Goody Ready To Get Rolling

Goody had his best outing on Monday

Reliever Nick Goody missed most of the 2013 season after he had Tommy John surgery last April. He's back pitching in Extended Spring Training games and getting real close to returning to the long-season leagues once again.

He was more of a bystander during Spring Training last month considering he had his surgery back on April 16th of last year. And for a big-time competitor like him, it wasn't easy.

"It's tough because you feel good and you see everybody else out there competing for jobs, and you're just sitting there watching," he said.

"Obviously I knew why I wasn't out there pitching -- I'm not stupid or naive -- but at the same time you see everyone else pitching and you're competitive and you want to get out there and show what you've got too. Plus I wanted to see what I had. I just got a new arm so I wanted to test it out."

He had to wait until Extended Spring Training began before he was able to test out the newly reinforced elbow in games and this past Monday was his eighth outing overall.

"I had an outing [on Monday]. I'm pretty sure I just have maybe one more [Extended Spring Training outing] on Thursday and I'll be ready to roll. I'm here in Extended just building up my innings. I feel great. I feel better than I ever have. The elbow feels awesome."

He says he has one more outing, perhaps two, as he builds up to ten or eleven Extended Spring Training innings. And he says while the arm has felt great the entire time, it's his stuff and his control that keeps getting better and better.

"[Monday] was the first day I felt like I had my body in control, the first day in a while at least. When I first started throwing off of the mound I felt really good but then maybe I started thinking too much, and [Monday] I felt really good throwing a lot of strikes. It felt good to go out there and locate."

He knows it is going to take some time for the the stuff to be fully back, especially considering he is barely over a year past his Tommy John surgery, but he can already feel the power coming back to his pre-surgery level.

"I think I'm about where I was, maybe a little bit harder more consistently right now," he opined. "They say it takes 18 months to get everything fully back so I'm not too worried about it right now.

"I think I am throwing harder, it's at least a lot more effortless than before. I don't feel like I'm trying to throw as hard."

He was averaging about 92 mph on Monday with his fastball and reportedly bumped quite a few 93s and 94s on the radar gun, and the other pitches are slowly beginning to catch up.

"They're all going to be a work in progress in the beginning," he said of his pitches. "Some days they're really good and some days they're just alright. You just have to limit the days that they're just alright and maximize the days they're really good.

"They're all coming back, fastball too. [Monday] was a good day. I just felt like I was in control and I walked away from the outing feeling really good."

He plans on being patient with his stuff and control going forward but he can't help but be uplifted about the way he physically feels, and for him that has been the best part of the whole process.

"I wake up the next day and my arm feels great. I feel like I can throw nine innings. Honestly, this whole thing has been a blessing in disguise. Obviously nobody wants to go through surgery but I think it was all meant to be. It feels great."

Feeling great and slowly getting his stuff and control back, Goody is ready to break Extended Spring Training and get back into the long-season leagues once again.

"You have no clue. I've waited and waited, and I'm still waiting, but I'm thankful for the job I have and at the end of the day I can go home and say I'm a professional baseball player.

"I want to get this thing rolling. I feel like I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Obviously you can always get better and improve on things, but I feel like I want to get the training wheels off and let this bad boy go," he concluded.

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