It’s been a long time coming for Los Angeles Dodgers’ relief pitcher Scott Elbert. Two years and three elbow surgeries later, Elbert was added to the Dodgers’ roster before Friday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
According to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, the 29-year-old was happy to finally be back with the team:
I feel real good, been bouncing back pain-free,” the Dodgers left-hander said. “I feel like a normal ballplayer again.”
Elbert underwent three elbow surgeries over the past two years, including a Tommy John surgery and an appendectomy this past spring. The left-hander cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque after his rehab assignment ended in July. Elbert owned a 5.85 ERA over 24 minor leagues appearances this season.
There were times when it did not seem Elbert would pitch in the Majors again. The Missouri product also talked about his journey back to the Dodgers and overcoming adversity:
Three operations in one general area was obviously quite a lot,” Elbert said. “Being able to pick up a baseball and get into any game was an accomplishment for me.”
Elbert understands that although he’s been out of the Majors for quite some time, he still has the ability to perform at a high level:
Obviously my velocity is not where it once was,” Elbert said. “I feel 100 percent but even if I’m back at 90 percent, it’s still pretty good. I think I’ve got enough to compete and get guys out.”
In five career seasons with the Dodgers, Elbert is 3-3 with a 3.61 ERA, 92 strikeouts and a 1.343 WHIP over 120 appearances. He appeared in 90 combined games during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Los Angeles has 15 games remaining before the playoffs start. Given that the Dodgers have J.P. Howell as the lone lefty in the bullpen, Elbert figures to be of use for manager Don Mattingly in the coming weeks.
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