It All Comes Down To Health For Borrell

It has been a long road back from labrum surgery for Trenton left-hander Danny Borrell. The 28-year old lefty who hails from nearby Lansdale, Pa. is back for his second season with Trenton after making ten appearances last season for the Yankees Double-A affiliate.

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Danny Borrell had a 2.93 ERA with Columbus in June of 2003 before tearing his labrum and he has spent the last two and a half seasons trying to regain his pre-surgery form. As he enters the final steps in his rehab, he is willing to pitch wherever the Yankees send him.

"When I went down, obviously I was right there and my goal, like everyone else in the room's goal, is to make it to the Major Leagues, but I'll go wherever they need me to go," said Borrell.

The key to the left-hander's season is simple: stay healthy. While some may say that is the key to any minor leaguers success, it is especially true in Borrell's case because he is 28-years old and his window of opportunity to play in the Majors in diminishing quickly. He is aware of and at peace with that fact.

"The key for me really is going out there every fifth day and staying healthy," said Borrell.

Borrell battled shoulder stiffness and pain his entire time in Trenton last year on his way to compiling a 6.34 ERA and a .310 opponents' batting average against. The pain was so persistent for the veteran left-hander last season that he says he would often catch himself thinking about getting re-injured while he was on the mound.

"If it happens, last year I thought about it a lot. I think coming back from an injury is 50/50 physical and mental because last year I had a couple MRIs on it and they were fine, but I just didn't feel 100%. It's hard to tell because sometimes your mind can make you think you're not 100 percent," said Borrell.

This year though, Borrell says he feels substantially better than he did last season and is ready to build on his early season success.

The pitcher said he is buoyed by his start and hopes to build on it, "It's a 100 percent difference from last year in how I feel. In my last start, my velocity was back to where it was before the surgery."

In his first two starts of this season, Borrell has compiled a 2.45 ERA and a .205 opponents average against, which are both vast improvements over last season. He looks to continue those numbers by putting up good starts every time out.

"The big thing for me is to be more consistent. Everybody's going to be a little inconsistent in their first couple of starts, but just consistency all in all. Mentally, I'm old enough where I know what I have to do to succeed. For me, the big thing is in my mechanics-repeating my delivery. So just repetition and consistency are the two biggest things," said the left-hander.

At 28-years old and still in the process of rehabbing his labrum, Borrell is at peace with the possibility of re-injuring his shoulder.

"If it happens, it happens. I'll just pack up my stuff and go raise my family," said Borrell.

It is refreshing to see a professional baseball player in today's game with as humble and honest an outlook as Borrell. The fact that he seems at peace with himself and his situation, after undergoing all the trial and tumult of injury, says volumes about Borrell as a person.

Borrell's professional situation is aided by the fact he is a left-handed pitcher and there is always a demand at the Major League level for quality left-handed arms. It really does all come down to health for Borrell. If he can stay healthy and continue to pitch as effectively as he has early on, he could definitely catch on as a left-handed reliever.

He certainly possesses the stuff and approach to make an impact but only time will tell if Borrell's shoulder is up to the task.

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