After going to the DL on May 12 with shoulder fatigue, John Holdzkom is closing in on a return to the Indianapolis bullpen this week.

“[The rehab] is fine,” Holdzkom said. “I hit a snafu because I got a major virus. That is what took me so long. It wasn’t supposed to be this long, but I got really sick.”

Holdzkom was out early and throwing to some hitters on his own team on Saturday, showing that he is really close to facing opposing batters. He echoed this and said that he expects to be back this week. He also said that the bullpen sessions have felt fine, which is another good indicator.

Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyles agreed with Holdzkom’s assessment.

“He is close,” Kyles said. “A matter of fact, he asked me today when he is going to get a chance to face some real hitters. He is close and we are looking forward to getting him out there as soon as possible.”

Before being shut down, Holdzkom really struggled in the Indianapolis bullpen. After losing out to a numbers game in Pittsburgh, Holdzkom has returned to some of his past control issues.

In 11.1 innings, he has walked 13 hitters. In addition, his strike ratio is hovering around 55 percent. That is with working almost solely with the fastball.

Not only that, he has been much more hittable in 2015, as the contact has seemed to come more often when he has been in the zone. Holdzkom has allowed 11 hits and has a 5.56 ERA this season.

Only time will tell if some downtime will allow Holdzkom to regain his 2014 form that had him rise from Independent League ball to a September call up.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I have no doubt they can get Holdzkom figured out.No one in baseball does a better job that than the Pirates at getting the most out of these pitchers and making adjustments after periods of struggles. The major league club needs bullpen help something fierce. People keep alluding to the fact that the Pirates bullpen is one of the better bullpens in the NL but it has some serious deficiencies , holes. Watson and Melancon are solid. I don’t fully trust Melancon yet but I trust him more than all but 1 other guy (Watson). Caminero is starting to look much better since that balk game. Scahill and Worley are fine as mid relievers. Hughes should not be our set in stone 7th inning guy when they are winning. He needs to be a situational righty I’d like to see them replace Bastardo with a guy who can pitch in these high leverage situations . I don’t care if its a lefty. I know he has struggled this year but I really wish the Pirates would have landed Neshek in the winter meetings when Miami swooped in and stole him from us He’s looking much better recently. I also like Ziegler from ARZ. Side armers are tough to hit. Don’t see them parting with him.

    • I’m not sold that Holdzkom wasn’t a one-hit wonder. I’m hoping he’s not.

      What I’m seeing – and liking – about the Bucs right now is that they’ve got solid pitching depth at AAA, which allows them to essentially treat their MLB BP as disposables, other than Watson and Melancon (and I guess Hughes, although even Hurdle is realizing Hughes is better coming into an inning than starting a clean one). I imagine Blake Wood is next up if Bastardo continues to falter – of if Scahill suffers from post-traumatic shock from his first night in SD.

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