Sorry today’s post is later than usual. I was working out at my work gym. It’s not much to look at, but it gets the job done. Chances are if you’re a baseball blogger, you’ve never seen the inside of one. That’s ok. Many gyms have solid membership prices now. I recommend looking into one.
So I’m here to talk about how injuries are handled in Spring Training. Now before I dive in, I acknowledge that this is the Mets we are talking about. They’re a god damn circus when it comes to how they handle injuries. But they finally made a change at the head trainer level, and I’m sure did their fair share of research in the offseason to help better manage their injury protocol. So I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment.
Even though players work out in the offseason, it’s common to come back into season in shape and still feel achy early on in camp. You can lift and run all you want over the winter. Your body still needs to be worked into playing shape, and that’s by going thru motions that you didn’t condition for. On top of that, they are going in full tilt in a very short time. Even though baseball looks slow on TV, it’s not. Every movement is some sort of physical explosion when you initially move. It’s hard to prepare for that in the offseason, away from your team. That is going to lead to soreness, minor strains, etc. I’m a high school football coach. The hardest week of the year is the first week of preseason camp. Players miss a lot of time with muscle pulls and cramping. It sucks because it’s vital time to get reps in, but you’d rather lose a guy for a couple days instead of weeks. So we err on the side of caution. Mets are just doing the same with a lot of these guys.
People were whining that Yoenis Cespedes sat out a practice game because he had a sore throwing shoulder. Yo disclosed that he didn’t throw all offseason, so of course, people got annoyed and it was back to the “Cespedes is lazy” narrative. Yoenis has one of the best arms in the league. He doesn’t need to throw in the offseason. He is also 32. He knows what his body needs to get into shape. Naturally, because he didn’t do said baseball activity for a few months, the parts of the body used for that activity was sore. It’s normal. So shut up. This goes for deGrom, Bruce, etc. It’s all a result of doing baseball activity for the first time in a while.
Something that does concern me is Dom Smith and Amed Rosario’s injuries. Along with being a coach, I’m a certified personal trainer, accredited by the American Councel for Exercise. I believe there is something to overtraining. See the 2017 injuries of Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard if you don’t believe me. There’s no need to be leg pressing 1300 pounds to be a baseball player. And Noah didn’t need to bulk up to try and throw harder. The human body is only capable of so much, which is why we’ve never had a pitcher throwing 110 MPH. To his credit, Smith cut a lot of fat this offseason. But he didn’t do it by eating salad for 3 months. He put in a lot of physical work. Considering he seemed like the kind of fella that wasn’t big into exercise, his body could struggle to adjust. His quad pull could be a sign that he wore himself down a little while training, and this could be something that lingers without ample rest and recovery efforts.
And as we know, Rosario spent his offseason training with that meathead Mike Barwis. I’m not saying I know more than Barwis, but I do know enough to have an issue with a football trainer training a baseball team. And from everything I’ve seen online, he trains them like football players, and overtrains too. Luckily Rosario’s MRI came back negative, but there’s still something bothering him, so you just hope it really is nothing, or something small that’ll flare up into something bigger.
But ultimately, what I’m saying is stop panicking over every little thing. It’s normal. This is what happens to athletes. Sometimes the players even come in slightly out of shape so that they they do make some gains in camp and don’t wear out too fast. Now do yourselves a favor. Turn off the Colombia Fireflies radio broadcast on your computer. Throw on some sweats and go to a Planet Fitness or some shit.