Up and Running!

Hope everyone is doing well out there. I appreciate the comments and the support on the blog. To answer the question about winter ball, I will not be playing. The knee just won’t be healed enough to be able to play this winter. All of my energy and focus is on being 100% by the start of Spring Training and having a healthy and successful 2010. 

Today I am 17 weeks out of surgery and everything is feeling really well. I was home in South Florida this past week and it was so nice to have a break from rehab and Arizona. I have this debate all the time and this week confirmed that I am a Miami heat fan rather than an Arizona heat fan. The heat in Arizona is brutal in the summer, I honestly feel like I am walking around with a blow dryer in my face on the hottest days out here. I personally would much rather deal with the humidity of South Florida. But then again I might be bias growing up down there. Anyway, I had a great time being home. I saw a lot of family which was really nice. My parents threw a little coming home get together dinner for me and a bunch of my Aunts and Uncles made it over along with my Grandparents. My sister was also in town which was a surprise to my parents and I. Also spent a lot of time with my girlfriend Katie and got to see her family as well, and I got to see her play soccer for the first time. She plays for the University of Miami, my alma mater, and they won one and lost one while I was there. But it was a lot of fun to see her play finally and learn about soccer and the actual strategies and all that. I was able to stop by the baseball stadium and check out the upgrades that have been done since I have last been down there. It is amazing, new locker room, weight room, meeting rooms, computer rooms, bleachers, it is a really nice set up and a nice upgrade thanks to various donors including Alex Rodriguez, who it’s named after. It was really nice to see a lot of the guys who were younger when I was there and to see that it’s their team now. 
So I started running this past Monday and it felt surprisingly really well. I am doing this thing where I walk for 4 minutes and jog for 1, for a total of 20 minutes, and about 3 and a half minutes into walking my stomach started turning as I was getting closer to jogging for the first time in almost 12 months. But once I started it felt pretty good, no pain at all, just a little awkward which is expected. I also started hitting this past Monday, just taking some swings off of a tee but it felt good to take some hacks. I should be able to get in on some bp during instructional league out here which starts in a couple of weeks. I’m getting excited that all of this stuff feels good on my knee but I have to realize and tell myself that I still have a long way to go and that I can’t try and overdue stuff. Pain wise my knee feels great but I have a lot of strength to get back in my right leg and also just getting back into everything which will take a while. But I’m excited about running and hitting and going to the field everyday and getting a day closer to spring training and back playing. So everything is good out her in Arizona, it’s starting to get into the low 100’s and high 90’s, which is good, and people should start coming into town soon for instructs and fall league. It’ll be nice to see a bunch of guys for the first time since spring training. 
Hope all is well

Making Progress

Well, it’s been a while since i’ve written in here but i’ve had some people tell me they were looking forward to hearing about me and how rehab is coming along. It’s such a strange feeling when you miss a year, especially it being your first year in an organization. Rehab is the same thing day in and out but over time you make strides and notice improvement, and I’m starting to get to that point.

A week ago I started running in the pool and also throwing outside. Wow, does it feel good to go outside and feel the sun beat down on you while you’re actually doing something. I’ve been inside for so long and non-active that i forgot what it’s like. I never knew I’d be so happy to get outside in 110 degree Arizona heat to “play catch”. But I think that tells me something, it tells me that even though I don’t realize it, and I can say that i never did, but I think i took playing every day for granted. It sucks that something like this has to happen for you to realize it, but i think that’s the good that comes out of it. I can’t wait to be able to play and I really think that I am going to be different when I get on that field from now on. I think I’ll have a new appreciation for the game that I love.
I’m a little over 13 weeks out of surgery and the season is winding down. It feels like it’s gone by so fast but then again I haven’t been out there playing every day like the guys who are out there. I’m glad though that it’s gone by fast. I get to go home in two weeks and I’ll be there for 8 days. It’s going to be a nice break from rehab and Arizona to just go home and relax and not think about my knee. But I also feel like I’m going to be excited to get back because when i come back I start running and hitting. Man i haven’t run in about a year because of my knee so I think this is the biggest telling sign of how everything is coming along. I’m not expecting it to feel great right away, just like the squats and the lunges, and the walking, and the step ups. It’s something that will gradually get better and better the more i do it and the more comfortable I feel doing it. Hitting has never given me any problems but it will definitely feel nice to hit. The crack of the bat and the echo that comes with it in an enclosed batting cage is a beautiful sound of a hitter working on his craft, and for the first time in about 4 and a half 5 months, that hitter will be me.
Well that’s the update from the training room, although I’m starting to gradually get out of it. I hope everyone’s doing well and looks forward to hearing more. I’ll be back on that field in no time.

2 weeks in

Well, sorry for the long hiatus i took from the blog. Honestly it’s been hard to actually want to write in here and look forward to talking about my knee and not playing this season. But i guess this is also part of the recovery and coming to terms with injuries and the affect they can have on you. I have never had to deal with anything like this before in my life, all of the sudden I was unable to do what I love and had to figure out what needed to be done to be able to return.

