Say this for the Rocket: He doesn’t waste any time. A day after appearing in New Jersey at a golf outing, Roger Clemens was working out at the University of Kentucky. Here is the story, courtesy of the fine people at the Louisville Courier-Journal:
By Brett Dawson
LEXINGTON, Ky. â€“ Whether Roger Clemens is ready for a return to the New York Yankees is unclear.
But apparently, he could handle the Southeastern Conference.
The seven-time Cy Young winner took the mound at the University of Kentucky today, pitching to UK catcher Sean Coughlin, offering insight to the Wildcats and announcing that heâ€™s making progress toward his return to Major League Baseball.
â€œHis stuff was pretty good,â€? Coughlin said. â€œHard and nasty.â€?
Clemens is in Lexington this week to watch his son, Koby, play for the Lexington Legends, the Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros.
A close friend of UK coach John Cohen â€“ Cohen declined to give his name â€“ works for the agency that represents Clemens. That friend called Cohen last night to see if Clemens could work out at UKâ€™s facilities, and Cohen was quick to grant permission.
So Clemens had a long workout this morning at Cliff Hagan Stadium, first working with a personal trainer, then throwing off the mound to Coughlin as the Catsâ€™ pitching staff looked on from behind the mound.
Often, Clemens would turn back to the assembled pitchers to offer advice.
â€œAnytime I have a chance to talk to the guys at the University of Kentucky is great,â€? Clemens said. â€œSame thing when Iâ€™m at (my alma mater) the University of Texas. Some great questions from the kids, and itâ€™s really great that they relaxed. They asked some good, pointed questions.â€?
Clemens, who also threw some pitches to Koby Clemens, said heâ€™s not ready to pitch in the big leagues yet.
â€œRight now, the arm feels fine,â€? Clemens said. â€œMy arm feels good. I just have to get that soreness that I guess every pitcher understands. Iâ€™ve got to get it in my legs and out as quick as possible so that I know I can handle the stress of a major league game.â€?
Clemens said he might be â€œa little further advancedâ€? than he was last season, when he made a comeback to the Astros.
Heâ€™ll work out in Lexington through the week, attending games during the Legendsâ€™ homestand, then plans to meet up with the Yankees in Chicago next week.
â€œIâ€™ve got to get my work done and get back (to the Yankees) as soon as possible,â€? Clemens said. â€œReally, all the work begins now.â€?