Q & A with Jaime Bubela

An injury during offseason workouts forced outfielder Jaime Bubela to miss the first three months of the 2004 season. But after a speedy rehab process, the Baylor product is back on the field playing in Double-A. InsidethePark's Joe Ruiz talked to him recently about the long road back.

InsideThePark.com – Jaime, first off, how's it feel to be back in Double-A?

Jaime Bubela – It feels great. I'm happy to be playing again. The best-case scenario at this point would be to play here so I'm just thankful that I had the chance to come back to San Antonio. It's a great city with a great park and there's just a bunch of good, all-around people down here and I really enjoy it.

ITP – Can you tell us about how your knee was injured?

JB – Well, it was just a workout during the off-season. It was kind of a freak thing. I just stepped and my knee hyper-extended and I tore some ligaments in there. Really, I'm just thankful to be back playing already.

ITP – You told us a few weeks ago that you didn't have the same explosiveness in your knee. If you were to give us a percentage, what would you say you're at overall?

JB – I would say 90-95 percent. It's coming back slowly and in really small steps and it's kind of hard to notice except when you think back to a week or two ago and how it felt and you realize that it has got better. It probably won't be 100 percent until next spring and I knew that coming in, so it's just something that I'll have to deal with.

ITP – What can you bring to this team after you were a part of the championship run last season?

JB – Well, we had a lot of mature players last year. They weren't necessarily old maids or anything but they had experience playing on championship teams and I think we have some of those guys on this team. With the second half, we've had guys kind of shuffle around and we have some veteran leadership and young guys with great talent, so hopefully, it's a good mixture and maybe we can bring it all together so we can be more consistent.

ITP – How tough was it to stay a consistent hitter coming from last year and now with the knee rehab?

JB – It has (been tough). People have told me that this will make me a better player, a smarter player and there are some ways that you can benefit from something like that. Hopefully, it's something that I can learn from. I got to sit back and watch the game when I wasn't playing and see a different aspect that pitchers bring and you kind of learn from both sides. I think that I really got an opportunity to use Spring Training, extended spring and the Arizona Rookie League to see where people mess up and where they succeed at.

ITP – What are your goals for this season?

JB – My personal goal would probably be to help this team win a championship again and make it three in a row, but along the way, I'd like to strengthen the leg back up. I'd like to be in a better position for the off-season; maybe get in at winter ball or something like that or just prepare myself for next year. I'd like to end on a good note here so that I have a confident feeling in the spring and be positive.

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