Feb. 13, 2017
I didn't want to let my teammates down.
I knew something was wrong around the last pitch of the fourth inning against Florida. I threw a fastball away, and I felt something pop. We got the last out. I was throwing in the dugout with a catcher, and everything seemed OK. I went out there the next inning, and my fastballs away to a righty were only at about 82 (miles per hour). I knew something was wrong. I ended up giving up a few hits and I told coach I needed to come out.
When something like that happens, you think the worst. The first thing that went through my mind was whether I was going to be able to play again, and if was I going to be able to help my teammates. I didn't want to let my teammates down.
When I found out I was having Tommy John surgery, all that was going through my mind was `How fast can I get back?' `How can I make an impact when I'm not playing?'
The toughest part about it was not being able to compete and not being able to go out there and help the guys. I felt like I let them down.
During that process I wondered if I was ever going to get back to where I was.
The rehab was tough. It's a job. It's every day. If I didn't make it my job and my daily thing, I don't know if I would be where I am today.
I still felt like I was one of the guys and part of the team the whole time. My teammates and my coaches helped me get through the process.
I don't think there was one moment where I thought `I'm back.' It just comes to you over time. I think I gained full speed in the fall this year. That's the first time I really started feeling comfortable again.
I've never had the fear of going back out there. After surgery, I told myself that this is God's plan. If it happens again, then it's all a part of His plan and the journey. That really freed things up for me.
I am confident in my stuff. I feel like some of my pitches are even better than before.
I'm most excited about putting a jersey back on and being a part of it in the dugout. Missing last year and having to sit in the stands was tough. I'm just glad to be out there again with my teammates.
It doesn't matter if I'm the Friday night guy or not. My main goal is to win games. Whether it's helping the team in the dugout or whenever I have the opportunity to pitch, all I want to do is help the team win.
I think a lot of our guys have the attitude that it's all about `We,' and it's not about `Me.'
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