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Kelley returns a year after Tommy John surgery

The Sports Xchange
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The Mariners said hello to a familiar face Thursday when right-handed reliever Shawn Kelley was added to the big-league roster.

Kelley pitched with the Mariners in 2009 and 2010, but since manager Eric Wedge wasn't in the organization then, the skipper is unfamiliar with the right-hander, who had a modified form of Tommy John surgery a year to the day of his return to the big leagues.

"I want his arm to work good, and I want to see what kind of stuff he has," Wedge said before the Mariners' 4-3 loss to the Angels. "He's not a veteran, but he's been around a couple of years and has a little experience. We'll see where he's at."

Kelley has spent most of the last month pitching at Class AAA Tacoma. He was initially there on a rehab assignment before he was optioned to the Rainiers. In all, he pitched in 12 games at Class AAA, putting together a 1.84 ERA while striking out 15 in 14 2/3 innings.

He said his recovery from elbow problems is nearly complete. The last thing to come is his best fastball.

"I'm still a few miles per hour away on my velocity, but command and my slider are good," Kelley said. "I've been able to be effective. I think my last outing I was around 92 (mph). I'd like to think any day now it'll jump back up, but I know where it's going pretty well right now, and I'm feeling pretty good."

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