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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reds pitcher Mat Latos already throwing from 45 feet

By on 2/20/2014 07:00:00 PM

The Cincinnati Reds won 90 games in 2013 and although their hitting was solid, their strength was in their pitching. The Reds had a staff ERA of 3.38, 5th in the Major Leagues.  The Reds rotation of Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey and Tony Cingrani shapes up to be one of the strongest in the National League.  There was a bit of a scare last week when Latos hurt his right knee, which required surgery.  But just five days later, Latos is making surprising progress, already throwing from 45 feet.

Djh57 via Wikimedia Commons

Sports Injury Alert writer Darius Austin reported last Friday that Latos had surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee, which he hurt when he slipped while throwing just a few days prior. C. Trent Rosecrans at reported that Latos cleared a hurdle on Wednesday with his ten minute throwing session from 45 feet.  He was surprised he was throwing so soon after surgery, a few days sooner than what the Reds had anticipated, after being cleared by team medical director Timothy Kremchek.

"I didn't feel anything, knock on wood," Latos told Enquirer Sports on Wednesday afternoon. "It was nice and easy, I didn't get into anything strenuous. I went through the stretch, full leg kick from the stretch. I went through a full range of motion and thew and everything. No flair-up, no grab, no squeeze, no pinch, no nothing. Honestly, nothing. I was definitely a little awkward because I was hesitant, but the longer I threw, the more I got comfortable with it, so I even would follow through."
Latos knows that he needs to take his recovery slowly and patiently and has plenty of time left in Spring Training to get ready for the regular season. But for now, he's successfully passed his first hurdle. As for an exact date when he'll return, Latos is providing no answers.

" I don't want to set a date. ... I'm not going to rush to come back, we're not going to win anything in April. I don't want to hurt the team. I want to come back 100 percent strong, I want to be fully healthy, but I don't want to take my time and I don't want to rush."
Latos was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 11th round of the 2006 amateur draft.  He's had three, 14-win seasons and four-consecutive seasons with at least 185 strikeouts. Latos has been very durable, starting at least 30 games in each of the last four years.  Last season, he was 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA.  In 137 career games, Latos has a record of 55-40 with a 3.35 ERA. 


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