FutureBacks.com Q & A: Alex Frazier

Alex Frazier fought hard to come back from a wrist injury suffered during the season. Now that he's back, and hitting for more power than ever before, Frazier talks to FutureBacks.com about rehab, reclaiming his spot in the JetHawks outfield, and how the time off might just have been the best thing for him.

FutureBacks:  It didn't take you long at all to get back in the swing of things, how much do you worry about that when you spend time on the disabled list?

Alex Frazier:  It's on your mind a lot, know it's going to take some games to get back in the swing of things, you just hope you don't dig too big a hole before you get back on track.  You just try to take it one step at a time, not press, my first game back I was like a fish out of water, real anxious, swinging at bad pitches, really, really late on fastballs.  But I was able to take something good from each day.  I've definately started coming around, seeing some pitches, getting better at pitch selection, I'm not totally back but I'm getting there.

FutureBacks:  Obviously nobody wants to get hurt, but in the long run do you think that time off could actually help you, because you'll be fresher at the end of the season?

Alex Frazier:  Well, I guess yes and no, you're right, nobody wants to get hurt, but if you do, it gives you time to think, watch other people, see what they do, so it can be a good thing.  You don't want to delay your progression though, I missed a month and a half, and you never know what could have happened, if I'd gotten hot, there might have been an opening at a higher level.

FutureBacks:  You DH'd for the first couple of weeks back, and now you're in left again, was that just a precaution, or did you actually need the time out of the field?

Alex Frazier:  I would have been back a little earlier, but I tried to get back everything all at once, hitting, catching, swinging, and it sort of delayed the healing process a little.  So the trainers said, "Lets get you back hitting, swinging, getting some at bats, and then after you're doing that for a couple weeks, we'll get you back in the field."

FutureBacks:  Do you like being the DH, or do you prefer to play the field?

Alex Frazier:  I always prefer to be in the field.  I always want to be part of the game as much as possible, but I knew it was necessary to get back to the plate, so I could start getting back into the swing.  And since it also helped the healing process to stay off the field for a little while, I was happy to go that route.  I was just happy to be back and playing again, even if I was only hitting.

FutureBacks:  Wrist injuries are tough, because they can come back so easily, on that first check swing, were you freaking out?

Alex Frazier:  You don't think about it until after your check swing, and then the first time after I did check and I didn't have any pain, you sort of take a deep breath because you realize the wrist is fine.  I've gotten it treated and taken care of, so the wrist is strong now, but the thumb is still a little sore, and the trainers have told me it's going to be sore the rest of the season.  Actually, the first time you dive in the field is when it's scary, and the first time I did I make the catch and got up and I saw everybody in the dugout standing up, sort of watching me, and when I gave them a little nod and let them know I was okay everybody, including me, sort of exhaled.  It was good to get that first dive out of the way.

FutureBacks:  Does it worry you that the injury might have set you back, you were having a really good year, and might have been in line for a promotion?

Alex Frazier:  When you first get hurt it plays on your mind a lot, but you have to understand that everything happens for a reason.  Maybe God wanted things to work out that way, maybe He wanted me to be here a little longer, get things right with my swing, with my mechanics.  My mom always said look at it as another opportunity, a chance to really put up some good numbers here.

FutureBacks:  Does it make it hard for you to watch other guys like Jeff Cook and Jay Garthwaite playing so well?  Do you get worried that there just won't be a spot for you when you come back?

Alex Frazier:  When you're rehabbing you think about it a lot, guys doing good, getting promoted, and you think that could have been me.  The best thing you can do is to keep it out of you mind, just concentrate on what you're doing, in rehab and then when you're back, just believe in yourself, because you can't worry about what other people are doing.

FutureBacks:  What is it like coming back, because essentially you're now taking time away from somebody who was filling in for you, does it strain your relationship with that player?

Alex Frazier:  Jeff Cook is our everyday right fielder, Garthwaite plays left or third, and I can't speak for the other guys, but I know I don't look at it as a personal thing, and hopefully they're the same way.  We're all just trying to take advantage of opportunities.  Everybody pretty much knows what their roles are, when I'm DH I know that's my role.  It's not high school anymore so you don't really get all that jealous stuff, everybody here is doing their job.

FutureBacks:  You had only five home runs in the first two months, and then you hit nine in July, any reason, or is it just coincidence?

Alex Frazier:  I kinda was a little more...I don't know, before I got hurt I was getting singles, I'd made some adjustments in the offseason, and I was still learning my swing, getting comfortable.  A lot of people were wondering, asking me "Why you'd change it?"  But you have to constantly make adjustments, and I knew that I needed to get my swing a little tighter, but at the beginning of the year I wasn't lifting the ball.  When I came back I was a little stronger after the injury, I did a lot of [weight lifting on my] legs and stuff like that, and it allowed me to create more leverage.  It was surprising to me how many I ran off, but it felt good.

FutureBacks:  Is there anything worse than being on the disabled list?

Alex Frazier:  Yes.  Not playing at all.

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