Koda Glover talked this past winter about the hard lesson he learned last season about the difference between pitching with pain and an injury after he tried to push through a hip issue which was later diagnosed as a torn labrum.
“It’s very important to know the difference and I’m still young and I know that so I’m learning from that,” Glover explained, citing one of his teammates as a template for how he should handle such things.
“It’s like [Stephen] Strasburg,” he explained. “He knows when he’s not 100% and so he knows to tell somebody and that’s what I’m learning to do because I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve always pitched hurt, I’ve always played hurt, that’s just how I grew up. So, it’s an adjustment, but I think I’m getting smarter and more mature about that.”
That lesson did not stick apparently.
Glover, who was DL’d on June 11th with lower back stiffness, and hasn’t resumed throwing since, told reporters Wednesday afternoon, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, that he’s dealing with, “severe inflammation of the rotator cuff,” in his right shoulder, “and two strains,” in the shoulder.
As Zuckerman noted, there is no “concrete timetable” for the right-hander’s return to live action.
Dusty Baker noted earlier this week that Glover had not yet resumed any throwing activities.
Now we know why.
Glover explained that he started experiencing a problem with the shoulder during the Nationals’ West Coast road trip, when Washington was in San Francisco earlier in June, but pitched through it.
“I guess my pain tolerance is pretty high,” he said. “I didn’t really know what was sore, what was hurt. Nothing was really hurt, I thought, so I just kept pitching. Over time, I guess it just broke down, so my body broke down with it, the overcompensation.”
He pitched through back issues he experienced once he and the Nats were back in the nation’s capital as well:
“Before the back went out, I had felt it in the shower, went to the trainers, got worked on, and they loosened it up enough to where I was able to go out that day,” he said. “And I think pitching that day just made it worse. Knowing that my back went out, the next day I couldn’t even lift my arm. So now we’re dealing with the shoulder.”
Glover said he’s happy to be able to lift and move his arm now, but that he has to wait for the inflammation to subside. He’s back on the DL for the second time this season, after the first DL stint in late April/early May when the left hip issue acted up.
He returned from that injury and claimed the closer’s role in the nation’s capital, and for a brief period brought some stability to the back end of the Nationals’ bullpen.
What the future holds now is unclear. If he’s not going to be back any time soon, GM Mike Rizzo and Co. in the Nats’ front office might have to alter their plans as far as what they need to do in advance of next month’s non-waiver trade deadline.