HOUSTON (AP) — Roger Clemens made an unexpected appearance at the start of the Houston Astros’ minicamp on Monday, pitching batting practice to prospects that included his oldest son, Koby.
The 43-year-old right-hander hasn’t decided whether he’ll play a 23rd season. He led the major leagues with a 1.87 ERA last year but was plagued by back and hamstring problems late in the season. He limped off the field after just two innings in the World Series opener.
Clemens said Monday his back and hamstring were healed, but he has doubts whether he could last another full season.
“There will be a week I get up and I feel like I can do it again and then the next week, I don’t want to get out in the outfield and start running those poles and doing those things,” Clemens said. “If last year’s World Series was it for me, I’m more than happy. I know we didn’t reach our ultimate goal, but it was a lot of fun. I have a lot to think about.”
Clemens, a free agent, wasn’t offered salary arbitration by the Astros and cannot re-sign with them until May 1. He hopes to pitch for the United States in the World Baseball Classic.
Clemens took the mound at Minute Maid Park, wearing a black Astros shirt and matching cap as he worked up a sweat pitching for about 20 minutes.
“My body feels great, arm feels good,” Clemens said. “I just need the conditioning with my legs. When I have a little extra-long session here, like I was able to throw BP and simulate a couple of hitters, it helps a lot.”
Clemens said he didn’t overexert himself during Monday’s workout, throwing only a handful of game-level fastballs. He was still sore afterward.
“Two split-fingers hurt my elbow like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve got a heartbeat in the back of my shoulder right now,” Clemens said.