John Maine threw a 24-pitch simulated game against five Mets hitters today at Turner Field in his bid to come off the DL and work as a one-inning reliever in the final week of the season and possibly beyond. The results were mixed.
His troublesome right shoulder didn’t hurt, but he isn’t ready to be activated on Monday. Dan Warthen had talked about that yesterday as being the best-case scenario. The pitching coach compared Maineâ€™s velocity to the first week of spring training and said Maine would have to throw another simulated game on Monday when the Mets are back at Shea.
â€œI thought he was rusty,â€ Warthen said. â€œThe ball was coming out decently. Certainly, we donâ€™t have the full adrenaline of a baseball game and a pennant race. I think this is going to warrant at least one more time doing the same thing.
â€œIt would be really rude of us to try to put John in a tough situation the way heâ€™s throwing right now.â€
However, the next simulated session won’t happen if the shoulder is hurting tomorrow in the wake of this session. Both Warthen and Maine seem to agree that the comeback would be over if thatâ€™s the case.
“I just feel like a little knot, a little tightness back there, but no pain, which is good,â€ Maine said. â€œI was a couple of ticks off because I hadnâ€™t seen a hitter. The control was not there. But it was pretty good. I think it really all depends on what itâ€™s like tomorrow. If I canâ€™t throw tomorrow, then thereâ€™s no way.â€