Zack Segovia: Rehab and a Green Eyeball

Zack Segovia is giving readers a glimpse of what it takes to come back from Tommy John surgery. Find out about what rehabbing from such a serious operation is all about and get a glimpse into the life of Zack Segovia, one of the better pitching prospects in the Phillies organization. This week, the rehab continues along with memories of "Eyeball Races".

Well, the stretching and rehab work continues. Sometimes, I wonder if it will ever end. Every day, I'm on a routine set of stretching exercises and weight lifting. That's all in addition to the basic exercise work that I do. This past week, I was throwing basically at 150 feet, continuing the long-toss portion of my rehab. This coming week, we'll likely push the long-tossing to 180 feet, which is the next step in the process. The throwing is going great. I feel good and don't have any pain or problems when I throw. That's the good news.

The bad news is dealing with the rehab mentally. With the season moving along, I really want to be on the mound. Missing an entire season is the toughest part of the rehab process. Besides being out of action, the rehab work does start to wear on you. Even though I feel good and it's really going well, the work isn't easy and believe me, I'll be glad when it's all over and I can get back on the mound. There's a chance that I'll pitch in the Florida Instructional League after the season. It will be great to actually face some live hitters or even just be pitching from a mound. I hope to start some bullpen sessions next month.

I'm very fortunate to have great people around me. I called my Father the other day for a bit of a pick-up from him and that helped. The Phillies have also been great. Scott, my rehab trainer is always supportive and understands everything that I'm going through. I've also been working with Gorman Heimueller from the Phillies and he has been awesome, too. You really need people like them and a support system like I've got with my family when you're coming back from something like this. The Phillies have even let me travel home a couple times. I was home in March when my nephew was born. I got there a few hours too late to see him born, but I was there later in the day, which was cool.

It should get better this week, because my Mom, my sister and my nephew are coming to see me. My nephew is about 3 1/2 months old now and I can't wait to see him. He seems to like me pretty much because I hold him a lot and I don't talk to him in one of those sweet, high-pitched voices like everyone seems to do with kids. I just talk to him like I talk to anyone else and he seems to like that. My sister said that she read in some parenting magazine that when you take a baby to someone's house for a vacation, they should provide diapers for the baby. That means I had to go out and buy diapers, which was a new experience. I think I'm kind of getting taken on that one. Anyway, it's worth it and I can't wait to see them.

Another great thing that happened this week was that I got a present from the folks who were my host family when I was in Lakewood. At the stadium there, they had Eyeball Races. Three guys dressed up in eyeball costumes and they would race. There was a red, green and blue eyeball. Anyway, while I was there, I noticed that the green eyeball kept losing. Finally, I tracked down who wore the green costume and started to get on him about his losing streak. The kid looked at me and said "hey, you guys are 1-12, what are you talking about?" Guess it was a good point. Anyway, the rest of the season, I rooted big-time for the green eyeball and before long, we were all rooting for him. So, as a present, my former host family sent me a t-shirt with the green eyeball no it. It's great! Hopefully, the guy is doing better in the races than he did when I was at Lakewood.

I try to make it out to some of the Clearwater games when I can. I saw Bud Smith pitch the other night and he looked really good. After the game, I talked to him and he said he felt great. That's good news, because he's got some real talent. It's also nice to see another guy who had injury problems getting back on track.

Cole Hamels was in Philly for a few days and I picked him up at the airport when he got back to Clearwater. He told me about the Gavin Floyd, Keith Bucktrot and Matt Squires golf video that was on Philadelphia television. It sounds like it was really funny. They're all good guys and I wish I could have seen the video. Cole said that they hit a couple great shots, but most of the time, they looked a little rough. I told him that's how they really golf.

Speaking of other players, it's great to see Ryan Howard doing so well. That guy's a monster. Keep it up Ryan!

Well, that's all that's happening this week. I'll let you know how the increase in distance for my long-tossing goes in my next article. Remember, if you have any questions or thoughts, you can e-mail me and I'll try to address the e-mails in my next article.

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