Sullivan Armed and Ready - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Sullivan Armed and Ready

KENNEWICK, Wash. - Dust Devils Pitcher Josh Sullivan gave up his football dreams to pursue baseball. However last year, it appeared he may have to give up his baseball dreams as well.

Last year he finished pitching for Auburn and then reported to the Dust Devils. But Sullivan soon complained of a sore shoulder. He ended up sitting out the whole year and getting labrum surgery.

"I felt bad," said Sullivan. "They need to bring in a starter, and I wasn't able to contribute. It put a delay on my career. From now on, I want to go forward with as few setbacks as possible."

Sullivan's extensive offseason rehab has paid off. He says he feels stronger than even before his surgery. Manager Freddie Ocasio agrees.

"His arm is stronger," said Ocasio. "He's been solid. All his outings have been excellent."

With all the rehab and pitching, Sullivan doesn't have much time to think about his old football days. A seldom-used backup quarterback, playing on two bowl teams with Auburn in 2003 and 2004 were his most memorable moments.

"I miss bowl games and Saturdays," he said. "Saturday's were fun, running out with 90,000 people. But I'm happy where I am."

Where he is, is healthy and in the Dust Devils rotation. Hitting the upper 90's on the radar and sporting a 2.34 ERA, he still has major things in store for his athletic career.

"I've only pitched forty innings," says Sullivan. "I have a long way to go before the majors That's many years ahead of me, I'm just trying to keep doing what I did with my arm to get this far."

"His tools are so high that he'll get a chance to pitch in the big leagues," said Ocasio. "Hopefully he'll stay injury free. But when you throw 97 mile per hour, you'll pitch on the big leagues. With some team."