Working his way back from Tommy John surgery, Tigers prospect Anthony Castro has agreed to participate in a three-part series with TigsTown, documenting his return to the mound. As the series unfolds we look forward to giving you the reader an inside look at Anthony's journey.
TigsTown: It has been a long time since our first article -- eight months to be exact. During that time, you have been a busy man. Lots of rehab, and you officially began baseball activities if I'm not mistaken. Can you talk a bit about what you've been up to since we last spoke?
Castro: Rehab. Lots of rehab. From cardio to strength and conditioning exercises to regain range of motion. They kept me busy this off-season. I worked hard and I feel like I made the most of this time.
TigsTown: When exactly did your throwing program begin? Can you walk us through some of that process?
Castro: In January I started throwing flat ground from 90 feet in Venezuela. Then once I came here [to Lakeland] in February, I started throwing 120 feet. It's touch and feel at that point. Not much effort. 50, maybe 60 percent effort. Then once I worked my way up to 100 percent, I only threw fastballs during my sessions. They also have me work from the stretch, to simplify mechanics while I build up reps.
TigsTown: How did your arm feel when you first started throwing?
Castro: I feel strong. Stronger than I've ever felt before. Even my arm-speed feels faster. I remember thinking like, wow this feels good, when I first started throwing again. No pain.
TigsTown: What sort of treatment do you receive now when you're throwing?
Castro: Everyday I start out with my arm in a bathtub of hot water. Then there's lots of stretching. When I throw they have me on the table using these small Dumbbells to strengthen my arm. It's a long process, but it's worth it. I can feel myself getting stronger. They take good care of me.
TigsTown: So you're throwing bullpens now. Exactly what did it feel like to get back on that bump, and finally really let it go after all that hard work?
Castro: I was really excited the first time out. Many nights I dreamed of what that day would feel like. Throwing again was all I could think about. And finally being out there, even if it was just a bullpen...it was a dream come true. The night before I threw I had a dream about it. I really did. That's a day I'll never forget. Honestly though, it went by too fast. I remember saying, really, we are already done? Fifteen pitches goes by fast. After a couple weeks of nothing but fastballs, today [4/26/16] I threw my curveball for the first time. It felt amazing and I'm happy to start working on my secondary pitches now.
Next Up: In the third installment, we will check back with Castro once he returns to the field for short-season ball.
Flat Ground: https://instagram.com/p/7-odwoRqga/