Former top pick Reynolds unpolished, but healthy

Rockies right-hander Greg Reynolds’ work Friday will not go down as one of baseball’s all-time great live batting practice sessions. Some fastballs threatened to shatter bats. Some were not where he wanted them.

But four months after surgery to repair his labrum, Reynolds is happy he is on the mound at all. He’s ecstatic about the fact he’ll be ready to pitch out of the rotation, most likely at Triple-A Colorado Springs, when the regular season begins.

“I feel encouraged just by the way I bounced back from surgery,” Reynolds said. “My arm feels good. I’m getting that strength back up. It feels so nice being out there, able to work on stuff without having anything in the back of your mind.”

The Rockies’ top Draft choice, second overall, in 2006, Reynolds seemed on the fast track. But a right shoulder injury in 2007 kept him from receiving an early promotion to the Majors. He saw time with the big club in 2008 but struggled (2-8, 8.13 ERA) and never found health last season.

The surgery was exploratory to an extent — his shoulder required a detailed look to see exactly what was wrong. But rehab has been quick.

While searching for answers last year, the Rockies tried to rebuild his motion from the moment he pulled the ball out of his glove on the windup. The thought was the way he was drawing his arm back was leading to the problems. But now that he’s healthy, the team is taking a different method. The emphasis is on his staying in line with home plate and not throwing across his body. So coaches are looking at the end result more than the beginning.

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