Connolly Discusses DL Stint

Jon Connolly quickly turned heads at Daytona last season after he was acquired from the Detroit Tigers' farm system in late April. The left-hander led all Daytona starters with a 9-5 record and 2.40 ERA in 21 outings. He recently spoke to Inside The Ivy about his current stint on the DL at Double-A West Tenn.

The 21-year-old Connolly made one start for the Diamond Jaxx before being placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his throwing arm. He allowed three runs and six hits in five innings against Chattanooga at Pringles Park on April 10.

"Throughout the spring, I thought it was a dead arm," Connolly said. "Then I made the one start and it was really bugging me afterward. They shut me down for a week at the time. I later tried to throw again and felt pain."

As such, he flew to Chicago and underwent an MRI.

"I had to get a cortisone shot," Connolly said. "I started throwing again on Saturday (April 30). I played catch and everything felt all right. Hopefully the shot will take care of everything.

"They didn't want to push me too far. I know that getting injured is just a part of baseball. You can't worry and stress out over it; I just play it by ear."

In 2004, Connolly struck out 117 in 159 innings combined between Daytona, Class-A Lakeland and one late-season start at West Tenn. The only two pitchers on his Daytona team that fanned more batters were also left-handers: Rich Hill (136) and Andy Sisco (134).

In Spring Training this year, Connolly and Hill roomed together. The two share a lot as pitchers and teammates.

"We talk about different things," Connolly said. "He's different than me; he's got a harder fastball, and his curveball is one of the best. It's nice to just sit down and talk about the way we pitch."

Connolly said he is eyeing June 1 as a return date.

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