Kyle Drabek, a first round pick of the Phillies in 2006, spent parts of the 2007 season with the BlueClaws, where he went 5-1, though an elbow injury ended his season prematurely. Drabek missed most of 2008, but pitched briefly with the Gulf Coast Phillies and Williamsport before heading to Hawaii for their winter league. Despite the limited innings in 2008, he was still ranked 5th in the Phillies system by Baseball America. Drabek took a few minutes last week to talk with BlueClaws Blog.
Question: You went down with an injury last year; can you talk about that whole ordeal?
Kyle Drabek: Most people say when you end up tearing a ligament you’ll hear a big pop and I didn’t hear anything so my arm was just killing me in the fifth inning. I went to go see a doctor and he told me that it was partially torn and just to rehab a little bit, but it never got better. So I went to see another doctor and he told me it was completely torn, so it was kind of hard because I knew I was going to miss an entire year to rehab.
Q: Was that scary for you, knowing you had to take that kind of time off to rehab?
KD: It was just kind of a bummer that I knew I was going to have to miss a whole year of baseball but I think in the long run it kind of helped me out because once I came back I changed my motion and now my fastball I can control a lot better. So I think in a way it pretty much helped me out.
Q: Was it nice from a confidence stand-point to see so many guys have Tommy John surgery and come back so strong?
KD: Yeah, in talking to the doctor he told me that about 90% of the people come back stronger and that was a huge confidence booster because I knew that I could come back nice and strong. When I began to throw it felt great and that also helped my confidence a lot.
Q: You mentioned that you changed your motion a bit, what kinds of things are you doing differently now than you had done before the injury?
KD: Before I was doing a really high leg kick and turning my body where I couldn’t see home plate, but I changed it to where I am more level and that has really helped me control my fastball.
Q: Let’s talk about watching baseball a little bit, what was that like for you watching the Phillies, with I’m sure a lot of guys you knew well, go on to win the World Series this year?
KD: It was great, I played with a few guys that got called up for it (the World Series), and it was cool to see them. It was a bummer because I didn’t really get to see the last few games because I was playing in Hawaii, but it was amazing. This is a great organization, I love it and I’m so happy to be on the team.