Percival to attempt a comeback
Troy Percival made it official Friday: The former Angels closer, who missed most of 2005 and all of 2006 because of a forearm injury and retired from baseball in April, will attempt a comeback.
The 37-year-old right-hander, who amassed 324 saves — 316 of them with the Angels from 1995 to 2004 — didn’t want to finalize his decision until he completed a lengthy bullpen session at UC Riverside on Thursday.
“He called me [Friday] morning and said, ‘Let’s go,’ ” said Paul Cohen, Percival’s agent. “I just finished a 10year matrix for his retirement plan. That’s going into the paper shredder next week.”
Percival, who was serving as an Angels roving pitching instructor, will spend the next two weeks throwing and working out while Cohen begins canvassing general managers to gauge interest and arranging throwing sessions for scouts.
Closer Francisco Rodriguez and setup man Scot Shields are entrenched at the back of the Angels’ bullpen, but if Justin Speier, on the disabled list because of an unidentified condition unrelated to baseball, remains out indefinitely, there is a chance Percival could return to the Angels.
Percival, who last pitched for the Detroit Tigers in 2005, is open to a variety of bullpen roles. With so many relievers on the disabled list and teams looking for bullpen help, Cohen is confident Percival, who saved three of the Angels’ four World Series wins in 2002, will land a job.
“He’s going to look at each situation on its own, whether it’s closing, setting up, where the team is in the standings,” Cohen said. “He’s not married to closing. He understands he’s been away from the game for a year and it’s in the middle of the season. But he loves baseball, and if he’s 90%, he’s still better than most guys in most bullpens.”