Tim Stauffer threw the first pitch of the 2011 season for the San Diego Padres.
It came six years after he had gotten a 14-game audition in the Padres rotation after being the club's 1st round pick, and fourth overall selection in the 2003 MLB Draft.
It seemed Stauffer, a player taken before household Major League names like the Orioles Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, before the Wildcats Brian Anderson, even before the Diamondbacks Aaron Hill, had finally arrived.
The University of Richmond product made 31 starts that season posting a 9-12 record with a solid 3.73 ERA. But after getting the aforementioned Hill to fly out to center in a September start in San Diego, he left the mound with stiffness in his right forearm.
He has pitched in just one Major League game since.
Now Stauffer is in Tucson on a minor league deal with the Padres with no guarantees that the big leagues will come calling again.
After struggling in his first two starts, the Saratoga Springs, NY native has pitched well in his last three outings for the T-Pads posting a 2.65 ERA.
I caught up with him after a 3-1 loss Friday night to Colorado Springs to get a sense of where he's at in his attempted comeback.
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