Prospect Pulse: Q&A with Joey Metropoulos

After being placed on the disabled list once again on Tuesday, the injury prone Joey Metropoulos talked with InsideTheDome about his injuries and the progress his making.

InsideTheDome: Can you tell me a little about how you got hurt during spring training?

Joey Metropoulos: It's been hurting me for the past couple of years, and its something that's gotten worse over the past couple of years. It finally got to the point where this spring training, I couldn't bear it anymore. So we decided to go in, get some MRIs, and found that it was a partially torn meniscus. They went in and cleaned it up with a scope. The surgery took about 11 minutes, and I was walking that day, and rehabbing down in Florida. It feels good now.

InsideTheDome: How long have you been rehabbing and what have you been focusing on?

Joey Metropoulos: I am still doing things to make sure I keep the strength up. If I slack off with that at all, it starts to get sore again. I'm still getting treatment on it everyday and rehab in Florida was just a bunch of range of motion and strengthening things really light to get work back into it while I was down in extended season. While I'm here its basically just a maintenance program.

InsideTheDome: Did you feel you came back 100%?

Joey Metropoulos: Its hard to tell right now, I'm not at 100% right now, but its better than it was before the surgery so that's a plus, and it will continue to get better.

InsideTheDome: How did you mentally prepare to get back into the game following the injury?

Joey Metropoulos: It's kind of a common surgery, so I wasn't really worried about not being able to come back. Its just matter of how long am I going to be out, not throwing, not hitting, not running, taking ground balls, all the things you have to do over and over, because that's what baseball is. That's what the practice of baseball is, repetition. So you have to make sure you get your work in, and they kept me down there even after my knee felt good. So I was confident, my knee felt good, and going out there and making sure I could play everyday, and then sent me back up here. It's been fine since, and hopefully I don't have any more problems with it.

InsideTheDome: How do you feel being back in Lansing?

Joey Metropoulos: It's a place where I don't really mind coming back. Everyone wants to move up a level and that's a little disappointing. But with surgery, and not really doing anything in spring training, I expected it and really didn't upset me at all. It's been a great place to play, a great place to live over the summer, and we get a lot of fan support. I had no problems coming back.

InsideTheDome: What do you need to work on here to get to the next level?

Joey Metropoulos: I think a big thing with me being a bigger guy, playing a corner infield position they're looking for power with homeruns and doubles and RBI. So if I can get those numbers up and have a decent average, then I think I'll be okay and move up from there. Just keep progressing and then work on other parts of the game to make myself a little more complete player.

InsideTheDome: Do you think the injuries will impact your power or your speed?

Joey Metropoulos: No I don't think it will take away from my power at all. It may take away a little from my base running and trying to get better and doing extra work because obviously I want to be in the lineup every night. If I do extra work, it might move my knee the wrong way, or take a risk of hurting it, since its not 100%. So I'm gradually trying to get into that. But as far as power and hitting, it won't take away at all.

InsideTheDome: Do you see any differences between this year's team and last year's team?

Joey Metropoulos: I haven't been here very long. It's a great group of guys as well as last year. It's tough because usually you move up with the same group of guys and I've had a couple injuries since I've been here. So I've been with a new group of guys since my first year. Everybody wants to win, everybody gets along with everybody, pretty much the same as last year. We've got a lot of young talent that I've seen on this team coming up through the organization, a lot of potential. It's been a little rocky, but before I was here, they were on an amazing streak. Everybody wants to win, and its good to be on a team where that's the atmosphere.

InsideTheDome: Any goals or expectations for your season that you want to share?

Joey Metropoulos: I would have to say to get better than the year before has always been my goal. I want to improve on my power numbers each year. I try to focus on those things each year and getting better at that each year.

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