Now Commenting On:

Bray looking to make comeback with Nationals


VIERA, Fla. -- The last time Bill Bray was here in spring camp, things were noticeably different.

The year was 2006, Bray was set to debut in the big leagues after being selected by the Expos in the first round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, and the Nationals would go on to lose 91 games and finish in last place in the National League East.

"Not much has changed, just new paint," Bray joked. "Now I'm one of the older guys."

Bray, 29, after spending six seasons in the Reds' organization, is trying to make a comeback with the same organization that drafted him. Only that organization has made a major turn and is the defending NL East champions.

Bray was signed on Dec. 3 as a non-roster invitee and has a fine chance to contribute as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen. He's trying to recover from a difficult 2012 -- in which he had a 5.19 ERA in 14 appearances with the Reds, while often sidelined by back and groin problems.

"That injury last year wrecked everything," Bray said. "It messed up my back. The groin blew first, then I tried to pitch through it and that changed the arm angle, and the list goes on and on. It's a laundry list of things that happened last year that I worked almost every day this winter to fix and I'm still working on. I'm out here every day working on my mechanics to get back to where I was. It's gonna be a constant process."

Nationals manager Davey Johnson said Bray's delivery is noticeably different, but his arm strength remains the same. As Bray puts it, the injury to his lower body affected much of his motion, but he believes he's as strong as he ever was. And he knows he has very little room for error at this stage in the game.

"I'm ready to go," Bray said. "I'm still tweaking things, still working through things, but I'm still ready to go. I don't think at this point, with the way Spring Trainings are and the way baseball is in general, I don't think as a guy who's not on the roster, you can afford to come in and not be prepared."

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español