Braboy Close To Being Fully Back

Braboy did throw in the 93-97 mph range in 2009

TAMPA, FL - The hard-throwing Brandon Braboy had his stock on the rise at this point a year ago but then missed most of the 2010 season with two hip labrum surgeries. He is pitching in games this Spring Training again and he says he is close to being fully back.

"I feel good but I'm still a little bit weak in my right hip," Brandon Braboy said. "Movement-wise though, it feels great. I've just got to get stronger.

"I'm past that recovery stage. I used to be sore for a day or two [afterwards], now I'm ready to go the next day."

He has already pitched three innings this Spring and not only is he good to go the following day, but he says he is completely fine that same day after icing down for a couple of hours.

With pain and soreness really no longer an issue, he has been able to focus on the two main parts of his game - stuff and command.

"Stuff-wise I feel good," he said. "The breaking ball was real good the other day. As far as location and everything, I'm probably a little bit behind right now. I feel a little awkward since I haven't pitched in so long.

"Everything else feels good. I'd say percentage-wise I feel 85-90 percent right now. My hips feel so much better than they did last year."

Nobody, including Braboy himself, is too sure of the plan for him. He has been participating in all of the PFP's [pitcher's fielding practice], running exercises, and has been in a normal one day on-two day off Spring Training routine that all relievers have, which should put him on pace to break camp with one of the teams.

The only thing holding him back these days is rediscovering that same power he once had in his legs, but Braboy believe it is just a matter of time.

"Once I get my strength back I feel I'll be as good if not better than I was," he said. "Movement-wise, my left and right hip move so much smoother than they did. I don't have anymore back pain and I'm more flexible.

"Right now it's just a matter of me getting into the weight room and strengthening up, but there's only so much I can do without overdoing it. I do think I'll at least be as good as I was before."

Even though he has pitched well in his career thus far and he deserves some time to readjust to the hitters after missing most of last year, the 25-year old Braboy knows all too well just how important 2011 is for him.

"I think it's very important," he flatly said. "I missed all of that time last year and I felt like last season was my season to break out, to show them that I had my breaking ball better and that I was a better pitcher.

"I think a lot is riding on this year for me. All I need is another month of strengthening up and I feel like I'll be back in there [with the top guys]."

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