Shooting for September

Mays still striving for September return

By Dave Campbell

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rehabilitating right-hander Joe Mays showed up at the Metrodome Wednesday with plenty of optimism for a return this season.

The Minnesota Twins are being a little more cautious.


Mays had a reconstructive procedure, commonly known as Tommy John surgery, done on his elbow last September. After winning 17 games with a 3.16 ERA in 2001, Mays signed a four-year, $20 million contract -- an investment the Twins have received very little return on.

The elbow problem popped up in 2002 and limited him to just 17 starts. After insisting he was healthy, Mays struggled through most of 2003 -- posting a 6.30 ERA before being pulled from the rotation in July.

Stuck in the bullpen during the pennant race, Mays decided to get his arm cleaned up. Tommy John comebacks normally take a year, and that's what he's hoping for.

"We're starting to make progress," Mays said Wednesday at the Metrodome. He's been rehabbing at the Twins' spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., but he's in Minnesota for a few days to see his teammates and get a change of scenery.

Initially, Mays was on track to return sometime after the All-Star break. He starting throwing too hard and had some setbacks, however, needing three weeks off at one point this summer. Now he's back on the mound, with another bullpen session scheduled for Friday.

It's doubtful Mays can contribute to the Twins' push for a third straight division title. The best-case scenario has him getting back on the mound in September -- like Eric Milton did last year after missing most of last season following knee surgery -- and gaining some peace of mind for 2005.

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.
Caitlin and Jason Keck’s two-year term on the American Farm Bureau Federation committee begins next month.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission met on Jan. 5, 2023, to consider the application for Summit Carbon Solutions.
Qualified Minnesota farmers will receive dollar-for-dollar matching money to purchase farmland.