Saturday, January 30, 2010

One-time A's Future Closer Joey Devine on Mend

Struggling young pitcher Joey Devine, the one-time closer-of-the-future for the Oakland Athletics, has told a teammate that his recovery from "Tommy John surgery" is on schedule and that he looks forward to game action early next season.

"He thinks that by the end of spring training he'll be ready to face live batters," said former A's closer and now setup man Brad Ziegler in an interview with Sirrius/XM MLB radio channel 175.

Devine, 27, had been given Oakland's closer job during last year's spring camp but underwent elbow surgery in April, after having sustained discomfort likely related to that which interrupted his season the year before. Twelve months is a typical recovery time from the surgical procedure in which the ulner collateral ligament is replaced.

Devine formerly had been cast in the role of future closer for the Braves, but was held back by control problems that ultimately may have manifested in disablement.

The Athletics have since found a closer in the person of Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey.