Clay Holmes is Getting Close to a Full Return From Tommy John

The big news today in extended Spring Training is that Jameson Taillon will be throwing his first game against live opponents, going up against the Phillies’ extended Spring Training squad on the road. There is also good news on the other big pitching prospect rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. Clay Holmes threw a sim game yesterday, and is now on a five-day rotation that should line him up to return in the early part of June.

Holmes went one inning yesterday, throwing about 20-25 pitches, and using all of his pitches in the process. The next step from here is another sim game on Monday, followed by a two inning game next Saturday. Holmes has thrown multiple innings in bullpen sessions, sitting down for a break between the “innings”, but next week will be the first time he does that in a game.

“Today my arm felt just as good as yesterday,” Holmes said. “No soreness today or anything. Threw well yesterday. Command was great. Things are feeling great.”

Holmes has been throwing since last July, and has pretty much thrown the entire off-season, with a few breaks throughout the process. He said that his arm feels “freer” than before, and that it’s easier to throw.

“It feels like a lot less energy has to put in,” Holmes said. “My arm is free and the ball is coming out really well.”

Holmes said that all of his pitches are coming along well, and that the Tommy John rehab process isn’t even in his mind anymore. He’s hoping that he’ll be back around the second week of June. He will be under a normal progression from here, which means pitching every five days, and building up his innings each start. My estimation of his timeline has the following:

5/18: Sim Game

5/23: 2 inning game

5/28: 3 inning game

6/2: 4 inning game

6/7: 5 inning game

From there, he could return the 12th or the 17th, depending on whether the Pirates want him going twice at five innings. Extended Spring Training will be wrapping up around the first week of June, so it’s possible his return could come sooner, depending on the availability of games. I’d expect him pitching for the Marauders no later than the middle of the month, and possibly in the second week of June if all goes well.