The good thing about rain, or snow, outs is they give me plenty of time to get some of my thoughts together and put down in my laptop.
Let me first catch everyone up on my early season injury. The last week of spring training was a strange one. My arm could not have felt better, but the results I was producing on the mound did not reflect. Going into camp I had no worries about where I was going to break camp, however, going into the last day of camp, the Dayton squad had 16 pitchers still on the roster for only 12 spots. I do not know if I ever had anything to worry about, in terms of not breaking camp, but when I received my official assignment I was definitely relieved.
Once the team arrived in Dayton, our pitching coach, Doug Bair, put together our initial pitching rotation, which included myself as our third starter. We had two lefties and three righties in the rotation, so it made sense to break it up by going R-L-R-L-R. When I was throwing my normal bullpen, before my first start, I felt a little pain/discomfort in my throwing shoulder on about the 12th or 13th pitch. My catcher, Jake Long, saw me grimace and told me to shut it down and go get looked at by our trainer. Our trainer, Alfonso Flores, and our teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s orthopedist both checked me out and found nothing serious, just a very slightly strained rotator cuff. I could have probably made my original start, but the training staff and organization saw no reason to rush anything this early in the season, and I was therefore placed on the 7-day DL.
Alfonso and I spent the next several days doing multiple rounds of treatments. After two days of no throwing, I began tossing again with no pain. Four days later, the team doctor came in and I was cleared for full participation. I was scheduled to start yesterday, rained out, and then again today, snowed out. We were able to get an indoor workout in today and we are scheduled for a double header tomorrow. However, there is more snow in the forecast, but if we do play, it will be Curtis Partch starting game one and I am slated to go game two.
So far the year as gone pretty much as everyone expected. Brandon Waring and Todd Frazier have been outstanding and our bullpen has been lights out. It was great to see my family, as well as Redleg NationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s own Bill, at our home opener last week. I was taken back when many of the fans at home asked about my shoulder and wished me a speedy recovery. That was definitely encouraging and a great indication to the level of media coverage and fan support the Dragons receive. Even though I know a lot of fans disagree with the Reds mentality or tendency of moving teams together, I have to admit that with the majority of our team having played together last summer in Billings, we have a great clubhouse atmosphere, which I definitely think will translate to a very fun and successful season.