Finally, I was cleared to throw off of a mound this past week. I haven't
pitched since last September when the season ended, but it really didn't feel
that awkward. I guess that's because I had built up so much arm strength these
past two months as a result of the throwing program. It was a rewarding feeling
to be able to actually "pitch" for the first time in a while. Of course, I only
threw 25 pitches, so it felt like it ended right after it began, but my pitch
count should slowly increase each week. I wanted to throw curveballs and
change-ups and cutters, but [D'Backs pitching coordinator Ed] Vosberg told me to
throw all fastballs the first time out. Luckily he was there because I could
have easily become too excited and could have started throwing all sorts of
pitches. Plus, I probably would have lost track and thrown 60 pitches, and I'm
sure that's not the best thing to do the first time off of a mound. I think one
of the toughest aspects of rehab is the essentiality of taking "baby steps." I
always want to jump right in and do things 100%, but it's a process that needs
to be followed slowly. The good thing about pitching off of the mound now is
that the pieces of the time-table are beginning to fall into place for me.
Although the trainers don't like giving out specific dates, it appears to me
that I will be completely cleared around July 1st. Each week, my pitch count
will increase by 10 pitches or so until I reach a sufficient amount to be able
to start a game and throw a few innings.
Right now is a transitional period for all the players at the training facility. Extended-spring training is coming to a close this week. Then, all the players from extended-spring, along with all the new draftees, participate in a mini-camp that culminates around June 15th. At this time, these players are dispersed to the two short-season clubs (the Missoula Osprey and the Yakima Bears) for the summer. Most of the guys are really curious as to which team they will be playing for this summer. It's interesting to hear everyone speculate on where they will be going and why, especially when the majority of the speculation is in Spanish.
I also found out that I will be able to attend my college graduation in two weeks. The club gave me permission to leave for two days in order to walk in graduation. We have worked my bullpen schedule around those two days so it won't set me back at all. I am excited that I will be able to walk with my class since this year would have technically been my senior year. I was able to take some extra classes during my three years at school, so this past fall when I returned for my final tri-mester, I only had three classes remaining to confer my degree in Economics. I'm sure it will be an enjoyable weekend since I will be able to spend it with my family and friends, who I haven't seen I several months. After graduation, I only have about two or three weeks left in rehab (I'm keeping my fingers crossed), then I'll be back in action. I can't wait to get out and compete again.
Have a great week and I'll see you next Monday.
On Memorial Day people take a moment to remember those who helped secure our great country, and they…