Hoover Starts Throwing

Jesse Hoover has missed the last two seasons with a back injury after dominating the NY-Penn League in 2004, posting a 1.78 ERA and striking out a mind-boggling 90 batters in 55 2/3 innings with the Staten Island Yankees. Inching his way closer to pitching in live games, Hoover began throwing last week.

"It's a similar situation to last year," Jesse Hoover summarized his injury. "I re-injured my back in mid-March. I took three or four weeks to let it calm down a bit inflammation-wise. I've been going to a physical therapist this summer. He's really good and that's been working out really well. I feel a lot better. I feel a lot stronger than I did at this point last year."

Hoover and the Yankees decided to avoid back surgery, for the second time, back in the beginning of April. Rather than putting his life in danger, combined with the fact that the chances were very remote of remaining the same pitcher even with the surgery, Hoover was put on a strict rehab program.

"Surgery has always been an option but, it's definitely not a route we want to take," Hoover reiterated. "The odds aren't very good of being the same player that I would be, or that I was before, if we had the surgery."

Rehabbing the injury, Hoover has been trying to strengthen the muscles surrounding his back in an effort to alleviate the stress. Working out his abdomen, lower back, hamstring, and legs, he has been learning to take stress off of his back, basically working to use all of the other muscles to try and take any pressure off of his spine.

In fantastic shape and in astonishingly good spirits, Hoover is ready to take the next step in his rehab process.

"Surprisingly pretty good, for everything that's been going on," Hoover said of his current mental state with his two-year ordeal. "I mean it's been frustrating, obviously, but there's not much I can do about it. If I could have played through it, I would have."

He started throwing a week ago from 60-feet on flat ground and he'll continue that routine for about two weeks. If all goes well, the Yankees will gradually bump him up over the next six weeks to about 120 feet before he gets back on the mound.

"About six or eight weeks of throwing is generally when you can get back on a mound and throw bullpens," said Hoover. "I think it's another three or four weeks of that [throwing bullpens] before you can pitch to batters. It's about a 10-12 week process. I'll probably take it slow."

With just a month left in the minor league season, there is no reason to rush Hoover's rehab process. The Yankees are notoriously cautious in their approach to working their pitchers through injuries and they are not about to push Hoover after a two-year absence from live games.

As of right now, the plan is to have him rehab slowly through the winter months at the Tampa complex in hopes of being ready for Spring Training next season.

"I haven't talked with Mark [Newman] yet, but last fall and winter I stayed here," said the 24-year old hurler. "If they do the same thing, I'll basically be throwing some bullpens, probably into November, maybe late November, probably take December off and the first part of January, and then start in mid-January."

"I won't be quite on pace with the rest of the guys, or I wasn't last year, but if that's what we do, I'd probably be two to three weeks behind everybody else in Spring Training and hopefully be ready by the end."

Considering he's already on track to be behind the other stable of pitchers next Spring, the natural assumption is Hoover would need some more seasoning in Extended Spring Training next year before returning to game action. Hoover's goal however is to be ready before that.

"Yeah, definitely," Hoover said of his goal to be ready by the end of Spring Training next season. "I'd love to do that. Whether I have to put some time in Extended or not, and I'd obviously rather not, the main thing is if I'm healthy and have to go through Extended to keep an eye on me closer, then that's fine - whatever it takes. But it would be great to start the season somewhere."

Two years into rehabbing the same injury, enduring setbacks and numerous discussions about back surgery, the proverbial pink elephant in the room is, what happens if Hoover's rehab doesn't work and he's not able to pitch well into the 2007 season?

"Yeah, I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about it," Hoover admitted. "What happens if it doesn't work out? We haven't really sat down and talked about that yet. Obviously that's not something we want to talk about unless we have to."

"If we can, we're going to avoid surgery at all costs. We don't want to jinx it by talking about it too much in the training room. But I guess that's something you've honestly got to take a look at, if you need to."

Steadfast in his goal to avoid surgery and return to the mound as the same pitcher who dominated batters in his professional debut, Hoover chooses to focus on his mission rather than speculate on the negatives.

Finally throwing a baseball once again and clearly on the path to returning, Hoover is feeling better than he has in recent memory.

"Mentally, pretty good," said Hoover. "I feel strong right now, so that obviously helps the mental side that you feel healthy. I'm just trying to stay positive, start throwing, and go from there."

