"I had an irritated nerve, a spinal accessory nerve that went to my trap [trapezius muscle], so my trap actually atrophied because that nerve wasn't firing right," Steven White said of his freak injury. "They have no clue how it got injured. I just rested and waited for that nerve to re-generate. Once that happened, everything went back to normal."
"It was bothering me all of Spring Training," he continued. "It wasn't anything that I couldn't pitch with, but it was really uncomfortable. I tried to keep pitching through it and it just got to the point where I was like, 'I'm not going to be doing this all season'. So I went through like five hours of MRI's to find out what it was."
After diagnosing the problem with a little more than a week left in Spring Training, the course of action to heal the injury was simple. The Yankees had White simply rest for four or five weeks before resuming his normal workout and pitching routines.
While the remedy was easy, the timing of his injury was a bit more difficult to deal with.
"It was about the worst time ever to be hurt with all the guys that got to go up to the big leagues already," White admitted. "It was tough. I was talking about it with [Jeff] Karstens. When a guy gets called up, you're really happy for the guy but at the same time you're kind of mad because you're like, 'I wish it was me [getting called up]'."
"It's hard to deal with, especially when I considered I was maybe a step ahead of those guys last year and I didn't have any control over it [the injury] this year being hurt."
"It would have been different if I was there getting lit up [in Triple-A], but the fact that I was here and not pitching, it wasn't in my hands to earn it or not earn it. It was pretty hard. It's that thing where you're happy for them but you're like, 'I wish it was me'."
Even though a part of him wishes he had the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues, White is happy that he is finally ready to join a team sometime soon.
He has been healthy and pitching in Extended Spring Training games for nearly a month now, including a 62-pitch outing on Thursday where he threw 4 2/3 innings and he has been told it was his last appearance at the minor league complex.
"I'm just waiting for them to tell me to leave," said White. "Now everything is back to normal. Everything feels really good."
Unsure of whether he'll be joining the Scranton Yankees or the Trenton Thunder, White is happy about making his season debut sometime soon, and making it with an enhanced weapon.
"Gil [Patterson] and I have been working a lot," he said of his time in Extended Spring Training. "It gave me a chance to work on my sinker a little bit more and do all that without having to worry about getting Triple-A guys out."
"I could get away with a little bit more here [in Extended Spring Training]. I got to work on some stuff that I probably wouldn't have been able to work on as much. All that [fastball, curveball, changeup] is really good now."
White Ready To Get Out
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