Campos Set To Return Soon

Campos hasn't pitched since April 28th

TAMPA, FL -- On the heels of the news of Manny Banuelos' impending Tommy John surgery and seemingly linked together because of their early season exits this year, right-hander Jose Campos says he's close to returning to the mound.

Out of action since late April, Jose Campos had been dealing with elbow inflammation for quite some time and was prescribed total rest from pitching. While his last mound appearance was on April 28th with the Charleston RiverDogs, he did spend a few months working out behind the scenes with running drills and lifting in the weight room.

"I am throwing right now," Campos said through the help of a translator. "I've been throwing for three weeks. Everything feels good, it feels better than it did before."

Currently long-tossing at 120 feet on flat ground, the last stage in the rehab throwing program before getting back on the mound, he won't get into any games during either of the Instructional League camps but he will be able to throw bullpen sessions soon.

"I'll be on the mound again in two weeks," he said with a smile. "I'm very excited about it. I don't like that it happened. It sucks that it happened, but it's something that happens in the game."

Campos went 3-0 with a 4.01 ERA in five starts for the Charleston RiverDogs and that's including a rare "off night" for the Venezuelan native that saw him surrender eight earned runs in just 2.2 innings against the Hickory Crawdads -- he had a 1.23 ERA in his previous four starts.

While he wouldn't admit it back then, now that he reflects back on that April 28th start [what turned out to be his final game of the season] he realizes he shouldn't have pushed it that far.

"I started off great and I wanted to show the organization that I'm a very good pitcher and what talent that I have," he said. "I wanted to help the organization and I just felt bad about how everything came about.

"I threw a little bit through pain because I wanted to impress the Yankees and show them the kind of talent that I have but I had to stop."

Feeling the pressures of not only being in a new organization for the first time but being the only healthy piece of the trade puzzle in the Jesus Montero deal at the time, he says he learned his lesson about being upfront with the team regarding a potential injury.

"I understand now that there are some pains where you'll feel tired throughout where you can pitch through that, but the feeling I was feeling before [being shut down] wasn't something I should have pitched through," he admitted.

"I should have come out quicker and let the Yankees know that I was hurting. That's something I've learned through all this, to differentiate a severe pain or something that's going to hurt me from just the regular day to day aches."

Chalk it up to the learning curve for a teenager pitcher who has since turned 20 years old. With the injury now squarely in his rear-view mirror, Campos is just excited to get back up on the mound soon in preparation for next season.

"I'm just going to keep on working hard so when next year comes I'll be ready to show them that I can continue to get better," he concluded.

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