The last time Astros righthander Alex White pitched in a game — an exhibition against the Chicago Cubs on March 29, 2013 — he thought he would get through the elbow pain. A lot of pitchers are that way. They might feel some discomfort during a game, but they know their bodies best. For White, the pain would typically subside by the next outing. That game against the Cubs at Minute Maid Park was different. “Before I even threw that game against Chicago, I knew something wasn’t right,” White said. “I wanted to pitch. My elbow has always been (able to) get through the start, and then the next time it’ll feel better. It just wasn’t. It wasn’t even close when I threw that game. It’s tough, and this last year was extremely difficult.” While many Astros arrived here this week ahead of Saturday’s report date for pitchers and catchers, White has been around for months rehabbing. He underwent Tommy John surgery last April after he had made the Astros’ rotation out of spring training. White wants his job back, to be sure, but this spring he has to focus on his health first. He still hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Astros in a regular-season game. A former first-round pick of the Cleveland Indians who’s now 25 years old, White jokes about how well he has gotten to know the team’s spring training site. “I’m the mayor of this town,” he said. White did some online coursework. He even learned to bowl lefthanded. That’s how much players coming back from major surgeries in somewhat isolated environments can want for entertainment.
Astros’ White focuses on health, not starts
Houston Chronicle | Feb 14