Local pro pitchers are healthy and ready for spring training

Eric Sondheimer
Contact ReporterVarsity Times Insider

It's hard to say what was more impressive on Sunday afternoon viewing the scene at Harvard-Westlake's O'Malley Family Field.

First there were three first-round draft picks from Harvard-Westlake hanging out together _ Max Fried, Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty.

There also were three pitchers looking healthy after having Tommy John elbow surgery in recent years _ Fried, Giolito and Tyler Skaggs, the former Santa Monica standout being counted on by the Angels this season.

They were part of nearly a dozen Southern California products coming out to support Fried's Baseball Fanfest that featured a workout, autograph session and bringing attention to Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that Fried's younger brother, Jake, has been battling.

The weather was perfect, and to see a healthy Fried and Skaggs ought to make Braves and Angels fans happy. Fried and Skaggs both had their surgeries in August of 2014. Skaggs said he's set to have his first bullpen session this week.

"Mentally, it's more draining than anything," Skaggs said. "Your arm is going to be fine. You have a brand new elbow. It's all about the mental state. It's all about believing in yourself, going out and being confident and knowing that you're 100% and ready to go."

Said Fried, who's in the Atlanta Braves organization: "I'm good to go and looking forward to playing a full season."

Giolito had his surgery in 2012 and seems ready to make his major-league debut for the Washington Nationals at some point this season.

"The arm is doing really well," Giolito said. "The further out from surgery it gets, the better I feel. I'm looking forward to having the leash taken off a little bit and pitch as many innings as I can."

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