Pinstripes Plus Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"It's a similar situation to last year,\" Jesse Hoover summarized his injury. \"I re-injured my back in mid-March. I took three or four weeks to let it calm down a bit inflammation-wise. I've been going to a physical therapist this summer. He's really good and that's been working out really well. I feel a lot better. I feel a lot stronger than I did at this point last year.\"
\r\n
\r\nHoover and the Yankees decided to avoid back surgery, for the second time, back in the beginning of April. Rather than putting his life in danger, combined with the fact that the chances were very remote of remaining the same pitcher even with the surgery, Hoover was put on a strict rehab program.
\r\n
\r\n\"Surgery has always been an option but, it's definitely not a route we want to take,\" Hoover reiterated. \"The odds aren't very good of being the same player that I would be, or that I was before, if we had the surgery.\"
\r\n
\r\nRehabbing the injury, Hoover has been trying to strengthen the muscles surrounding his back in an effort to alleviate the stress. Working out his abdomen, lower back, hamstring, and legs, he has been learning to take stress off of his back, basically working to use all of the other muscles to try and take any pressure off of his spine.
\r\n
\r\nIn fantastic shape and in astonishingly good spirits, Hoover is ready to take the next step in his rehab process.
\r\n
\r\n\"Surprisingly pretty good, for everything that's been going on,\" Hoover said of his current mental state with his two-year ordeal. \"I mean it's been frustrating, obviously, but there's not much I can do about it. If I could have played through it, I would have.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe started throwing a week ago from 60-feet on flat ground and he'll continue that routine for about two weeks. If all goes well, the Yankees will gradually bump him up over the next six weeks to about 120 feet before he gets back on the mound.
\r\n
\r\n\"About six or eight weeks of throwing is generally when you can get back on a mound and throw bullpens,\" said Hoover. \"I think it's another three or four weeks of that [throwing bullpens] before you can pitch to batters. It's about a 10-12 week process. I'll probably take it slow.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith just a month left in the minor league season, there is no reason to rush Hoover's rehab process. The Yankees are notoriously cautious in their approach to working their pitchers through injuries and they are not about to push Hoover after a two-year absence from live games.
\r\n
\r\nAs of right now, the plan is to have him rehab slowly through the winter months at the Tampa complex in hopes of being ready for Spring Training next season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I haven't talked with Mark [Newman] yet, but last fall and winter I stayed here,\" said the 24-year old hurler. \"If they do the same thing, I'll basically be throwing some bullpens, probably into November, maybe late November, probably take December off and the first part of January, and then start in mid-January.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I won't be quite on pace with the rest of the guys, or I wasn't last year, but if that's what we do, I'd probably be two to three weeks behind everybody else in Spring Training and hopefully be ready by the end.\"
\r\n
\r\nConsidering he's already on track to be behind the other stable of pitchers next Spring, the natural assumption is Hoover would need some more seasoning in Extended Spring Training next year before returning to game action. Hoover's goal however is to be ready before that.
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah, definitely,\" Hoover said of his goal to be ready by the end of Spring Training next season. \"I'd love to do that. Whether I have to put some time in Extended or not, and I'd obviously rather not, the main thing is if I'm healthy and have to go through Extended to keep an eye on me closer, then that's fine - whatever it takes. But it would be great to start the season somewhere.\"
\r\n
\r\nTwo years into rehabbing the same injury, enduring setbacks and numerous discussions about back surgery, the proverbial pink elephant in the room is, what happens if Hoover's rehab doesn't work and he's not able to pitch well into the 2007 season?
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah, I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about it,\" Hoover admitted. \"What happens if it doesn't work out? We haven't really sat down and talked about that yet. Obviously that's not something we want to talk about unless we have to.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"If we can, we're going to avoid surgery at all costs. We don't want to jinx it by talking about it too much in the training room. But I guess that's something you've honestly got to take a look at, if you need to.\"
\r\n
\r\nSteadfast in his goal to avoid surgery and return to the mound as the same pitcher who dominated batters in his professional debut, Hoover chooses to focus on his mission rather than speculate on the negatives.
\r\n
\r\nFinally throwing a baseball once again and clearly on the path to returning, Hoover is feeling better than he has in recent memory.
\r\n
\r\n\"Mentally, pretty good,\" said Hoover. \"I feel strong right now, so that obviously helps the mental side that you feel healthy. I'm just trying to stay positive, start throwing, and go from there.\"
