Mojica Feeling Quite Strong

After missing what was supposed to be his debut season last year, Yankee shortstop Jose Mojica has recovered from a knee injury and returned with a solid season in the Gulf Coast League so far. In fact, he feels as if nothing happened.

Jose Mojica tore ligaments in his right knee and spent a lot of time in the training room and weight room last season. He said rehab helped instantly and he began feeling better even after Extended Spring Training started.

He said the rehab strengthened his hitting too and that he could really feel a difference. But a crucial point of recovery for Mojica was getting rid of a knee brace that limited his field movement.

"The brace was beginning to be a burden," Mojica said through the help of a translator. "It was so uncomfortable. I couldn't move side to side if I wanted to, but when I got it off [in June] that was the end of it."

Mojica started practicing again in January and started playing in March. At first, he was limited to five innings per game, but now he plays the full nine innings and gets one day off per week.

He said he feels 100 percent and all his hard work was worth it. When asked if he was making an impression in the organization, Mojica smiled and said, "Yes."

Yankees' GCL Manager Tommy Slater said he is impressed with Mojica's improvement, claiming Mojica isn't showing any signs of injury.

"His movement laterally at shortstop is way better than it was in the Fall," Slater said. "He's moving really well. He's going to his forehand. He's going to his backhand. He's doing just a great job in the infield. He's got very very good hands. He's got a really good arm."

Slater said Mojica has made a big improvement since the end of Extended Spring Training. He said Mojica still showed signs then that he was uncomfortable in the field.

"He didn't have his strength back and he wasn't moving left and right nearly as well as he is now. Now he's really moving well, showing a lot of range and making all the plays you want to see a shortstop make. He's been swinging the bat for us well also."

Mojica holds a .273 batting average in 128 at-bats. But perhaps most impressive is the fact he has struck out just 13 times in his debut season.

Mojica said his improvement isn't done and this experience is certainly a lesson learned.

"You want to make yourself better every time you come out. Some days I want to work harder hitting, some days I want to work on something defensively," Mojica said.

"With the operation everything became harder, because I had never been operated on before. But with hard work, I can obviously get through it and get back to playing harder."

Slater said Mojica's hard work will allow opportunities to open up for him in the organization. He said players need to prove they can have success in this league, and Mojica is one of those players doing just that.

"He's worked extremely hard putting his time in the cages. He works hard on defensive drills. He's got a good understanding," Slater said. "He's maturing and working hard. Doing things the right way are really paying off for him."

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\r\n \r\n\r\nJose Mojica tore ligaments in his right knee and spent a lot of time in the training room and weight room last season. He said rehab helped instantly and he began feeling better even after Extended Spring Training started.
\r\n
\r\nHe said the rehab strengthened his hitting too and that he could really feel a difference. But a crucial point of recovery for Mojica was getting rid of a knee brace that limited his field movement.
\r\n
\r\n\"The brace was beginning to be a burden,\" Mojica said through the help of a translator. \"It was so uncomfortable. I couldn't move side to side if I wanted to, but when I got it off [in June] that was the end of it.\"
\r\n
\r\nMojica started practicing again in January and started playing in March. At first, he was limited to five innings per game, but now he plays the full nine innings and gets one day off per week.
\r\n
\r\nHe said he feels 100 percent and all his hard work was worth it. When asked if he was making an impression in the organization, Mojica smiled and said, \"Yes.\"
\r\n
\r\nYankees' GCL Manager Tommy Slater said he is impressed with Mojica's improvement, claiming Mojica isn't showing any signs of injury.
\r\n
\r\n\"His movement laterally at shortstop is way better than it was in the Fall,\" Slater said. \"He's moving really well. He's going to his forehand. He's going to his backhand. He's doing just a great job in the infield. He's got very very good hands. He's got a really good arm.\"
\r\n
\r\nSlater said Mojica has made a big improvement since the end of Extended Spring Training. He said Mojica still showed signs then that he was uncomfortable in the field.
\r\n
\r\n\"He didn't have his strength back and he wasn't moving left and right nearly as well as he is now. Now he's really moving well, showing a lot of range and making all the plays you want to see a shortstop make. He's been swinging the bat for us well also.\"
\r\n
\r\nMojica holds a .273 batting average in 128 at-bats. But perhaps most impressive is the fact he has struck out just 13 times in his debut season.
\r\n
\r\nMojica said his improvement isn't done and this experience is certainly a lesson learned.
\r\n
\r\n\"You want to make yourself better every time you come out. Some days I want to work harder hitting, some days I want to work on something defensively,\" Mojica said.
\r\n
\r\n\"With the operation everything became harder, because I had never been operated on before. But with hard work, I can obviously get through it and get back to playing harder.\"
\r\n
\r\nSlater said Mojica's hard work will allow opportunities to open up for him in the organization. He said players need to prove they can have success in this league, and Mojica is one of those players doing just that.
\r\n
\r\n\"He's worked extremely hard putting his time in the cages. He works hard on defensive drills. He's got a good understanding,\" Slater said. \"He's maturing and working hard. Doing things the right way are really paying off for him.\"
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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