Former WC star Douglas earns promotion

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 10, 2004

[8/10/04]A short trip to the disabled list was enough to get Shea Douglas down in the dumps. A pair of surprises quickly lifted him up.

While nursing an inflamed rotator cuff in his left shoulder during June, Douglas was able to skip a road trip with the Cleveland Indians’ Class-A farm club, the Kinston (N.C.) Indians. During that time, Douglas was able to be with his wife, Shaun, as she gave birth to their second child a boy named Drake.

“We had a seven-day road trip that was about eight hours away,” the former Warren Central standout said. “Because I was on the DL, they let me hang back. I got to be there for my child’s birth, so I don’t regret being on the DL for that.”

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Soon after his return from the disabled list in July, Shea got another surprise when he was promoted full-time to the Double-A Akron (Ohio) Aeros.

“I’m pretty pumped. I came up last year for an injury fill-in. I got a taste and I wanted more,” said Douglas, who had a brief stint with the Aeros last season.

Douglas said he and his family which also includes daughter Lexus, who just turned 2 have enjoyed the move to Akron, where the summer weather has been beautiful, compared to the heat he’s used to in Mississippi.

At 23, Douglas is one of the youngest players on the team. He said he can see a noticeable difference in the maturity of his teammates.

“The players are more mature,” he said. “Down in A ball, the young guys at 19 still act like they’re in high school.”

In six games since the call-up, Douglas is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 1/3 innings pitched. He said he’s still building back his arm strength after the injury, which put him on the shelf for nearly six weeks.

Douglas said he first noticed the injury when he began waking up with throbbing pains in his shoulder each morning. He approached the team’s trainer, and they did a series of arm-strength tests. The results revealed that Douglas’ left arm his pitching arm was noticeably weaker than his right arm.

The team immediately placed him on the disabled list and all but eliminated his throwing.

“It was tough,” Douglas said of his trip to the DL. “A lot of people get down in the dumps. Let’s just say that I wasn’t happy that I was hurt.”

Douglas said he expects his velocity which is normally a touch under 90 miles per hour to return shortly. In the meantime, he’s not worried about taking the mound.

“It’s about pitching,” he said. “I’ve played with a lot of guys that don’t throw hard that can bring it. I’ve also played with a lot of guys that do throw hard and don’t know how to pitch.”

The Aeros’ major league affiliate, the Cleveland Indians, are still in the playoff race at five games back from the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division.

The Indians also have no left-handed relief pitchers on their roster.

Could Douglas be in for more good fortune when teams expand their rosters from 25 to 40 players in September?

“I seriously doubt it,” he said. “Now that would be a surprise.”