Atchison Strikes Out Three in Rehab Assignment
Danny Madden | On 13, Jun 2015
The Indians bullpen has been one of the biggest weaknesses since the start of the season, but it’s about to get big boost with the return of veteran Scott Atchison, who could be returning any day now. He was placed on the 15-Day Disabled list with a sprained left ankle injury on May 28.
Atchison, 39, was a core part of the bullpen last year when he appeared in 70 games for the Tribe and posted a 2.75 ERA. As most people who follow the Indians know, manager Terry Francona loves to use his core bullpen guys like Bryan Shaw, Marc Rzepczynski, and Cody Allen. Atchison fell right into that group, and he’s been missed in the bullpen since being placed on the disabled list. Prior to being put on the DL, he had an ERA of 5.74 in only 15.2 innings.
The injury that Atchison sustained happened almost a month before he was actually put on the DL, and he tried to play through the injury at first.
“We took a couple days right after where I didn’t throw because I couldn’t land on it. Then I just got it to where I thought I could manage it. Over time, it started hampering with my mechanics a little bit,” Atchison said. “That’s been the biggest thing deal this whole 15 days was mostly getting sure I had flexibility back in the ankle. Once I had that I was able to get back into my mechanics.”
In his outing with Double-A Akron, he threw one scoreless inning where he struck out three and gave up a triple to the Blue Jays opening day center fielder Dalton Pompey.
“My cutter was sharp. Threw a couple of good curveballs, which was nice. My fastball had good life. I don’t use it a ton, and I was able to locate it for the most part. I made one mistake. The rest of the time was good,” Atchison said.
Atchison is someone who is used to facing adversity throughout his career. He’s spent much of his career either in the minor leagues, or in the independent leagues. He’s used to facing the uphill battle, which is what makes him such a good competitor. He also provides a good example for young guys to build themselves off of. RubberDucks manager David Wallace was certainly excited to have him around the guys, even if it was just for one day.
“It was great having him in. The inning was fun to watch. Just having him around the guys [was good]. I’m glad he’ll be able to get up and help those guys out,” Wallace said.
It was even more fun for Atchison to be in Akron, not only because he was able to see some live batters, but because he was also reunited with former teammate, and current pitching coach of the RubberDucks, Jeff Harris. They were once teammates together when Atchison was playing for the Seattle Mariners back in 2005.
After a strong outing at Double-A, Atchison should be returning to Cleveland any day now. With the current struggles of some of the relievers, like Austin Adams or Nick Hagadone, the Indians could use a healthy Atchison at the back end of the bullpen. We should be seeing him back, hopefully, this upcoming weekend.
“Oh ya, I’m ready to go! It’s been two weeks, basically, of no games so that was fun to get back into games. Get excited, and get that adrenaline going. I look forward to getting back up there.”
Photo: Rick Yeatts/Getty Images