Scott Proctor has a realistic chance of making the Giants bullpen out of spring training. It’d be somewhat of another success story for the 36-year-old who has already had to overcome a blown-out arm and a drinking problem.
Proctor, who says he’s now four years sober, was recently candid with the media about his his inability to stay away from the bottle during his time with the Yankees. From Henry Schulman:
Part of that was not eating right or sleeping enough, the basics of being a good athlete, but that was not the killer. He said he had a “serious drinking problem,” a binge drinker who stopped when he ran out of booze or passed out.
His teammates saw it. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was not shy about telling Proctor he needed to stop. In 2009, he said, he did stop while rehabbing after Tommy John surgery.
“Mariano had been on me a long time about just making wiser choices,” Proctor said. “Then I had a bullpen coach, Steve Foster, a really good Christian guy who tried to help me make a change in my life, and thank goodness I’m married to a great woman (Carrie) who has been supportive throughout my career, through the good and bad, and I owe a lot to her.”
Cleaned up and toiling in obscurity as a reliable closer in Korea, Proctor picked up an effective splitter. Now back in the States on a minor-league deal with the Giants, the righty hopes he can put the pitch to potent use against big-league batters. He last pitched in the majors during a forgettable second stint with the Yankees in 2011.
With a career ERA of 4.78 and WHIP of 1.47, Proctor is in the mix to take Guillermo Mota’s old spot in the pen. But Proctor says he’ll be content if his journey back to the big leagues means a detour in the minors. In two appearances this spring, though, Proctor is off to an excellent start, giving up no hits and one walk to eight total batters faced.
“Once I’ve jogged from the bullpen and haven’t tripped, I’m fine,” Proctor said. “That’s the nervous part for me.”
[via SF Gate]