His last outing convinced him. Something was terribly wrong.
History shows that on June 1, 2011, right-hander Jon Garland produced a quality start for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Colorado Rockies. But almost immediately after leaving the mound, reality struck.
"I ended up going inside and saying, 'Look, I can't do this to myself. I can't do this to this team,' " Garland recalled Sunday night. "When I was on the field, I was starting to anticipate the pain. If you're anticipating the pain, your mind is not even there."
Garland needed shoulder surgery, the worst kind of surgery for a pitcher, surgery that sidelined him for the rest of 2011 and all of 2012.
But now, more than 20 months later, he is on the verge of completing a minor-league contract with the Seattle Mariners -- and maybe regaining his place in the game.
Pitchers and catchers report this week to Florida and Arizona, all with their own stories, their own hopes. We will talk about prospects such as Texas Range...