This past week was very productive on the rehab front. I continued my intense
workout regimen and made strides in my throwing program. On Saturday, I felt
that I was finally letting the ball loose for the first time since I began
throwing. I think it is very common (and expected) that pitchers hold back when
they begin throwing post-surgery. Of course, there exists some apprehension when
a pitcher picks up a baseball for the first time in months, especially after an
operation. However, I felt that the ball was coming out of my hand free and easy
on Saturday and that’s definitely a positive indication that I am making
progress. In fact, I almost wanted to ask our head trainer if I could hop up on
the mound and throw a few, but I’m sure he would have laughed at me. All of us
rehabbers understand that it’s a process and a long process at that.
One of the most important aspects of this rehab process is a dedicated staff
that devotes much time and effort to helping us along the way. Our head trainer
Greg Latta, our head strength and conditioning coach Brett McCabe, and our rehab
coordinator Ed Vosberg have been invaluable resources these past few months.
It’s obviously imperative that I come prepared to work hard each and every day
since my career is in my hands, but it amazes me how much enthusiasm and effort
these three guys display on a daily basis. They are always willing to go the
extra mile in order to help any of us along the road to recovery.
Latta is constantly on the move all day, whether it be stretching guys out,
demonstrating how to perform particular strengthening exercises, or even playing
catch with us rehabbers. He’s always helping us in every way that he can. I
think his greatest asset is his 23 years of experience working with rehabbers.
He’s seen and heard everything so it’s always comforting to talk to him about
the process and what to expect.
Brett is always willing to work with me on extra core strengthening drills or
lower body lifting (right now I am restricted to very limited upper body
lifting). He takes pride in staying on the cutting edge of strength and
conditioning, so he’s always teaching us the latest and most effective ways to
stay in tip-top shape. Vos brings 20 years of professional baseball experience
to the table (14 of those in the big-leagues [and a couple years with my beloved
Phillies]). It’s so helpful for me to pick his brain about anything and
everything related to pitching, especially since he was a left-handed pitcher. I
can’t even begin to describe how much he has helped me with the mental side of
pitching (like how to approach hitters, how to effectively utilize a two-seam
fastball, what to look for in scouting reports, etc.). I can’t wait until I can
put some of that knowledge to use. Also, it’s fun to ask him about players that
I watched growing up with whom he has played, and his stories about his time in
the big-leagues are always entertaining.
I hope everyone has a great week and hopefully I will continue to make progress
this week in rehab. See you next Monday.