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Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

For Bleich, the wait continues

It's been nearly two years since Jeremy Bleich last threw a professional pitch. His last start came on May 16, 2010, when he pitched at Waterfront Park against the Binghamton Mets. He didn't fare well that day, giving up six earned runs on six hits (including a home run to Nick Evans) and three walks over five innings. 

He was diagnosed with a torn labrum before his next start and had surgery shortly there after. He's throwing bullpens now, with live BP to come soon, and is anticipating joining a team (probably Tampa or Trenton) sometime before the end of this season. It's been a long road for the Yanks' top signed pick in 2008, and he's ready to get going again soon. I spoke with Bleich in Tampa last week. Here's what the lefty had to say. 

JN: Going into the surgery, what kind of rehab timetable did you expect?

JB: I wasn’t sure of a specific guideline. Obviously I knew shoulders are tough, but I feel really good right now. I feel a lot better this year. Looking forward to making some strides here and definitely getting back in games and competing – I miss all that stuff.

JN: After your last start with Trenton, you seemed a little testy with us. Did you know you were in trouble at the time, as far as the pain in your shoulder was concerned?

JB: I think I was frustrated with the situation. For a little bit of time it just didn’t feel right. I was competing and stuff, but thinking back it’s definitely been a long road. I’m super excited to get back up there and I think all this stuff, in the long run, will help me handle those game-to-game situations, just dealing with ups and downs within the game. I’ve definitely matured a lot and learned a lot from the whole situation.

JN: How long had it been bothering you before told the team something was wrong?

JB: Probably my last couple of starts. I think maybe three or four starts before that, I just didn’t feel right. Things just got a little worse and I finally said something and obviously got things taken care of.

JN: What kind of signs was your body giving you that something was wrong?

JB: I just didn’t feel right. The ball wasn’t coming out of my hand right, didn’t feel as smooth as I had. All those things kind of came together and told me something wasn’t right.

JN: What had you been doing to try to alleviate the problem before you had surgery?

JB: Different shoulder exercises and stuff. Sometimes, you know, you go through spells when you know you’re totally healthy but you’re just a little sore. You’ve just got to test it out and continue to do what you’re doing. I think things continued not to feel right, and that’s when I finally said something.

JN: Have you had any setbacks during the recovery process?

JB: There have been a few times when – no major setbacks – but just times when I’m getting my consistency back and the feel back and those things that probably took a little longer than I would have liked. I wouldn’t say there were any major setbacks.

JN: What's your timetable for returning to game action?

JB: I’m not sure exactly, time-wise. Right now I’m throwing bullpens, and hopefully I’ll face hitters very soon in a live BP setting. Then once that happens, I would assume I’ll maybe pitch a few innings down here and hopefully at some point make my way back.

JN: What's the normal procedure for recovering from a labrum operation?

JB: Surgery, and then you do all your shoulder exercises and range of motion-type stuff and progress through a throwing program – flat ground, long toss, get on a half-mound, get a full mound – then you still have to face hitters. Obviously the last year, just getting back and being pain-free took time. Finally I had the offseason to rest. Came back this year and I’m making my way back now.

JN: What do you think has been the biggest hurdle you've cleared?

JB: This spring has been huge for me. I’m feeling a lot better and the ball’s coming out of my hand really well. Starting to feel strong, recovering better, all of those things.  I think just being more comfortable and feeling better and knowing that I’m stronger and that I’ve worked out – all those things will help.

JN: Was there any worry going into the surgery, especially considering the great deal of uncertainty that comes with shoulders, as opposed to the more routine Tommy John surgery?

JB: I think you want things to be taken care of. Obviously I think the elbow is a little more of a straight shot than the shoulder, and there’s a little more differential time-wise with guys’ shoulders. It’s a little more of a varying thing.

JN: Were you ever worried that this would end your career?

JB: Nah. I never really worried (that It would be my career).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

go jeremy!

July 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM 

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