One inning gives Parrish some joy


After surgeries, scoreless outing appreciated

Penn may return soon

February 28, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. -- It was one inning of one spring training game, meaningless by most standards.

So, why was John Parrish smiling?

That happens when you've been out of the majors since undergoing ligament-replacement surgery on your left elbow in July 2005. And when you missed the 2006 season because of two more procedures.

Parrish threw a scoreless inning in yesterday's intrasquad game, allowing one hit and striking out one.

He hadn't faced any batters since pitching an inning in the instructional league in September.

"I'm still a little nervous and anxious to get out there," said Parrish, 29, who also missed the 2002 season after tearing a ligament in his right knee in spring training.

Manager Sam Perlozzo noted how Parrish was more "under control" yesterday than in the past. Maybe it was all that idle time.

"We've seen him real hyper, wild and firing the ball all over the place," Perlozzo said. "I think he's got himself to a point where he's pretty much under control and pitching now, as opposed to throwing. We just need him to stay healthy. He can help us."

Parrish had surgery last April to remove scar tissue from his elbow, and in May to remove a bone spur. He's been rehabilitating at the minor league complex in Sarasota.

"I didn't think I wanted to see Florida again," he said.

Parrish said he regained the sensation in his fingers since the most recent surgeries, which improved his health but also tested his patience.

"It's tough watching and not being able to be competitive in really anything," he said. "Everything I do really revolves around throwing with my left hand, even off the field. I bowl, I fish. I had to learn how to fish right- handed."

Penn aims for quick return

Hayden Penn estimated that he'll return to the mound in two or three days after his left ankle injury was diagnosed as a mild sprain.

Penn said he twisted the ankle on a bottom step at the team's hotel. He went to a local hospital for X-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging.

"I was carrying boxes downstairs and they were kind of slippery," he said. "That last stair, I tried to anticipate it and just rolled it. Right away, I was like, `Oh, God, here we go.' I'm glad it didn't turn out too bad. I'm looking forward to getting out there soon."

His body keeps working against him.

Penn underwent an emergency appendectomy last May after joining the team in Seattle.

A sprained ankle seems inconsequential by comparison.

"I've had a history of weak ankles, because I played basketball in high school and I'd always roll it," he said. "I was just frustrated. Luckily, today, it feels good.

"I worked my [butt] off this offseason, wanting to get after it and get here. But it's OK."

Benson sees progress

One week into his rehabilitation program, Kris Benson has noted improved strength in the back of his right shoulder and an increase in his range of motion.

Now, the flip side:

"The pain in the front of the shoulder is still there, so we're still working on that," he said. "There's definitely progress. As far as alleviating that anterior shoulder pain, we still have a little ways to go. I think we're in the right direction."

Benson spends about 2 1/2 hours each day lifting his right arm with cuff weights, stretching and receiving electronic stimulation and ice treatments.

"The goal is to pitch with no pain," he said. "If I'm pitching with pain, then I really didn't address the issue. Then it'd be a matter of time before it pops up again. Once I do start throwing, if there's still pain, then it's going to get worse because the reason why it's hurting is because everything is jammed inside the cuff. The strength and the mobility is a good thing but the pain is the ultimate issue to address."

Around the horn

Outfielder Adam Stern was scratched from yesterday's game because of a strained oblique muscle. ... Jon Knott doubled and had two assists in left field, as the teams played to a 2-2 tie. Brandon Fahey singled twice and reached on an error. Val Majewski had two hits and an RBI. ... Garrett Olson and Jim Johnson will be the starting pitchers for tomorrow's intrasquad game.

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