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Duckworth update

Postby davegod2 » Mon Mar 10, 2003 12:11 pm

Duckworth, whose ability has led his coaches to believe he could be the best pitcher on the staff some day, was making a fine case as the No. 4 starter. He removed himself three pitches into his second-inning warmup. Duckworth felt tightness in his right forearm at the end of the first, and when it didn't recede in the second, he walked off the mound. It was diagnosed as elbow and right forearm inflammation, with reevaluation today. Duckworth never has had arm trouble before.

Duckworth was inconsistent last season, but offseason work with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan seemed to have straightened him out. He had yet to allow a run in seven innings (three games), surrendering just three hits with six strikeouts and one walk.

"He's been having a great spring," said manager Larry Bowa, who expected no concrete news for 48 hours.

"It is bad timing," said Duckworth, who has full range of motion and no burning or pain in the area - both good signs. Asked if he believed he would return soon, Duckworth said, "I think so."

If not, Joe Roa appears to be the top contender for Duckworth's slot, which he could slide into nicely since he's due to pitch today, but the off day Wednesday would put him on track to pitch the next time Duckworth's turn comes.
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Postby MookieNJ » Wed Apr 02, 2003 2:48 am

Any more 'inside' info on Duckworth?

I stashed him away on the DL with the hopes that he gets healthy and is more consistent than last year. Some starts he seemed like the next big thing, and other times he got knocked out early. If he can do more of the former than the latter, he'll be a steal this year.
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Postby davegod2 » Wed Apr 02, 2003 12:46 pm

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Forty percent of the Phillies' projected starting rotation showed up at twilight in Jack Russell Stadium to face Class A hitters.

Disabled righthander Brandon Duckworth was taking the next step in a cautious rehab from mild elbow tendinitis that halted what was going to be a brilliant exhibition season.

Duckworth was on a 40-pitch count. And after he needed just 36 pitches to retire nine hitters in three perfect innings, Brandon was excused. He threw strike one on each hitter, struck out three and mixed nine dazzling changeups with 23 fastballs and four curves. Better yet, Duckworth felt no vestiges of the sharp pain in the area just under his right elbow that caused him to walk away from an 0.00 ERA, clutching his arm while Bowa and his staff fibrillated.

"Everything felt really good," he said. "I'm excited how the arm felt and with my location and everything as far as my mechanics."

Duckworth had such a great feel for his changeup, he was tempted to throw it more. "It's by far the most comfortable I've felt with my change the whole spring," he said. "The way it felt today I could have thrown it a lot more. But I really wanted to establish my fastball, get command of that. Everything felt really good - especially location and I'm excited how the arm felt."

His next action will come Sunday in a Florida State League start against the Dunedin Blue Jays. "If that goes well, I think they want me to pitch a couple of times in Scranton or Reading," Duckworth said.


Analysis - I guess it doesn't hurt to keep him on the DL, since he isn't taking up a roster spot. He may still be in for a big year when he comes back, but it is just too early to tell.
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