PITTSBURGH -- Outfielder Jamie Romak, who came to the Pirates from the Braves as part of the Adam LaRoche trade, is close to ending his stint in extended Spring Training in Bradenton, Fla. The 23-year-old is rehabbing following offseason right elbow surgery.
Originally it was felt that it would take four months for Romak to return to action, but he is about one month ahead of schedule, and the target date for his return is April 15. Romak has been playing the outfield in intrasquad games and getting a lot of at-bats.
"I feel great," Romak said. "Really it is the best that the elbow has felt in three years.
"I'm getting used to throwing again and getting stronger, and there is absolutely no pain when I swing the bat. I had some pretty bad bone spurs and it was limiting my range of motion. It's been bothering me for about three years and it feels better than it ever has."
Romak batted a combined .256 in 105 games between Class A Hickory and Class A Lynchburg last season. He smacked 20 home runs and had 60 RBIs. Romak will start out at Lynchburg when he is cleared to play.
"My biggest goal is to be able to play every day and to learn how to be a consistent player, get my feet back under me and start swinging the bat again. And then, hopefully, move on up in the system."
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.