As elated as he was during his first throw for Cardinals major-league coaches in two years, prospect Jordan Swagerty said the final thrill came when he was done.
“To feel healthy at the end of the bullpen is the bonus,” he said.
Swagerty, 24, has spent the past two years recovering from elbow surgery that interrupted his past chance to make a first impression. A second-round selection in 2010, Swagerty came to spring training in 2012 set to show his up-tempo fastball, sharp breaking ball and potential readiness to pitch that summer in the majors. He had soared through three levels the previous summer, his first in the pros, and he was considered a harbinger of the power arms to come.
He was the prospect in front of Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez, and Joe Kelly — all pitchers who have leapfrogged him and impacted the majors while he nursed an uncooperative right elbow. A nonroster invitation to major-league camp this spring is his reset.
“I think it’s just something that he’s ...