MESA, Ariz. -- Can an athlete turn back the clock five seasons? Jeremy Affeldt might have accomplished this.
Affeldt started Monday's "B" game against the Cubs and pitched one shutout inning, walking one and striking out one. He then declared that he feels healthier than he has since 2009, his first season as a Giant, when he made 74 appearances and recorded a 1.73 ERA.
Affeldt underwent surgery for a sports hernia last September, which apparently solved some longtime discomfort in his groin.
"I feel like now, I'm behind the ball a lot better and so I was a little more fluid, whereas in the last few years I had to alter some of my mechanics," the left-hander said. "... My body's in good enough shape that I'm going to trust that it'll do what it needs to do."
Affeldt added that he'll begin to "ramp up" his efforts in fielding drills, admitting that he still hasn't gone full speed yet. He pointed out that he made himself break quickly from the mound to cover first base on a grounder to Angel Villalona.
That's partly why Affeldt preferred to pitch in the "B" encounter instead of throwing another round of live batting practice.
"It forced me to be in a game situation rather than just throw, let them hit it and watch it," he said.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.