MINNEAPOLIS: Aaron Laffey's 82 mile-per-hour fastballs are not a product of some new pitching strategy. On the contrary, his left shoulder aches.
What at first was described by manager Manny Acta as a ""dead arm,'' a benign condition that affects many pitchers around mid-season, might be an injury. Laffey presumably will find out today, when he undergoes an MRI exam at the Cleveland Clinic.
On Tuesday, Laffey said, ""It doesn't feel like it's injured. It's just something I have to battle through.''
Today, he was reluctant to talk about his shoulder, saying, ""I've been pitching with soreness for awhile now. We'll see what comes out of it.''
In his past two starts, Laffey's fastball dipped from its usual 87-89 miles per hour to as low as 82. Remarkably, he still was getting batters out. In the two outings combined, he yielded three earned runs in 10 2/3 innings, throwing 102 pitches in one start and 100 in the other.