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Weatherford finally gets a chance to pitch in Tri-City

I'm pretty psyched to see Aaron Weatherford pitch for the Dust Devils this year.

The kid can throw. You want to know how good he is? He didn't throw one pitch last season after being drafted in the third round out of Mississippi State, and he's STILL rated the 21st best prospect in the Colorado Rockies' system.

But for a while there it looked like events were conspiring to prevent the 6-foot-1 fireballer from ever throwing a pitch in Tri-Cities. He was assigned to the Dust Devils last year but right away he developed some elbow trouble. Not wanting to risk further injury, the Rockies elected to shut him down for the year.

He began 2009 in Asheville, where he made seven relief appearances before pulling an oblique muscle. The Rockies put him on the disabled list and sent him back to Tri-Cities for a little rehab. The bad news is he probably won't be here for long. Well, I guess that's good news for Weatherford, an affable sort who sounds pretty happy to finally get back to work.

"They're telling me they want me to be a set-up man," Weatherford said. "I'm ready to pitch."

That's good news for manager Fred Ocasio, who was impressed with the right-hander's side session Tuesday.

"Weatherford looked nasty," he said. "It's good we get a chance to see him throw."