Injuries: Kyle McClellan ready to audition for fifth spot
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The right-hander will finally get that chance when he makes his Cactus League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.
"It's one of those things where I know what I can do and have just been anxious to get back out on the field, but I have to be healthy in order to do that," McClellan said. "When you come into a new organization you want to show that you are what they signed you for, and I feel like I can do that."
The muscle soreness that led to the long layoff was a byproduct of the midseason surgery McClellan underwent while still a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. He has progressed gradually with his pitching regimen, most recently throwing a 52-pitch bullpen session Wednesday. He will toss live batting practice Saturday -- the final step before seeing live game action for the first time since last May.
"When I first got here, I felt good and still had a little bit of an impingement in there," McClellan said. "I feel like I am over the hump. Everyone I talk to says I've gotten over my last hurdle and I think I am ready to go. I feel like I can throw in a game."
Even with a longer than usual spring training -- due to the World Baseball Classic -- time was becoming an issue. It's difficult to compete for a spot in the starting rotation if you can't pitch in a game.
"If he would have kept missing time, time would have ran out on him," manager Ron Washington said. "But he has a chance to get in the mix."
McClellan was last used in the rotation in 2011, when he made 17 starts for St. Louis and posted a 6-6 record with a 4.21 ERA. He was moved to the bullpen after the Cardinals acquired Edwin Jackson. Of his 261 career appearances, McClellan has made all but those 17 as a reliever.
Other injury notes:
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