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02/24/10 3:10 PM EST
DiFelice rehabbing at Minor League complex
Right-hander expected to miss entire season after surgery
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- Rehabbing Brewers reliever Mark DiFelice, the team's resident barber, made an appearance in camp on Wednesday morning with a bushy head of hair. He's vowing not to cut it until he's back in the big leagues. It could be a while. DiFelice underwent shoulder surgery in December and is not expected to pitch this season. He won't even be able to get onto a mound to begin a throwing program for at least another month.DiFelice stopped by a field at Maryvale Baseball Park on Wednesday morning while the big league campers stretched for their daily workout. It was bittersweet. "It's difficult to see," DiFelice said. "I knew it was going to hit me when I got to camp and saw everybody doing their thing. When I was at home, it really didn't hit me." DiFelice had been rehabbing at a clinic near his Philadelphia-area home but reported this week to the club's Minor League complex to continue his work with the team's highly regarded physical therapist, Kenny Patterson. The Brewers non-tendered DiFelice soon after his surgery but re-signed him to a Minor League deal to monitor his progress. They could miss him this season. Working almost exclusively with his signature cut fastball, which is devastating on right-handed hitters, DiFelice posted a 3.44 ERA in 74 games over the past two seasons and held righties to a .218 batting average. Since his surgery, the second procedure on his shoulder in his career, DiFelice has been working to improve the range of motion in his joint. He hasn't been able to give himself a haircut. "I'm going to let it go for a little while," he said. "It's gotten past that weird stage. I told my mother I wasn't going to cut it until I got back into the big leagues and she was like, 'That might be a while. You might have some long hair.'"
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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.