Last spring training your velocity was down but some thought it was a groin problem. Â Did you encounter elbow problems at that point?
I actually didn’t have any groin issues until mid way through my rehab,Â I was battling a lat injury that happened warming up for myÂ first and only big league camp game versus the Dodgers. IÂ didn’t experience any elbow pain or stiffness untilÂ I felt it go on a curveball vs Tulsa.
Do you think you overcompensated with the other injury causing an injury to your elbow?
I don’t know maybeÂ I did, but i havent been afraid to admit that my preparation going intoÂ last year was not exactly putting my best foot forward. AndÂ I blame the lack of preparation on my part mostly for getting hurt.
In terms of a emotions what was a bigger let down the injury going into your senior year of high school or this injury?
Both were huge let downs. I was really upset not being able to play my senior year considering we had a very good team. We had Robert Refsnyder, Jeff Rauh, Brian Rauh, and Chris Giovinazzo all of which areÂ now playing pro ball, along with a handful of other good players. I thought we had a chance for C.I.F. championship which even after i got hurt the team dominated but lost second round of playoffs. Overall both have been huge mental hurdles to overcome. Very good learning experiences as well.
When did you start your rehab?
What type of exercises did you start with? Shortly after surgery on June 3rd of 2011. I returned to AZ for a long rehab process. I started with simple range of motion exercises and a lot of stretching progressingÂ to strengthening as time went on.
While I was at instructs Jason Adam told me you were working extremely hard in the fall. Â What did your everyday routine consist of since the injury?
I was up to 236 lbs whenÂ I weighed in right before christmas asÂ I was preparing to go home for the holidays. The club told me thatÂ I needed to start pushing my body andÂ I finally started seeing what my diet along with workouts were doing for me at the time which for myself pretty pathetic. After going home and starting to eat some good home cooked meals along with starting to getÂ out and do some distance running,Â I then started seeing results quickly.Â Came back mid january to AZ weighing in at 215, at that time i got on a consistent diet paired with the workouts in the weight room along with my rehab excercise daily and started to learn how much our bodies are capable of.Â Jason Adam has been one of if not the hardest worker I’ve worked with and that was a big help for me at the time.
How scary was that first throwing session?
HonestlyÂ I was anxious, I hadÂ been waiting a long time to start my throwing program and simply had to trust the workÂ I had put in to getting healthy along with Dr. Yocums work in the operating room.
Some organizational changes have been made since you were first injured with the hiring of a new minor league pitching coordinator. Â How has Rick Knapp helped you? Â What do you think of his addition?
First off, my opinions here are just that, but I liked how simple the Royals tried to keep pitching in the past.Â In the same breath I think it’s really cool to start learning that there is more to be a successful pitcherÂ so we can helpÂ the team win.Â Knapp and I haven’t worked too much together as of now, but i have learned some simple drills that help me throw a baseball with better efficiency. Something I’m working on right now is staying back over the rubber and separating over the rubber. I have had tendencies to separate late and lunge towards the plate.
Where are you at in your process now? Â Are you still throwing bullpen sessions or have you thrown in any extended spring training games yet?
I’ve just finished up with my rehab bullpens, now I’m moving on toÂ four live bps stretched over 2 weeks. As of now I’m scheduled to pitch in my first game July 3rd for 1 inning asÂ I build up to 5Â innings before they send me out to wherever.
Another change is a softer stance in regards to long toss has taken place within the organization. Â If I remember correctly you were a longÂ toss kid duringÂ high school. Have you resumed that workout? Â How far do you go and how does that help you?
I was back in high school andÂ loved it.Â I’veÂ now developedÂ the mind-set that my job is to throw a baseball from 60 ft 6Â inches and figuring out what I’m doing with the ball at that distance.Â Mechanically I have to repeat and learn to command the ball to put it where I want by knowing what my body is doing first. Â To answer the question I don’t think it is a bad thing to stretch it out in moderation especially if you can repeat mechanics while doing so but to just long toss to long toss, I don’t know if that is going to help me put the ball where I want. I tend to stretch it out once a week right now and it does feel good doing so, I just need to check myself whenÂ I start losing control of my body and effort.
One of the minor side effects of Tommy John is a slight loss in command. Â Have you noticed any of those effects? Â What is your current velocity on your fastball?
At firstÂ I thoughtÂ I lost the ability to throw strikes, which was mentally eating me away. Everyone told me it will come don’t worry about it so I tried just trusting the process and continuing toÂ work hard, a couple of weeks ago I started slowly gaining some control. This past week of bullpens remind me of where I was at back in AA in 2010 at the end of the year. My velocity is firm I haven’t had a gun on me and won’t til game actionÂ but I’m feeling good right now and I’m simply working on command and getting my feel for the change-up and curveball to be able to throwÂ them in and out of the strike zone.
Can you give us a scouting report on what fans will see from John Lamb in 2013. Â At what level do you expect yourself to be at?
I’ve never done something like this before, but I’m expecting myself to stay healthy most importantly. To throw strikes like I’ve been tought to do and you never know where you will end up. I’m just happy to be considered apart of the future for the Royals.
Thanks again John for doing this and I’m sure I speak for all the fans when I say I hope to see you pitching and making your way KC very soon.