SCRANTON, PA. — Finally healthy after experiencing inflammation in his right pitching shoulder, Ryan Pope has been sent down to Double-A Trenton. He is expected to join the team tomorrow in Richmond and will pitch out of the bullpen.
Pope started the season on the DL, but made four scoreless appearances in High-A Tampa before being sent to Triple-A Scranton. But he struggled here, going 2-1 with an ERA of 8.14. The shoulder issues, Pope says, became too painful to pitch through anymore.
“I’ve been trying to push through some shoulder stuff, and it’s tough to try to pitch through that and get good results,” Pope said.
“It got to the point where I had to suck it up and say something. I wasn’t myself for the time I’ve been here. I battled, but it was tough. Hitters here are good, and if you make the slightest mistake, they’re going to hit it and make you pay. As a learning experience, it’s been good. But as a results experience, it hasn’t been what I wanted it to be. But I haven’t been myself since spring training.”
The 25-year-old righty, who has not pitched since a disastrous June 16 outing in which he allowed five runs in two thirds of an inning, is heading back to a place where he’s had success in the past.
“It’s good. I know Tommy (Phelps), and he works hard with the pitchers and he’s worked hard with me,” Pope said.
“He knows me from when I was good and when I was clicking and he can give me my steps to my mechanics again if I fall off. But it’s definitely good. Sure, you never want to get sent down, but you take the good with the bad. I still have a job and I’m still pitching. I still have stuff to prove. I’m going to go down there and give it everything I can.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com