","mobileBody":" \r\n\"It's a similar situation to last year,\" Jesse Hoover summarized his injury. \"I re-injured my back in mid-March. I took three or four weeks to let it calm down a bit inflammation-wise. I've been going to a physical therapist this summer. He's really good and that's been working out really well. I feel a lot better. I feel a lot stronger than I did at this point last year.\"
\r\n
\r\nHoover and the Yankees decided to avoid back surgery, for the second time, back in the beginning of April. Rather than putting his life in danger, combined with the fact that the chances were very remote of remaining the same pitcher even with the surgery, Hoover was put on a strict rehab program.
\r\n
\r\n\"Surgery has always been an option but, it's definitely not a route we want to take,\" Hoover reiterated. \"The odds aren't very good of being the same player that I would be, or that I was before, if we had the surgery.\"
\r\n
\r\nRehabbing the injury, Hoover has been trying to strengthen the muscles surrounding his back in an effort to alleviate the stress. Working out his abdomen, lower back, hamstring, and legs, he has been learning to take stress off of his back, basically working to use all of the other muscles to try and take any pressure off of his spine.
\r\n
\r\nIn fantastic shape and in astonishingly good spirits, Hoover is ready to take the next step in his rehab process.
\r\n
\r\n\"Surprisingly pretty good, for everything that's been going on,\" Hoover said of his current mental state with his two-year ordeal. \"I mean it's been frustrating, obviously, but there's not much I can do about it. If I could have played through it, I would have.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe started throwing a week ago from 60-feet on flat ground and he'll continue that routine for about two weeks. If all goes well, the Yankees will gradually bump him up over the next six weeks to about 120 feet before he gets back on the mound.
\r\n
\r\n\"About six or eight weeks of throwing is generally when you can get back on a mound and throw bullpens,\" said Hoover. \"I think it's another three or four weeks of that [throwing bullpens] before you can pitch to batters. It's about a 10-12 week process. I'll probably take it slow.\"
\r\n
\r\nWith just a month left in the minor league season, there is no reason to rush Hoover's rehab process. The Yankees are notoriously cautious in their approach to working their pitchers through injuries and they are not about to push Hoover after a two-year absence from live games.
\r\n
\r\nAs of right now, the plan is to have him rehab slowly through the winter months at the Tampa complex in hopes of being ready for Spring Training next season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I haven't talked with Mark [Newman] yet, but last fall and winter I stayed here,\" said the 24-year old hurler. \"If they do the same thing, I'll basically be throwing some bullpens, probably into November, maybe late November, probably take December off and the first part of January, and then start in mid-January.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I won't be quite on pace with the rest of the guys, or I wasn't last year, but if that's what we do, I'd probably be two to three weeks behind everybody else in Spring Training and hopefully be ready by the end.\"
\r\n
\r\nConsidering he's already on track to be behind the other stable of pitchers next Spring, the natural assumption is Hoover would need some more seasoning in Extended Spring Training next year before returning to game action. Hoover's goal however is to be ready before that.
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah, definitely,\" Hoover said of his goal to be ready by the end of Spring Training next season. \"I'd love to do that. Whether I have to put some time in Extended or not, and I'd obviously rather not, the main thing is if I'm healthy and have to go through Extended to keep an eye on me closer, then that's fine - whatever it takes. But it would be great to start the season somewhere.\"
\r\n
\r\nTwo years into rehabbing the same injury, enduring setbacks and numerous discussions about back surgery, the proverbial pink elephant in the room is, what happens if Hoover's rehab doesn't work and he's not able to pitch well into the 2007 season?
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah, I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought about it,\" Hoover admitted. \"What happens if it doesn't work out? We haven't really sat down and talked about that yet. Obviously that's not something we want to talk about unless we have to.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"If we can, we're going to avoid surgery at all costs. We don't want to jinx it by talking about it too much in the training room. But I guess that's something you've honestly got to take a look at, if you need to.\"
\r\n
\r\nSteadfast in his goal to avoid surgery and return to the mound as the same pitcher who dominated batters in his professional debut, Hoover chooses to focus on his mission rather than speculate on the negatives.
\r\n
\r\nFinally throwing a baseball once again and clearly on the path to returning, Hoover is feeling better than he has in recent memory.
\r\n
\r\n\"Mentally, pretty good,\" said Hoover. \"I feel strong right now, so that obviously helps the mental side that you feel healthy. I'm just trying to stay positive, start throwing, and go from there.\"
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