Nardi Contreras, the Yankees Minor League Pitching Coordinator, sits down with PinstripesPlus.com…
Wait And See Approach With Horne
"It's not the same thing as having your elbow done. Your arm is just different when you come back from a shoulder surgery, no matter how major or minor it is."
The lucky part for Horne is his shoulder surgery in 2008 was considered to be on the minor side, but he still had to endure a rocky transition back to the mound during his rehab last season.
While it wasn't a major repair, it has taken him some time to get his functionality back and he went just a combined 4-4 with a 5.69 ERA over three minor league levels in 2009.
"I threw the ball pretty well the last month to month and a half last season," he said. "I had one kind of rocky start in there but made some good starts in the GCL. I threw three starts in Charleston that were for the most part pretty good.
"I had a couple of rocky stretches but I got over 100 pitches for my last two starts for the first time in three years, going back to '07. I definitely thought that was a good sign."
Even though his velocity never really rose above the 88-91 mph range, he was happy with how well he maintained his velocity each game, never really seeing any major decreases. He was also encouraged by how well his breaking pitches were moving too.
Rehabbing his injured shoulder through most of 2008 before succumbing to shoulder surgery and then having to spend all of last year rehabbing his way back from that, Horne finally got some much needed rest this offseason.
"I took a longer break from this fall just because I was running on about two years straight with no break on my shoulder," he revealed. "It was definitely time for my body and shoulder to have a break."
Not scheduled to report to the minor league complex until February 22nd, the right-hander, who is officially done with the rehab process, has been long-tossing since mid-December and has even started throwing off of a mound in the hopes of getting off to a strong start in 2010.
"In a way I'm taking it easy but in another way I'm trying to push it to make sure I'm strong and ready to go in Spring Training," he said. "I want to be as close to game speed as I can when I get there."
He's hoping the struggles he endured the last two years will finally pay off with a bounce-back to his 2007 form this upcoming season, but he is also the first one to admit there are still a lot of unknowns at this point.
"We'll just have to see how it's going to go. I've done my job getting it strong through the rehab and now it's just going to be a physical thing to see how that repair is going to hold up for me.
"So far it's as good as to be expected and I continue to make progress everyday. From talking to people, you kind of pick that velocity up after your first offseason after the rehab.
"You battle through the rehab and then your first year, and then that downtime is huge coming back into the second season. Hopefully that will be the difference-maker," he concluded.
PinstripesPlus.com Recommended Stories
Odell Beckham makes catch of the year
Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham made what has to be the most incredible catch of the NFL season. Check out the highlight reel grab!Read More
OU's Perine rushes into record books
Norman has seen a lot of special days, but few will compare to what Samaje Perine did Saturday in rushing for 427 yards and five touchdowns.Read More
College Week 13: 10 Saturday Takeaways
Breaking down all the battles that mattered this weekend.Read More
5 NHL Teams with Tailgating Crazy Fans
When it comes to tailgating, football might be the first sport that comes to mind, but don’t underestimate hockey. The NHL has some of the most passionate fans in all of sports, and they don’t let up…Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More