Aiken pitched two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and striking out three in his professional baseball debut for the ALZ Indians Monday. The long-awaited debut for the left-hander Aiken was a success as he continues on his road to recovery from Tommy John surgery. Aiken, the 17th overall pick in the 2015 draft, will be brought back slowly by the Indians organization. Look for him to spend most of his time in the Arizona League for the remainder of the 2016 season.
Aiken (elbow) is currently pitching in extended spring training, and sat at 89-92 mph in his first start there in late May, Fangraphs' Eric Longenhagen reports. He underwent Tommy John surgery in late May of 2015, so this is his first live action against hitters, so it's not a huge red flag that his velocity is not all the way back to his pre-surgery days. Longenhagen reports that Aiken's curveball retained impressive shape and his changeup was below average, which is to be expected given where Aiken is at in his development and recovery. Aiken has also added some weight, and is now approximately 230 pounds, despite being listed at 205. He should spend most of the year in Arizona at extended spring training and rookie ball, although it's possible he could head to Low-A later in the season. Dynasty league owners who drafted Aiken knew the risks and the distant ETA involved, so it's just nice to know that he's back competing on the mound.
Aiken (elbow) threw a bullpen session Tuesday as he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Aiken underwent the knife last March prior to getting drafted by the Indians in June and appears to be on track in his recovery and rehab in the early days of spring.
Indians pitcher Brady Aiken (elbow) threw off flat ground Saturday at the Indians' minor league complex. The 17th overall pick in the 2015 first-year player draft, Aiken fit in his initial activity since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. Now on the road to recovery, he'll seek to return at some point during the 2016 season.
The Indians have signed starting pitcher and first-round pick Brady Aiken, per MLB.com. Now it's a matter of getting him back on the mound. The former top overall selection by Houston is just three months removed from Tommy John surgery. And he has a message for those who have criticized him for not signing with the Astros and tried to put him in bad light. "There's a difference between reputation and character," he said. "Reputation is what people think of you. Character is what you really are."
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