Mark You Mondays V 1.2--The Grind

Rehab is all about the long term. There is no 'immediate payoff,' no 'little victory.' When you are in rehab you rarely measure in percentages, you are either healthy enough to play, or not healthy enough to play. As D'Backs lefty pitching prospect Mark Romanczuk continues his online journal, exclusive to, he talks about the highs and (mostly) lows that come with rehabbing during spring training.

            Hello everyone and welcome back to Mark Your Mondays.  Things have been quite hectic around the locker room since Spring Training is in full swing now.  There must be about 150 players here.  We are all split up into work groups representing the four long-season minor league teams (South Bend, Lancaster, Tennessee, and Tucson).  Of course, a few of us are in the Rehab group, but hopefully not for too long.  Every day, all the work groups stretch together at 8:45.  Following the stretch, all players split up into their respective work groups and begin throwing and drills.  Then, at the end of the workouts, there are in-camp games or each work group will travel to another team's facility to play games.

            For rehabbers, the day is much different.  We stretch with the entire group, but then we report to the training room to begin a lengthy rehab regimen (typically about 1 to 1 ½ hours).  After this, we do all our running, core conditioning, and weight training.  The most disappointing part of the day for me is right after stretch.  It's exciting to put on a uniform and be out their warming up with all the guys.  However, this feeling goes away as stretch ends and the rehabbers head to the training room while all the other guys begin to play catch.  The stretching acts as a tease, but again, it's just a matter of time until I'll be able to remain out there and start my throwing.

            The greatest part about being a starting picture is obviously every fifth day.  I never minded putting in all the work on the other four days because during the long runs, the weight lifting workouts, the bullpens, and the core workouts, I realize that "my day" is just around the corner and that's what keeps me motivated.  During rehab, it can be difficult to maintain an up-beat attitude since the reward (being healthy and getting to pitch) is so far away.  Doing the same strengthening routine can be a grind, more mentally than physically.  Whenever I get frustrated, I always try to remind myself to see the "big picture" and to recognize how beneficial it will be for me later if I consistently work hard throughout the whole rehab process.  Some of the most helpful tips for me have come from other players who have undergone surgery.  It helps to throw all sorts of questions at them because they have already gone through the exact same thing.  It's reassuring to know what to expect over the next few weeks and months.

            On a side note, I have been able to see a few of the big-league Spring Training games this past week.  It looks like the D-backs are off to a good spring.  I was excited to see how well Chris Carter and Carlos Quentin are playing.  I always pull for guys I have played with in the past, either at Stanford or on the USA National Team.  Chris and I actually got a chance to grab dinner last week and catch up on baseball and everything else.  It's always nice to see an old face in a new environment.

            That's it for now.  Have a good week and I'll see you next time.

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