JUPITER, FL. (KMOV.com) -- It was a highly effective if frustratingly short return to action for Tim Cooney Saturday, who threw a 1-2-3 inning for the Cardinals in their loss to Washington.
The lefty has been playing red light, green light all spring, having a schedule dictated solely by how his body responds in the future.
“t was good to be out there because it’s just been such a weird spring for me not even knowing what the plan is. Because we were waiting to see how my arm responds,” he said.
Everything came down to how sore he was the day following work, and after a live batting practice session with now rebound issues, he got back into uniform for a shot at the Nationals.
Unfortunately for his pitch count regimen, he was too effective. Cooney threw just six pitches, getting a fly ball to right, a grounder to first and a strikeout. Not exactly the lengthy test he was building toward.
“I threw strikes, so that was a plus,” he said with a smile before continuing, “My arm felt good, which was really my concern. Just making sure everything is good in there. Overall it was a good outing.”
Even better, it means he can begin to proceed as normal. There are no more tests scheduled, no more wait-and-sees on the docket. There are two weeks remaining until minor league games begin, and given that his late start means he’ll be in the Memphis rotation to begin the year, he can now begin building himself up.
“I felt good today, I’m assuming I’ll feel good tomorrow. I think we’re putting this behind me and just moving on,” he said.
There hasn’t been a root cause given for what set off Cooney’s soreness, and it’s unlikely we’ll get one going forward. Shoulders are complex systems of muscle, nerve and bone and even if the source of the problem didn’t elude trainers, his rehab has begun. The treatment has worked and he can get back to normal baseball life.
But even with the progress, Cooney has not allowed himself to exhale in relief.
“Not completely, because you have to keep working. That’s the kind of thing where if you give up on something like that it can come back and bite you,” he said. “I’ll keep up with it in the training room, but all signs are pointing to this being good now.”