Friday, July 25, 2008

Six Returning Pitchers Look to Make Impact

Six pitchers who missed the 2003 season, look to rebound in 2004:

Toronto's Chris Carpenter began the 2003 season on the disabled list as he continued his recovery from shoulder surgery and was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery for his ailing shoulder on July 29 to remove scar tissue. In three seasons with the Blue Jays, Carpenter is 9-26 with a 6.39 ERA.

Another Blue Jay, Bronson Arroyo, was selected in the 1st round of the 2002 draft. But, he only saw limited action in 2002: 0-2, 9.39 ERA in 7 innings. Bronson did not see action in 2003, but was protected on Toronto's roster for the 2004 campaign.

In 2002, Paul Byrd had one of the best pitching seasons ever in the Millennium League: 24-10, 3.78 ERA in 245 innings pitched. Byrd's 24 wins still holds the single season record. But, knowing that Byrd needed Tommy John surgery, the Yankees traded Paul for a lowly 7th round draft pick to the Royals. Kansas City then kept Byrd on the roster throughout the 2003 season even though he was not able to pitch.

After compiling a 30-19 record in two seasons with Atlanta, Jon Lieber was traded to the White Sox in 2002. Lieber compiled a 10-5 mark with a 4.45 ERA in 129 innings. But, Jon also was victim of Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2003 season.

Anaheim's Trevor Hoffman is currently 7th in all time saves (92) but missed the 2003 season due to shoulder surgery. The Angels are counting on Trevor and their 2003 1st round draft pick Joe Nathan to anchor the back end of their bullpen for the upcoming season.

Finally, A. J. Burnett has been a "charter member" of the Marlins. He has a career 23-25 mark and a 4.15 ERA for the Fish but missed all of last season due to arm problems. Florida is counting on A. J. to rebound in 2004.

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