For the first time since suffering a setback in late April, after beginning a throwing program, Anderson Espinoza is tossing the ball around once again.
This is a step in the right direction for Espinoza, who underwent the infamous Tommy John surgery last July.
He has been spending his time in Peoria in extended spring training to rehab his injured arm.
According to CBS Sports, he was in line to begin game action in the instructional league as recently as April, but after his setback, that came into question. The Padres are playing it smart with this young talent.
His quick return to a throwing program after seeing the soreness in his elbow subside brings hope that he can still participate in the instructional league without any further issues.
Getting back into game action could be paramount for the young righty, as he has yet to top 108.1 innings pitched in a full season and needs all the seasoning he can get. He surely won’t eclipse that number this season, but he does need to get some work in.
As a 20-year-old, he is still very raw and has not fully harnessed his electric stuff. Throwing in the instructional league could really benefit Espinoza. Recovering from Tommy John is still the top priority, and he should not be rushed if he is not ready to throw in-game, as that could lead to increased injury risk and potential problems down the road.
Espinoza has fallen behind in the Padres’ system in regard to pitchers, and his middling performance in his last affiliated game action in 2016 did not help his stock. Many began to doubt whether he was still worthy of the moniker of future ace that had been applied to him ever since he signed out of Venezuela. MLB Pipeline still has him pegged as the 87th best prospect in the league, but a far cry from his spot at 13th in 2016.
Here is the video of him throwing in Arizona.
Espinoza throwing again pic.twitter.com/kfQBJb4Nco
— Josh (@purpl3m) May 11, 2018
As more news is released and more video is shown of his recovery, maybe hope can be reborn in this promising young righty. Hopefully he can deliver on the promise that made him the sole return in the Drew Pomeranz trade. For now, fans will have to settle with the news that he is healthy and ready to throw, which should be the top priority for him.