I just came running up from the field, where Alan Horne just got done throwing a side session in front of pitching coach Tommy Phelps. Francisco Cervelli caught about 35 of Horne’s pitches.
Before my recorder went on, Horne told me he felt the side went well…also, Tommy Phelps confirmed to me exclusively that HORNE WILL BE STARTING FOR THE THUNDER SATURDAY.
Photos and video coming soon.
Here are quotes from Alan Horne:
“I was throwing everything with no problems, no pain or anything like that. The main thing with me really is to keep building my arm strength through number of pitches and just getting in game situations. I’m trying to get some velo back. I’ve been running on almost two years without a break from throwing last off-season and getting ready for the season and throwing and rehabbing all of last year. It’s a long process right now, and I’m just trying to continue to try and build and work through it and hopefully just keep getting a little better every time out. That’s what I was doing down in Tampa, just trying to build every time out.”
Horne’s face lit up when I asked him about getting into an actual game on Saturday…
“That’s big. I haven’t really done that in a while. I was so streaky last year, I got to make a couple starts here and there, but I never really got to find a rhythm. Then I got into a few extended spring games down (in Tampa), and I’m starting to find that rhythm a little bit and I’m ready to start testing it against some competition. Get a little adrenalin going, things like that. It’s tough to do that in a controlled environment like in spring training.”
Horne talks about his up and down last few seasons…
“It’s tough. I was right there knocking on the door. Arguably, I could have been the first or one of the first guys called up last year. I didn’t have to throw very well for very long to be one of the guys. Last year, I just kept trying to push through it, but I could never make it back, but I finally got a reason for it at the end of the year. I found out I needed the surgery, which probably was needed a lot earlier than that. We just weren’t aware of it. I’m just glad to be back and going in the right direction now. It’s still going to be a long process, but I plan on having a long career, so that’s all right.”
Horne talks about returning to the site of his best pro season…
“To get back to some competition at the higher levels and come back here, which is a familiar setting and where I had some success a couple years ago, it’s a big thing. Hopefully I can continue to build on my success from a couple years ago here and keep going up.”
Horne drove up to Trenton yesterday and arrived in the clubhouse at around 5:45. He threw a side session at around 6:20.
I’ll have quotes from Phelps later on…had to bust tail to post that stuff, so I have to do the game thread and so on.