Under The Knife 7/29/22
I’m working on a longer, technical piece that’s probably not a UTK-style piece, but it doesn’t have a home yet. Anyway, I was speaking with a pitching coach last week about recovery and the work I’m doing on that, so he asked if he could patch me in to watch some of the recovery routines of his guys. I did, and I was shocked. This is a pro team and while they had all the tools (and frankly, you don’t need much, though more is often better), these pitchers either ignored them, did them wrong, and frankly had no idea why they should be doing them.
Again, these were pro pitchers.
Theraguns are awesome. I love the originals from Therabody, but there’s other good ones and cheap knockoffs that are good enough. There’s an app that shows exactly how to do some basic routines, but not a single player had it on their phone. None knew the proper sequence for warm up or cool down. Instead, they used a “I put it on the spot thats sore and let it hammer that”, which can feel good if you’re into that sort of thing, but it’s not accomplishing much.
These athletes could tell you the ins and outs of plyoball workouts, long toss routines, and J-bands, but they couldn’t tell me anything about heart rate recovery, Theragun routines, or even name the single best recovery technique we have - sleep. (None kept a sleep diary.) That means that Driveline and Alan Jaeger (twice!) have done a great job explaining why warm ups are so important. We need someone to do that for recovery and soon.
Believe me, if that took off the way bands and balls have, I’d have a lot less to write about, so let’s get to the injuries:
MIKE TROUT, OF LAA (back/rib inflammation)
Now that the panic about Mike Trout has died down a bit - and welcome to the new people that signed up after reading about him in yesterday’s Flash - there’s really nothing new. His costravertebral joint dysfunction isn’t magically better, but it’s being treated and managed. He’ll visit Dr. Watkins over the weekend to asses things, but then the real work begins.
The issue here is not if this is career threatening or career altering, but if the Angels medical staff can simply get a maintenance program that keeps Trout on the field more often that not. Sure, he’ll need days off here and there, which isn’t unusual. The bigger question - and one no one knows right now - is how much maintenance is going to be required and how many things set him back. Trout can’t just stop swinging hard, and if that’s the trigger, that’s a problem.
My feeling - and it’s just that - is that the biggest gap we’ll see is this initial one. The team and Trout now have a diagnosis and are formulating a plan. The stress of this going public and being overblown might make them want to get him back on the field and get that “see, he’s fine” moment out of the way, but the Angels have been in long-term view for a decade. With the impending Ohtani contract, I think we’ll see one big go for it next year, though any plan that doesn’t end in “pay that man his money” is wrong.
JACOB DEGROM, SP NYM (fractured shoulder)
Subscribers are about to get exclusive info on Jacob deGrom … that’s called a tease!