So, two weeks ago yesterday I had the Microfracture surgery done in Seattle by our team doctor. It was such a long process to get to the point where the decision on surgery was made. Between not knowing exactly what was causing the pain, trying everything there was to try pre-operation, and second opinions, it took almost 9 months from the initial time when i experienced discomfort. But mentally right now I am in a much better place than i was before the surgery. I look forward to going to the complex everyday and doing everything that i have to do that day to get better. And that’s the key, taking it one day at a time. I’ve had a couple of good buddies that have gone through the process of recovering from a serious injury. Two guys I played at Miami with, Carlos Gutierrez and Blake Tekotte. Carlos had the infamous tommy john procedure after his freshman year at Miami. Blake had an acl surgery on his knee his senior year of high school. One thing i learned from talking to both of them is that it’s a long process that you have to take day by day. Some days it will feel good and some days it won’t. But you have to stay the course.
One thing I am having fun doing is keeping up with how all of my former and current teammates are doing this season. I learned how to bookmark them on milb.com and follow them daily. Jemile Weeks, my roommate for 3 years in college, finally got out of the desert in Arizona rehabbing and is playing in the Cal league. Second game back he went big fly, that’s how we do from the “U”. Seriously i’m telling you, I have this machine that I have to put my leg in for 6-8 hrs a day for the first 6 weeks after surgery, i have a lot of time on my hands. So, this time consists of me, coming back from the field, getting in the machine and literally counting down until their games start. Oh, and also the NBA playoffs, which have been amazing. Me personally would like to see the LeBron/Kobe finals with the Cavs and the Lakers like probably everyone else in the country except for those in Denver and Orlando. What those guys do is on a different level, we’re watching what are gonna be 2 of the greatest to ever play the game in the prime of their careers. Although i think LeBron can get better, and so does he. I think it’s possible that he can average a triple-double throughout a season, which has only been done once before. But we’ll see.
To the comment in my last entry, Yes i definitely keep up and in touch with former teammates. Playing at Miami was the best experience of my life and the guys on the teams I was apart of were great. It;s always fun texting them and calling them to see how everyone is doing and we’ll all get together in the off season back in Miami. The only one i don’t know of is Graham Taylor? I think he might have went to Miami of Ohio. But thanks for the comments and support, talk to you guys soon

Back in Action

Sorry for the time in between these last two blogs, there are a couple reasons for it. The first one is that I actually got to go home for a 4 day weekend this past weekend. I had my last injection last Wednesday and went home Thursday thru Monday morning. It was very nice to go home for the first time in a few months and also probably the last time for a while. The weekend included home cooked meals, time with the family, time with the girlfriend, the beach, haha it was really nice…… The second reason was I forgot my password to log into my blog. Haha, so I had to get a new password and finally get back into things.

When I got back from my nice weekend at home, I came back to a nice little surprise involving the plan of action with my knee and the rehab. Turns out I started hitting and throwing the last few days and also am going to start trying to do some light agility work. I don’t really feel any significant relief with my knee right now, but we are just going to continue the rehab and increasing activity everyday as long as I can hold up and feel alright. The plan is to hopefully play in an extended game out here in Arizona in maybe 2-3 weeks and see how it feels. I’m hoping for the best and enjoying the time in the cages for now.
Since my last blog we’ve had this little thing called Opening Day happen. There’s nothing like opening day, every team has been waiting since the final out in their last game to get back out there and try to do better than last season, except for the Phillies, they are trying to do the same thing. Every opening day I’ve been involved in have been very exciting, but if I had to pick one that I would say was my favorite it would be my freshman year at Miami. I remember finding out the day before that I would be starting as the DH in the first game of my freshman year at the University of Miami. I was very excited and a little nervous at the same time; I ended up getting my first hit and rbi out of the way along with the first victory so it was a good day. And even though i’m not involved in an opening day this year, I am very excited to start watching baseball tonight and to start keeping up with all of the games around the league.

Vegas… and a little of Tyson

First of all I want to say thank you to everyone wishing me well with my potential surgery and recovery.

So, the big league team left for Las Vegas today to play 2 exhibition games against the Rockies. Nice little tune up before the season kicks off in Minnesota, also a nice last hoo-rah before the season starts, those guys should have a blast. It’s awesome to see my buddy Tyson Gillies get invited to go play with them, he deserved it. He got to play in about 20 big league games this spring and really made an impression on the club. He plays the game the right way and when you have the kind of speed he has and the ability to make consistent contact, good things are going to happen.
Tyson is a unique guy, he is hearing impaired and wears hearing aids at all times. When Tyson and I first met in Everett last year I was thinking to myself, “Communicating with this kid might be pretty difficult in the outfield.” So after a couple days into the time I was there we developed a system of waiving each other off on fly balls so that he could take a peak and see me rather than have to listen for me. This game is all about adjustments and the quicker you can adjust to what is thrown at you, the better you’re going to be.

Kickin things off

Hows everybody doing out there? Well, here goes nothing. Just wanted to start this blog off right and introduce myself. Im looking forward to the opportunity of hopefully make some fans on this thing haha. We can talk about anything you want to talk about. Just a little brief update on me, I have been having some problems with my right knee since about September last year. I recently had an arthroscopic surgery on it to clean it out a bit and the doctor found some soft cartilage in there that didnt show up on the previous exams. Right now Im continuing to rehab and do everything the trainers tell me to do so that I can play ASAP. I havent been experiencing any relief thus far but am still hoping to turn a corner sometime soon. There is a possibility that if I dont turn that corner soon that I would need further surgery on my knee and would be out for this season. I have never missed time due to injury before this past year so Im chompin at the bit to get back out there. Whatever ends up happening I know that i will come back from this stronger mentally and physically. And I can assure you that from the next time I get to lace up my spikes on, I will be more grateful for the game of baseball and for being healthy every time out there. Well I look forward to hearing some responses from you all.