Randy Wolf is back. Wolf is pitching today against the Florida Marlins. It is his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery a year ago. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The very thought of testing his arm in a big-league game for the first time since he underwent Tommy John surgery on July 1, 2005, has the eight-year veteran feeling born again.
“I’m going to feel like it’s my first game all over again,” said Wolf. “When you get to the big leagues, you have to prove you belong. When you have this injury, you have to reprove yourself.”
The Phillies, a team with precious few opportunities to cheer these days, look forward to the proving.
“He says he’s feeling real good, and it looks like he’s ready to go,” manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies have missed him, especially during their failed attempt at a wild-card berth last season, when they could have used a pitcher who was a 16-game winner and an all-star as recently as 2003.
Now, as he sets out to show he can be that mound presence again, the revitalized Wolf is looking far beyond today’s start.
“I ran into Schill right after I had surgery and he said, ‘Welcome to the second half of your career,’ ” Wolf said, referring to Curt Schilling, the former Phillies ace who had career-extending shoulder surgeries.
Tommy John surgery is a major procedure, no doubt about it. But it’s not impossible to bounce back from. Pitchers who have had the surgery and gone on to pitch for several more years include John Smoltz, Jose Mesa and Adam Eaton. Oh, and Tommy John.
Wolf’s timing is perfect. There won’t be much pressure on him to perform this season. The team has already given up on the playoffs, signified by the trades they pulled off this week, sending David Bell to the Brewers and Bobby Abreu to the Yankees. So Wolf can take his time regaining his old form.