San Diego Padres pitcher Chad Qualls throws during baseball spring training Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Padres reliever Chad Qualls knows he rushed his return to the field in 2010, and the result was the worst season of his career.
Coming off season-ending knee surgery in September 2009, Qualls ignored the fact that his left knee wasn't strong enough physically to handle the rigors of pitching. He pushed through the pain and rushed the recovery in order to get back on the field.
The knee eventually strengthened during the season, but not before he developed some bad mecfhanics. He combined to go 3-4 with a 7.32 ERA in 70 games for Arizona and Tampa Bay.
Now, after signing a one-year deal worth $2.55 million with San Diego, Qualls hopes to return to the form that once made him a sought-after reliever.