GARY | RailCats pitcher Stephen Hiscock was running agility drills in the offseason when he collided with another runner.
Putting his hands up to try to stop the impact, Hiscock's pinkie jammed, just enough to break the metacarpal.
"I tried to be all calm," he said, showing how he tried to move the finger, "but you could tell it wasn't right."
That was in March as the 25-year-old was preparing to enter his second season with the RailCats. He had a cast on his pitching hand for four weeks, missing his crucial pitching routine.
The cast was removed in early April. He threw in spring training over the weekend and on Wednesday tossed three innings in the RailCats' 5-2 exhibition win against Evansville.
"If it had happened two to three weeks earlier, it wouldn't have been as big a deal," Hiscock said, "because I missed four weeks that I would have been actually throwing."
Hiscock threw close to 50 pitches in three innings, allowing three hits and two runs. He walked two and struck out two.
"I thought his stuff was good," RailCats manager Greg Tagert said. "I thought his command was a little off, but I don't know if that was the hand or seeing hitters for the first time."
Hiscock said his hand felt fine after his outing — he was limited to 50 pitches and three innings — but the real evaluation would come today, after it has had a day of rest.
"It feels pretty good," Hiscock said. "I'm a little inconsistent at the release point. That's one of those things that's correctable."
The RailCats fell behind to Evansville 2-1 before a three-run eighth inning against Otters' righty Wynn Pelzer. The 'Cats collected three hits in the inning, including back-to-back singles by outfielder Cristian Guerrero and catcher Craig Maddox.
The team also saw pitcher Matt McSwain throw for the first time, striking out four in two perfect eighth and ninth innings. McSwain missed the opening of camp due to a death in the family.
During the game, pitcher Kyle Lundquist arrived after completing his duties as assistant coach at Marietta (Ohio) College.
"From our first glances of him (McSwain) came in ready," Tagert said. "That was one of the biggest concerns from my end, is are players ready."
Still missing is pitcher Takahiro Matsuka, who has been in Japan while his visa is approved. He's expected to join the team and pitch in St. Paul during the weekend trip to Minnesota.