Very early in the 2008 season, Bradley Suttle went on the disabled list with a hip flexor strain. Eleven days later, he returned only to once again fall victim to injury after four days.
The second injury would keep him out for well over a month, something that has understandably aggravated him and clouded a highly anticipated season.
Immediately returning from the DL, Suttle was at a disadvantage, struggling to find his swing again. The amount of time the third baseman couldn't even swing a bat threw off all the prowess young players spend all spring trying to hone.
"It's all about timing," said Suttle. "It's tough and a month off is quite a bit of time, which is no excuse, but I couldn't swing the bat for a couple of weeks and you lose the feel in your body. But I will say I'm feeling better and seeing the ball better already."
Suttle is in good spirits. He is ready to get back in the swing of things and for all intents and purposes, has. Reactivated just before the All-Star Break, Suttle started the second half of the season on a tear. Hitting .357 in this short span has proven the young hitter can quickly regain his form.
His reflection upon the first-half leaves him disappointed and eager to get another shot.
"I was out for a month and then came back and struggled to get my timing back," said Suttle. "I definitely wanted a better first half and wish I could have played the whole time."
The Texas native is aware of the highs and lows of the first half and is reflective of the positives. He feels he was able to take some important lessons away from what was a significantly shortened couple of months of baseball.
"I was struggling trying to get my timing back but I feel like my load was working and I was able to keep my hands loose and further back at the plate," he noted of his improved separation.
Eager to improve upon the first half, Suttle is also concerned with other aspects of his plate mechanics and timing.
"Timing obviously," he said when asked what he would like to improve on in the second half. "Just getting more consistent with my stride and my plate discipline. I feel like I've gotten into some late counts and chased some balls that would result in walks."
Charleston Manager Torre Tyson wishes Suttle was able to have the first half of the season back, knowing the ability is there but the lack of being able to get into a routine has cost him.
"He hasn't really had a chance to get into a groove offensively, but the flashes that we see after he hits a ball make me and [hitting coach Greg] Colbrunn say ‘oh my goodness'. If we can get him into a groove," said Tyson, "nnd he gets his timing back, then he wont be at this level much longer."
The University of Texas alum has a forced approach when it comes to his goals for the second half. Instead of trying to continue constant progression, Suttle must fight to get himself back to form and hit his stride.
"I'm just going to do the best I can and see what happens," he said. "I think if I have quality at-bats, and swinging at good pitches and not bad ones, I'll be happy."
Manager Torre Tyson loves Suttle's approach and is quick to praise his defense when asked about his overall makeup. The young third baseman has been a very smooth fielder for the Riverdogs this season.
"He's made some really athletic plays on bunts with bare hands," said the manager. "His fielding has been outstanding; he's very quiet and soft and has great range for a big guy, and I'm really impressed with him."
Suttle Looking To Make Up For Lost Time
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