Left-handed pitcher Chuck James was always a likable player and a fan favorite when he was with the Atlanta Braves, despite an ungraceful exit on the field and shoulder surgery which has kept him out of baseball since 2008. His seven starts for the Braves that year were anywhere from bad to worse, and it seemed that the days of this soft tossing lefty being effective in the Major Leagues was over. Then after that season and surgery it also appeared his career might be over.
James is now with the Nationals double-A team in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Last week he had the best start of his comeback, going five no-hit innings, walking one, and striking out seven. That performance led him to be named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. It was his first start for the club since moving from the bullpen, and he has yet to allow an earned run in 14.2 double-A innings. James also made five starts in triple-A earlier in the season, but without as much success.
The jury is still out on whether James can make it back to the big leagues, but even if he does it with a division rival like the Nationals, there will be plenty of fans in Atlanta cheering for him.