Thomas eases back into uniform

Thomas eases back into uniform

Justin Thomas, who spent the final month of the regular season with the Mariners, will share his experiences pitching for the Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan Winter League this offseason via a weekly diary. This is his fifth report.

LARA, Venezuela, Nov. 13 -- Back to business.

After an amazing week at home, it is time to get back to work down here in Venezuela. My wedding was awesome, we couldn't have asked for a better special day and my wife and I would like to say thank you to everyone who enjoyed it with us. It was great to see people that we haven't seen in a while and also to meet some new people who we both now call family. We couldn't be happier, but now it is time to get back down to business.

I left Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Caracas at about 10:30 local time Tuesday evening. I stayed in a hotel in Caracas right on the ocean. The views from my eighth floor room were remarkable. I was about 200 feet from the ocean. Simply beautiful. The next morning, I boarded another plane and headed back to Lara.

Wednesday was spent unpacking and relaxing while I waited for the team to return from a seven day road trip in which we didn't fare all that well, winning only two games out of seven. The rough part was we lost four games by just one run, so it was really a tough trip to swallow.

The last time I pitched was the day before I headed home. I threw the ball pretty well, but gave up a run on a bleeder to center. Sometimes the ball just finds a hole. I pitched in the fifth inning of this game and recorded two outs, one via a strikeout.

This Sunday afternoon game was definitely the craziest game I have seen so far. The game offered everything from skirmishes in the stands to home runs, five-run innings and pretty much anything else you could pack into nine innings. Not to mention, about 20,000 strong in the stands. Long story short, we ended up scoring two runs in the eighth to go ahead, and Kelley came in to nail it down.

Today (Thursday) was my first day back in uniform, but I didn't get into the game. Jamie Navarro said they would take it slow with me for the first few days back, so I would assume, if I didn't get into the game tomorrow, that I would throw a bullpen and be ready to go Saturday. I am very eager to get back in the mix, because before you know it, I will be heading back home come early December. I would like to get in some good work before shutting it down for the winter.

We won the game tonight once again in dramatic fashion, putting up two four-spots and fending off a ninth-inning rally by the Caribes. We pulled it out, 10-9.

Looking forward to getting back on the bump soon. It's about time for me to turn in for the night, because we didn't get back from the game until about 12:15 local time. It was a long one. Really enjoying the comments and hope you keep sending on the good wishes. Talk to you all next week.

Justin Thomas is a pitcher in the Mariners' organization. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.