This off-season there has been a lot of talk about how much muscle Michael Wacha has added with his new workout routine. While the St. Louis Cardinals pitcher shares he’s gained muscle and strength, the better focus may be with whom he’s developed the new routine.
“I’m working out with the same guy that McCarthy was being trained by whenever he had this similar injury,” shared Wacha at the Winter Warm-Up.
McCarthy is Brandon McCarthy–a right-hander with the Los Angeles Dodgers who suffered the same scapular stress issue multiple times before he partnered with a trainer to add more muscle to his 6’7 frame.
“I’ve talked to him multiple times throughout the off-season and obviously working out with his trainer that he worked out with,” continued Wacha. “All the workouts have been going great–seeing a lot of great success. A lot of weight getting moved around. A lot of increases, so it’s a good sign, for sure.”
The new workout routine has also included his legs and core, but the main focus has been on the right shoulder and building up muscle used in his throwing motion to prevent the other muscles from being overworked.
“It was a lot of strengthening of the shoulder and the lat–creating that mobility while strengthening it as well,” explained Wacha. “I can tell just a huge difference from the strength in my arm and the mobility and the flexibility that I’ve been getting, just from the short throwing program stuff I’ve been doing now. I’m real happy with the way that it’s been going and continue it on for the next few weeks before Spring Training starts and throughout that for sure.”
So despite there still not being a lot of information on the scapular issue he’s dealt with, Wacha feels strongly the work he’s put in during the off-season will pay big dividends for the 2017 season.
“The mindset going into it is going 200 innings this year,” he stated. “I’ve been looking forward to the start of the season all off-season. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it. But just very confident with the way the arm’s been feeling, the way body’s been feeling and everything’s been feeling. I’m really excited about it.”
As for the upcoming arbitration hearing between himself and the team, Wacha did not seem overly concerned.
“My agent deals with basically all that,” he said. “I’ll be there. Everything they could say, it’s obviously from what I’ve done. I was out there pitching so there’s nothing that would be new to me, I guess.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI