SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Of the six outs recorded by Nestor Molina during Tuesday's 14-8 victory over the Rangers, four were struck fairly solidly and one came on catcher Hector Gimenez's perfect throw to nail Elvis Andrus in his attempt to advance to second on a wild pitch.
But it was still a quality, two-inning start for the right-hander, who almost has to rebuild himself after struggling with top-prospect status in his first year with the White Sox.
"I put a little bit of pressure on myself and for the first time in my career I was injured," said the prospect ranked 10th in the organization by MLB.com, through translator and coach Lino Diaz. "I was trying to do a little bit too much. But this year I've changed that mentality. I'm just coming to get outs and let the rest take care of itself."
Molina finished 6-10 with a 4.26 ERA over 22 games (21 starts) for Double-A Birmingham and 0-1 with a 13.50 in one start for Triple-A Charlotte. As he mentioned, Molina battled elbow soreness after the White Sox acquired the consistent strike thrower in a trade for then-closer Sergio Santos.
Not really knowing what was causing the pain, and then pitching through it, turned out to be the wrong decision for the 24-year-old Venezuelan.
"It was something that just happened, not because of any effort," said Molina, who threw 12 strikes among his 19 pitches. "I feel healthy now, and that's what counts. I haven't changed my mechanics. I'm only trying to throw strikes and concentrate on the things I can control."