Tim Polzer
Wednesday September 5th, 2012

Roger Clemens cast doubt on an MLB comeback in 2012. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Roger Clemens tried to set aside speculation today that his recent return to minor league baseball is a warmup for a return to the majors.

“I don’t see it happening,” Clemens told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun prior to a throwing session before the Sugar Land Skeeters game at York, Pa.

Clemens, who returned to baseball for the first time in five years on Aug. 25, is scheduled to make his second start on Friday. He was encouraged by his 3 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball and his arm's recovery.

Clemens' home in Houston and a personal services contract with the Astros fueled speculation that he might work toward a major league mound appearance before the end of the 2012 season. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow was impressed with Clemens' first Skeeters' outing.

While Clemens has not said "yes" or "no" to an Astros return, today's comments were the first to put a negative spin on a complete comeback.

“I’m winging it,” Clemens told the York Dispatch. “I don’t have a plan beyond Friday.”

I don’t see it happening. Everybody is speculating and everybody’s got their own opinions, and that’s great. But it is still a lot of work. When I started warming up, playing a little lawn catch, I knew it was gonna be a little more work than I wanted.
Clemens will become eligible for the next round of Baseball Hall of Fame voting after the 2012 season. Returning to the Astros or any MLB team could postpone his eligibility another five years -- when HOF voters might be more willing to look past the Mitchell Report linking him to steroids use.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.