Clarkin Looking To Prove Himself

With a first round selection comes some pretty heavy expectations and nobody knows that better than left-hander Ian Clarkin. The third first round pick by the Yankees back in June was hurt almost immediately upon signing and never really felt like himself at the professional level. He's not only looking to get back to being his normal self but to prove why he was selected in the first place.

Clarkin's foot got caught in the ground during stretching exercises prior to making his professional debut and his ankle went in the complete opposite direction. He felt a snap and thought his ankle had broken.

It turned out to be a grade two ankle sprain on his right foot and he also tore two ligaments, causing him to be in a boot and on crutches, and delayed his actual professional debut until late August.

"It had to be the most frustrating thing in my entire life so far," Clarkin said. "I have to sit there for so long watching all of my buddies play and getting started with their pro careers, and I'm sitting on the sidelines rehabbing my ankle. It wasn't fun.

"It had to be the most frustrating time in my life because I couldn't walk, I couldn't run, I couldn't do so many things. Just the non-playing part was absolutely horrible. But just being off of the field and not being able to walk wasn't fun either."

He took solace in the fact that he, somebody who just graduated from high school, got to rehab alongside Derek Jeter [who also had an ankle injury] for two full months and pick his brain on the inner workings of professional baseball. And for that unique opportunity he was very thankful.

Still, when he was finally able to make his debut towards the end of the Gulf Coast League season, he still wasn't his complete self. Not only was he coming back from a serious injury but he had not thrown in over three months so he was basically starting from scratch.

The power wasn't back yet and neither was the command. In fact, his first three [and only] outings in the Gulf Coast League were more of an evaluation time for the Yankee coaching staff. He wasn't able to work on tweaking his game just yet.

"I was still in that 30-day window in the regular season when I came back," he reiterated. "Instructs though was the greatest thing that happened to me this year. We talked a lot, we broke down my mechanics, and I'm very happy with the development side so far. It's taught me a lot."

He and the Yankees got to work on his mechanics at Instructs, mostly on developing some consistency with his balance. One who employs a high leg kick and a high hand break in his delivery, he saw some immediate results during Instructional League.

"It was in the games for sure," he said. "The first time when we discussed it I felt it right away. I did that in high school at times and when I did that it was ridiculous, it was hard to hit me because I was locating so well.

"In the first [Instructs] game I was doing that and it was 1-2-3 both innings. It's a lot easier to control and command my pitches when I have balance and not falling and jumping forward."

As if battling a long layoff from injury and then having to basically start the throwing program from scratch weren't enough, he was also the victim of a virus going around the minor league complex at Instructs and never really felt 100 percent there either.

"I'm looking forward to it next season," he said of a full return to health. "I can't wait to be back out there and show what I have, and just prove myself. I'm excited to head back in January. I couldn't be anymore excited."

He says he plans on working more on the consistency of his mechanics over the offseason, continuing the work he has begun with his rapidly improving changeup, and work on the command of his pitches.

Clarkin knows he has the talent to be an impact pitcher going forward and he simply wants to get out there completely healthy and prove it in his first full season next year.

"I'm beyond excited. I'm a competitive guy and I just want to go out there and prove who I am and why I went that high in the draft. I just have to prove myself and that's why I'm excited to get back out there for Spring Training next season," he concluded.

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Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nClarkin's foot got caught in the ground during stretching exercises prior to making his professional debut and his ankle went in the complete opposite direction. He felt a snap and thought his ankle had broken.
\r\n
\r\nIt turned out to be a grade two ankle sprain on his right foot and he also tore two ligaments, causing him to be in a boot and on crutches, and delayed his actual professional debut until late August.
\r\n
\r\n\"It had to be the most frustrating thing in my entire life so far,\" Clarkin said. \"I have to sit there for so long watching all of my buddies play and getting started with their pro careers, and I'm sitting on the sidelines rehabbing my ankle. It wasn't fun.
\r\n
\r\n\"It had to be the most frustrating time in my life because I couldn't walk, I couldn't run, I couldn't do so many things. Just the non-playing part was absolutely horrible. But just being off of the field and not being able to walk wasn't fun either.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe took solace in the fact that he, somebody who just graduated from high school, got to rehab alongside Derek Jeter [who also had an ankle injury] for two full months and pick his brain on the inner workings of professional baseball. And for that unique opportunity he was very thankful.
\r\n
\r\nStill, when he was finally able to make his debut towards the end of the Gulf Coast League season, he still wasn't his complete self. Not only was he coming back from a serious injury but he had not thrown in over three months so he was basically starting from scratch.
\r\n
\r\nThe power wasn't back yet and neither was the command. In fact, his first three [and only] outings in the Gulf Coast League were more of an evaluation time for the Yankee coaching staff. He wasn't able to work on tweaking his game just yet.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was still in that 30-day window in the regular season when I came back,\" he reiterated. \"Instructs though was the greatest thing that happened to me this year. We talked a lot, we broke down my mechanics, and I'm very happy with the development side so far. It's taught me a lot.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe and the Yankees got to work on his mechanics at Instructs, mostly on developing some consistency with his balance. One who employs a high leg kick and a high hand break in his delivery, he saw some immediate results during Instructional League.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was in the games for sure,\" he said. \"The first time when we discussed it I felt it right away. I did that in high school at times and when I did that it was ridiculous, it was hard to hit me because I was locating so well.
\r\n
\r\n\"In the first [Instructs] game I was doing that and it was 1-2-3 both innings. It's a lot easier to control and command my pitches when I have balance and not falling and jumping forward.\"
\r\n
\r\nAs if battling a long layoff from injury and then having to basically start the throwing program from scratch weren't enough, he was also the victim of a virus going around the minor league complex at Instructs and never really felt 100 percent there either.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm looking forward to it next season,\" he said of a full return to health. \"I can't wait to be back out there and show what I have, and just prove myself. I'm excited to head back in January. I couldn't be anymore excited.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe says he plans on working more on the consistency of his mechanics over the offseason, continuing the work he has begun with his rapidly improving changeup, and work on the command of his pitches.
\r\n
\r\nClarkin knows he has the talent to be an impact pitcher going forward and he simply wants to get out there completely healthy and prove it in his first full season next year.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm beyond excited. I'm a competitive guy and I just want to go out there and prove who I am and why I went that high in the draft. I just have to prove myself and that's why I'm excited to get back out there for Spring Training next season,\" he concluded.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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