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Conway gets down to work to prepare to pitch for Cubs

June 27, 2012|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com

Josh Conway placed his most important signature on the dotted line of a Chicago Cubs contract and has begun his professional baseball career and the dream of reaching the major leagues.

Conway — who was drafted by the Cubs in the fourth round and 134th overall in the Major League Draft on June 5 — recently signed the contract and is now in Mesa, Ariz., doing rehabilitation work on his surgically repaired right arm.

“I’m very happy with the financial offer from the Cubs,” said Conway. “After I signed I had to make sure it was me. After I called my parents, it started to sink in that it was.”

Terms of the signing bonus were not disclosed, but according to several websites, the range for fourth-round signings is in the $350,000-to-$400,000 range.

Conway was one of seven pitchers the Cubs drafted in their first eight picks, including six righthanders. Chicago stockpiled the organization with 22 pitching picks.

Conway, the former Smithsburg star, was originally drafted in 2009 by the Atlanta Braves, but opted to attend Coastal Carolina University, where he won 14 games.

Late this season, he experienced discomfort in his right elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar nerve on May 15.

Since then, he’s been on a rehab program and is now under the care of the Cubs at their spring training complex in Mesa.

“The arm is coming along fine,” said Conway. “I’m doing physical therapy and so far there have been no setbacks.”

Conway must complete a four-month rehab process before he can throw a baseball, which he hopes will come in late August. He has been wearing a flexible brace on his arm stretching from his wrist to just below the shoulder.

The Mesa camp will break before Thanksgiving and Conway will return home for six weeks.

Binford on the mend

Hagerstown’s Christian Binford, who was recently assigned to Burlington, N.C., of the rookie short-season Appalachian League, had his first start scratched due to inflammation in his right shoulder but is looking forward to getting on the mound soon.

“There was some soreness but there is no damage in the shoulder,” said Binford, drafted by Kansas City in the 30th round of the 2011 draft. “It was a little setback but a minor one.”

Binford was scheduled for long toss throwing Wednesday and will have an upcoming bullpen session before making his first appearance.

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