SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Shealy had been waiting a week for this date. He'd been in sick bay for most of that time, so Shealy knew he needed to get back on the field. He did just that Wednesday. Manager Trey Hillman started Shealy at first base against the Giants.
"I'm excited to get back out there and just play," he said. Playing is something Shealy, 28, knows he needs to do these days. He'd missed the end of last season with a hamstring injury, so spending time in bed with the flu isn't the sort of thing that will help him win a roster spot. "I think I'm in a good place now," he said. "The flu bug was something that was going around our clubhouse, and a few guys got it. You know, it was unfortunate, but I feel fine now; I'm back ready to play." Shealy proved how ready in his first at-bat. He homered. "He hit it pretty good," Hillman said. "He went with the pitch and got it on the good part of the bat. Hopefully, I can get him up and running after his sickness." The stretch and the ...: Right-hander Hideo Nomo, who pitched three scoreless innings Wednesday, has put his funky windup in cold storage and is pitching full time from the stretch. "I'm comfortable with it, because it has less stress on the elbow," Nomo said through an interpreter. Nomo went to pitching from the stretch in hopes it would gave him better command of his pitches, Hillman said. "At his age, he may be thinking that it's a lot more important where I locate the pitch than it is that I try to throw the ball 92 or 93 miles an hour," Hillman said. "He's not throwing the ball 92, 93 miles an hour anymore." But what the 39-year-old Nomo is doing isn't uncommon among starting pitchers in Japan, where Hillman managed for five seasons. "Personally, I think it's a smart decision," Hillman said.
Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.