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Dravecky Might Be Well Enough to Start Pitching

From Associated Press

Dave Dravecky appears so well recovered from removal of a cancerous tumor in his left shoulder that he may resume pitching for the Giants as early as this weekend.

Giants Manager Roger Craig said the 34-year-old Dravecky is “just looking unbelievable. He’s much further along than we could have hoped. He’s remarkably strong.”

A team spokeswoman said today that a decision about when Dravecky will start pitching again is not certain, although it seems likely he will resume Sunday. That could be in a rehabilitation program either Class A San Jose or in Phoenix. The spokeswoman said the decision would be made after today’s game against St. Louis.

In a 100-pitch game simulation at Candlestick on Tuesday, the left-hander was clocked at a high of 85 m.p.h. and showed good control. Simulated games use mostly reserves and other pitchers for hitters.

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Pitching Coach Norm Sherry said that Dravecky gave up five or six hits but that none was a homer.

“He threw sinkers and some splits,” he said. “His curve was better than any I had ever seen him throw. His slider was flat at times, but when you go through spring training, the slider is the last pitch to come around.”

Dravecky last started on May 28, 1988, in Philadelphia.

“Everything seems to be falling into place,” he said Tuesday. “I’m throwing more pitches, I’m feeling better with my rhythm and I’m improving my consistency in the strike zone. The last two innings, I tried to air it out and was pleased.”

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He said he wants the level of his competition to be as close to the major leagues as possible.

Craig said the team is interested in seeing how Dravecky throws, “if he throws without pain, and if he can come back after sitting on the bench for 20 minutes or so.”

He said he is not concerned about Dravecky’s speed: “He’s not a power pitcher. He uses his head.”


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