By: Kaylin Bean
Canadian Baseball Network
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Almost there. That’s how Toronto Blue Jays 2014 first-round draft pick Max Pentecost describes his current status going into MLB spring training.
Three shoulder surgeries cost the catcher his 2015 and 2016 seasons. Standing outside the Bobby Mattick Training Center, the Blue Jays’ minor-league complex. Pentecost expressed confidence in his most recent surgery, called subacromial decompression.
“It went well,” Pentecost said, after his first official spring training practice of 2017. “So far, I haven’t had any of the symptoms I had before that. ... I still have normal complications that I was going through last year, so we’re just trying to get over that hump now.“
Pentecost signed with the Jays in July of 2014 after being selected 11th overall. In October, he had his first surgery. Fast forward 13 months and Pentecost had undergone two more procedures. The final one alleviated the problem.
With the shoulder problem that had been bothering him since 2011 behind him, Pentecost has switched his focus back to the game. Going into training camp, it’s all about baseball. He said he’s been at the complex in the weight room, getting back into catching shape. Now he’s focused on getting to know his pitchers and their tendencies.
When it comes to his training, Pentecost continues to follow the same program post-surgery, but he’s made some changes to accommodate his shoulder.
“Still kind of the same concepts as previously,” Pentecost said. “A little more emphasis each day on getting the body prepared. Taking the time to get the body prepared. Taking the time to get in soft tissue. So when we get out there, it’s as loose as could be. Besides that, we did a little more mobility stuff, it seems to have made a difference.”
Pentecost says his goals are, “Just to get back into the game. Just get over the tilt. Last year, we got close. Made more progress than the year before, but hopefully we can progress more this year.”