FanPost

Wolf K's 5 in Extended ST start

Good news from Florida:

Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Randy Wolf struck out five of seven batters Monday in his first extended spring training game since undergoing elbow surgery last summer.

Wolf faced two former major leaguers -- first baseman Erubiel Durazo and catcher Ben Davis -- who are playing for the New York Yankees' extended spring team. Durazo struck out, and Davis got one of two singles off Wolf.

"I felt great," Wolf said. "It went a lot better than I thought it was going to go. The main thing I wanted to do was basically just go out there and throw strikes and mix my pitches a little bit. Get back into the mode of pitching, setting guys up, and I really felt like I accomplished that."

Wolf threw 19 of 26 pitches for strikes.

"Threw some good change-ups," Wolf said. "Threw my curveball for strikes, fastballs for strikes where I wanted to. That's pretty much all I could ask for right now."

I'm trying to keep my expectations reasonable for Wolf: guys in their first year back from TJ surgery often strugle with their command, and for a pitcher like Wolf who doesn't throw particularly hard, command is the key to everything.

Still, the guy has been one of my favorite Phillies since he came into the organization in 1997, and I'd love to see him come back and contribute to a stretch run. Given the tendency of pitchers to be "better than ever" in their second year after the surgery, and the $9 million the club is paying Wolf for his rehab this season, I'd be even happier to see him re-up with the Phils for a low base plus a lot of incentives for 2007. A Myers/Hamels/Wolf/Lieber rotation base, with a free agent signee or development from Madson or Floyd, could be pretty strong.

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