Paul Wilson knows his 2006 regular-season debut for the Reds on April 9 has been written with a very erasable pencil.
Wilson is set to throw in his next scheduled bullpen session Sunday morning. It will be a simulated game of up to 70 pitches. The right-hander admitted he's experienced a gambit of different feelings in camp.

"I'm on a mental roller coaster where, one week, it's unbelievable. The other week, it's just kind of OK," said Wilson, who was 1-5 with a 7.77 ERA before being shutdown in June of last season. "When you're normal, you don't think about those things."

The 33-year-old, who had surgery last June to repair a torn labrum and rotator cuff, is walking the fine line of not focusing his timetable too much on April while still putting pressure on himself to be ready to compete. Wilson knows the Reds are auditioning contingency fifth starters, such as Justin Germano and Michael Gosling, in case he's not ready.

"I don't want to be stuck down here or not with the group," Wilson said. "Ultimately, what I want to happen is us doing everything right and not having any setbacks. When I start getting into trying to meet deadlines and start pushing it and we have setbacks, then all of a sudden we're back a month. That's what we're trying to avoid."

Wilson, who's had 12 bullpen sessions since he resumed throwing in January, had one setback at the start of camp. His arm began barking once he started throwing 60 pitches every other day. Doctors had him take a week off and gave him anti-inflammatory medicine.

There have been no problems reported since. Wilson now throws in the bullpen on five days' rest with some lighter side throwing in between.

Wilson would like to say everything in his arm feels the way it's supposed to feel. But he's not quite sure what that means anymore.

"That's the thing. Is it supposed to feel this way, or is it supposed to feel that way?" Wilson said. "Week by week, we're just going on what it's giving us. We're challenging it. We're pushing it to the max. I'm working ... to get it back as fast as I can. I'm at the mercy of what it will allow us to do. You can only do so much."

Scratched again: Starting pitcher Eric Milton will miss his second straight start on Sunday because of a strained right calf muscle. Scratching the left-hander was considered a precautionary measure. The club didn't want him aggravating the injury making quick cuts or covering first base.

Milton was scheduled to throw on the side on Saturday at the club's complex in Sarasota. Lefty Phil Dumatrait will get the start instead against Tampa Bay.

Deal pending: Reds chief executive officer Bob Castellini announced Saturday that his club entered into a letter of intent to purchase the Sarasota Reds, its Class A-level Florida State League affiliate, from the Boston Red Sox. Terms were not revealed.

The purchase is pending approval from Major League Baseball, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues and the Florida State League. The Reds had a player development contract with the Red Sox last season to operate the Sarasota team.

"This is a reflection of our commitment to the city and county of Sarasota," Castellini said in a statement. "We want to become an integral part of the fabric of the community and identify ourselves as part of this wonderful city. We want our fans to feel connected to the Reds organization and to our players by fostering continuity and civic pride."

More Bailey?: Reds manager Jerry Narron said Saturday that there was chance top pitching prospect Homer Bailey would get into another game this spring. Bailey, the Reds' first-round draft pick in 2004 and a non-roster invitee, pitched a scoreless inning of relief on Friday against Minnesota but walked his first two batters on nine pitches. The leadoff man was veteran power-hitter Ruben Sierra.

"The guy is 19 years old. You expect him to be nervous," Narron said. "I don't even know if he knows who Ruben Sierra is. It's tough to walk Ruben, and he walked him on five pitches. You could tell he was nervous."

Mixed day: In his two-inning start against the Yankees in Saturday's 4-1 win, Aaron Harang got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first before getting a 1-2-3 second. Narron praised him and reliever Mike Burns for throwing strikes. The skipper was less than pleased with Dave Williams, Allan Simpson and Ryan Wagner. All struggled at times throwing the ball over the plate.

"Harang pitched ahead. Burns pitched ahead," Narron said. "Other than that, I thought we scuffled a little bit throwing strikes. I was a little bit disappointed. At this level, you have to be able to command your fastball, especially. You have to be able to locate. It's something we have to really improve on."

Sick bay: Right-handed pitcher Matt Belisle was sick on Saturday and unable to make the trip to Tampa.

Coming up: The Devil Rays visit Sarasota on Sunday to play the Reds at 1:05 p.m. ET. Dumatrait will start against right-hander Edwin Jackson.


03-05-2006, 01:29 AM
The problem is a healthy Paul Wilson isn't good either.