The Los Angeles Dodgers have been without Scott Alexander since May 3, when he was placed on the 10-day injured list due to left shoulder inflammation.
The initial hope was for Alexander to make a speedy return, but he only recently faced batters as the final checkpoint before beginning a rehab assignment. The prolonged absence has been due to Alexander’s shoulder not recovering in the expected timeline.
“In my case, it took about 10 days to finally start feeling better,” he said. “There’s like a threshold of when you’re not throwing — as far as taking days off — there’s a little bit of a threshold to where you get to a certain where the layoff has been too long and you’re forced to do this throwing program to build back up.”
“The injury, 10 or 14 days, I was feeling good. But because of that non-throwing, I had to go through essentially a Spring Training buildup, and that’s basically what’s taken so long.”
Alexander came back to Los Angeles this week and threw two live bullpens. “Definitely pleased with the way I felt and more importantly, the way I felt afterwards,” Alexander said.
“Everything seems to be healed up. I’m feeling good and just excited to get out in a game somewhere and hopefully get back to pitching at Dodger Stadium soon.”
Alexander got off to a strong start this season, posting a 2.31 ERA in 11.2 innings, which added to the frustration that regularly comes with being placed on the IL.
“Anytime you’re not able to play, it’s disappointing. I was definitely in a pretty good groove there to start off the season,” Alexander said. “It happened in the Milwaukee series and we kind of made a decision pretty shortly after to go on the IL.
“I wasn’t able to do what would’ve been asked of me in terms of back-to-backs and getting hot multiple times in a game, being able to pitch multiple times in a week. I just wasn’t able to do it, so early in the season, just decided to give it a break. Obviously it ended up taking a lot longer than we wanted to, but just happy to be healthy and on the way back.”
Before going on the IL, Alexander only walked one hitter. He credited his success to improved mechanics that led to better control.
“I think mechanics is such a huge thing with your timing of it and the way you’re using your body. That has so much to do with your ability to throw strikes consistently. I think that’s been a big thing,” Alexander explained.
“That’s something I worked on a lot with coaches and thought about a lot. I felt like if I can improve my command, just be able to get ahead and throw strikes, that my stuff was going to play up and be able to force weak contact. That’s kind of what happened at the beginning of the season. Definitely a focal point of mine is keeping my mechanics locked in and attacking the zone.”
Alexander’s clean hand
With MLB cracking down on the use of foreign substances on baseballs, Alexander doesn’t have many thoughts on it because it isn’t something that will affect him.
“I’ve never used anything sticky,” he said. “I mean, I tried to, and it never really worked out for me. I honestly haven’t paid too much attention to it. I know obviously it’s a big thing going on, but I don’t really have an opinion on it either way, just because I’ve never used anything.
“For me, nothing’s changed.”
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