(BaseballStL) — It has been a week of reunions in the Cardinal clubhouse, and the newest member to return to St. Louis spoke Friday on the field before game one with the Braves.
Fresh from a two-inning outing in Memphis, Jason Motte- sporting his gigantic beard and trademark smile- said he felt strong following his most recent appearance.
“I threw my fastball where I wanted to, I could elevate it when I wanted to,” he said. “I was able to come in on guys, I was able to throw my cutter on guys when I wanted to so I was happy with the way it went yesterday.”
Mott had returned to St. Louis for the Homers For Health even held in Forest Park Friday, and will take the next two days off from throwing before being assessed again.
Mike Matheny said before the game there was a chance Motte would not have to return to Memphis and could in fact stay with the big club, depending on how he recovered.
Coming off his most demanding test yet, a two-inning appearance where he struck out two and allowed one hit, the former closer said he was sore but had avoided and serious pain.
“Just knowing the difference like ‘hey this is sore,’ and ‘he this is not good at all.’ So far I haven’t had any of those,” he said. “When you’re going through this you always wonder. You always want to wake up the next day and not be like ‘I’d rather not ever throw a baseball again.’ Each step that we’ve taken, each test that we’ve had, I’ve woken up the next day and been able to go throw.”
Though returning is a milestone in its own right, Motte wants to do more than just reappear in the majors. He cited Adam Wainwright as the type of pitcher he wants to be post-surgery; one that not only pitches, but competes every time he does.
“That’s not my goal to be like ‘sweet I made it back. Awesome, ok I can be done now,’” he said. With good command and velocity that is resting in the mid-90s, the 31-year-old appears to have regained the stuff that earned him a league-leading 42 saves in 2012. When asked if he felt like that stuff could still get out Major League hitters, Motte simply laughed and said, “I hope so, it’s the only stuff I got.”