Q: Anthony asked about Reese Havenss:
It seems like he was injured a long time ago. Has he been shut down for theA: I've received a lot of Havens questions in my email and over twitter (I'm creatively named @tobyhyde), but I'm answering Anthony's here because it raises some other interesting other issues.
season? Is he a winter league candidate again or is his injury serious? It seem
like Havens & Martinez may need to see a trainer/specialist like Jose Reyes
did when he was having all his leg injuries. Take up Yoga or something Reese.
Any info on what the Mets do to facilitate high talent guys make it through a
season/improve their durability or is it up to the individual player?
Havens has not played in over two months, since leaving the B-Mets' game on June 11th with what was diagnosed as an oblique strain.
Last week, Adam Rubin of ESPNNY, wrote in a chat about Havens, "I hear he's not progressing from the oblique injury -- may be a back issue too -- and he may not be back this season."
Mike Silva of NYBaseballDigest tweeted, based on a conversation with B-Mets manager Tim Teufel, that he was "Hearing that Reese Havens is out for year - not progressing - but not official."So yeah, it doesn't look like Havens is going to make it back this year.
I think Havens could well be a winter ball candidate. (By the way, it's probably not a good sign when we're talking winter ball in August, but lets keep going...) Havens went to the Arizona Fall League last year, as a Taxi Squad guy who was limited, at least initially, to playing twice a week. I doubt the Mets would send him back to the AFL, although it is possible and has the advantage of being a very easily controlled environment. The Mets could also go ask him to play in the more competitive environment in a Caribbean league and then shut it down early to give him plenty of time off to get ready for spring training as they did with Josh Thole a year ago.
I have been told that between the end of the 2009 season and the beginning of the 2010 the Mets significantly altered their strength and conditioning program. The changes were all designed to keep players healthier and fresher during the season. This included fairly drastic cuts to the amount of lifting in-season (to the point were guys were really just maintaining their strength), dropping the number of repetitions in many areas with an emphasize on quality over quantity and a general focus on baseball specific movements and conditioning. I have no way to empirically test whether it's working; injuries happen. No training program can prevent them all. Havens' injury tells an outside observer little about the efficacy of the new program.
The Mets have strength and conditioning plans, but in 2010, players do a lot of the work on their own often with the assistance of their agents who set them up with trainers.
As far as yoga - I'm a believer. Five years ago now, I was struggling with repeated left hamstring strains, and my sister said something like, "stop whining and take a yoga class." the results weren't immediate and it was frustrating at first, but yoga was definitely part of my solution. I now take at least a class a week year round and more in the winter months. There's no question it's helped my strength and flexibility and made me a better athlete in my 20s. In the last few years, yoga was a key component of my pre-season training and in-season maintenance when I was teaching skiing and riding at a high level.
If I were a baseball player in my off-season, I would mix 1. pure old-fashioned weight-room strength room stuff, 2. footspeed/agility work 3. yoga or some other flexibility regime and 4. baseball drills. In the early part of the off-season, I'd do more general fitness, with a move towards baseball as spring training approached. Actually, I think that this is pretty much the plan for most guys. For example, pitchers don't really throw at all for a while after the minor league seasons end.
So, it's going to be some time for Havens.