By Bruce Levine —
CHICAGO (CBS) — A former White Sox hurler is considering pitching again after a four-year hiatus.
Right-hander Jon Garland, 37, is deciding on whether to rekindle a career that ended early in 2013. Garland posted 136 big league victories, including back-to-back 18-win campaigns for the White Sox in 2005 and 2006.
Garland is in town this weekend to celebrate the retirement of Mark Buehrle’s uniform number that took place Saturday. On Sunday, Garland also threw a 20-minute side session with his former pitching coach, Don Cooper.
“I liked what I saw from Jon,” Cooper said. “The ball was coming out of his hand well. I told him if he is pain-free and still has a desire to pitch, he should pursue it.”
A southern California native, Garland started to throw again about a year ago at his old high school. He did so at the encouragement of some young pitchers he worked with there. Prior to that, he hadn’t pitched since being released by the Colorado Rockies in 2013.
Garland was a first-round pick by the Cubs in the 1997 amateur draft. He was traded to the White Sox in 1998 for reliever Matt Karchner. He spent from 2000 to 2007 with the White Sox and was a key part of the 2005 championship team.
“Jon did not depend on velocity to get hitters out,” Cooper said. “He had a very good sinker, and he pitched inside on left-handed hitters to get outs.”
Garland said the decision to pitch again would be a family decision now that he and his wife, Lovie, have a three-year-old daughter to consider.
“My arm just healed over time,” Garland said. “When you are pitching every year your whole life, your arm never really has the time to recover. I am pain-free when I throw. This next step will be about a long conversation between me and my girls at home.”
With that being said, those competitive juices are still flowing and apparent to Garland.
“Just walking out to the bullpen was a good feeling,” he said. “I love this stadium and I love this city. Coop was my pitching coach when I was 18. It was a good feeling — it really was.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.