Melvin Optimistic on Big Unit's Return

Yes, Randy Johnson still plans on returning for the 2008 Arizona Diamondbacks season. I know. He's older than dirt.

But apparently the 44-year-old veteran lefty has "the arm of a 25-year-old"... or so claims his skipper, Bob Melvin.

After undergoing surgery on his back this past July, it seems Johnson has recovered nicely. He's been playing catch lately and is expected to throw from a mound shortly before pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 15th.

Following a slow start to his 2007 season, the Big Unit had a sweet stretch from May 15th to June 10th, going 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA, fanning 42 batters and walking just four. However, he was limited to just 56.2 innings before his mid-season operation. That Big Unit would be a pretty huge asset to the D'Backs rotation next year.

Strikeout artist Brandon Webb will kick things off on Opening Day, and if Johnson is healthy enough, Melvin may slide him into the #2 spot, followed by newly-acquired right-hander Dan Haren, lefty Doug Davis and 25-year-old righty Micah Owings.

[MLB.com] | [] | [Beyond the Box Score]


Bassmaster said...

That was a great episode...