George Sherrill is yet another pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery
and attempting to come back from the operation in a new uniform. The
Kansas City Royals signed Sherrill as a free agent to a low risk contract on
December 7. According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, and much to
the Royals delight, the former Orioles closer threw free and easy Friday in a
conditioning workout at the club’s facility. The 6’ 225 lb. hurler could be
ready to return to active duty as soon as late April.
The well-traveled left-hander, who appeared in only two games in 2012 in his second stint as a Seattle Mariner, was operated on in May, less than a year before his projected return. He came to the big leagues as a Mariner, but was dealt to Baltimore in the same trade that sent Adam Jones and Chris Tillman to the Orioles before the 2008 season. Baltimore plugged him in as their closer, and was rewarded with 31 saves his first season there. He was dealt to the Dodgers at the 2009 trade deadline, and helped Joe Torre's club reach the NLCS with a microscopic 0.65 ERA and 1.084 WHIP, though no longer in the closers role. The Memphis, Tennessee native spent 2011 in the Atlanta Braves bullpen.
Sherrill, 36 in April, will be vying for a spot in a Kansas City bullpen teaming with youngsters. Sherrill's quick recovery, coupled with not only his southpaw delivery but his considerable major league experience might just be enough for Kansas City's gamble to pay off well.