Marshall Working Out Again

Marshall Working Out Again

It certainly wasn't the first year Brett Marshall had been hoping for in 2009, posting a 5.56 ERA for the Charleston Riverdogs and seeing his season end prematurely with Tommy John surgery. Back in Texas now, the 19-year old is working out once again in hopes of making a full return at some point in 2010.

"There was one pitch in the last game I pitched in - I felt it pop," Brett Marshall recounted. "I felt something and it definitely wasn't right. There was only pain for a split second.

"I threw four more pitches after that one and it didn't feel good, and it definitely didn't feel right, but there wasn't much pain."

In the midst of a painful statistical season that saw opposing batters hit him to the tune of a .290 batting average, and seeing his inconsistent mechanics lead to spotty command and varying arm slots, it all ended for him against the Hickory Crawdads on July 16th.

After taking a few days to rest, he tried throwing for a couple of days but still experienced some tightness in his elbow. So two weeks later after hearing the pop, Marshall, who says his elbow never had great pain at any point this season, received Tommy John surgery.

"My shoulder was a little sore before [it happened] but I figured it was my first long season," he said. "You're always going to have soreness though.

"Before that my elbow was feeling really good actually. I didn't have any problems with it. When I had my surgery Dr. Andrews said it was a fresh tear."

In hindsight Marshall now knows that the root of his ineffectiveness on the mound was the same as the root of his injury - inconsistent mechanics.

"A big thing I did was change my arm slot," he admitted. "It would be fine for two or three innings and then later in the game I'd drop my arm slot and that would cause me to leave the ball up or miss my spots. I had problems doing that in high school too.

"That's where I went wrong and tore my elbow, dropping my slot. I remember the pitch when it popped, I basically threw side-arm. It was an accident. I know I dropped my arm big-time. I kept changing my arm slot a lot and I know that's not good for your elbow."

He admits he didn't have anywhere close to the season he wanted, but he not only accepts the way things played out, he's actually excited about the surgery.

"When the doctors told me after I flew back to Tampa that I needed to have the surgery I was like 'fine'. I wasn't even upset. I was more excited than anything to tell you the truth because I know I'm going to come back stronger than before.

"And I was excited to get it out of the way early instead of two or three years down the road when my career is at its peak and I'm about to get called up to the big leagues. I'm glad this happened now instead of down the road."

Another big reason for his surprising excitement is understanding that pitchers in general begin to pay a lot more attention to their mechanics during their rehab from Tommy John surgery, and that improved mechanics will create a more consistent arm slot and better command.

He has already begun some upper-body workouts, mainly limited to shoulder and ab exercises at the current time, and he is set to resume throwing a baseball on November 21st.

"As of right now what I'm looking at is the second-half of the season next year after the All Star break," he said of his potential return. "I'll probably throw a few games in the Gulf Coast League to get in shape.

"That's my goal right now. You never know though, you could hit bumps in the road. If it's a smooth process and everything goes well I'm hoping to be back for the second part of next season."

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