Ron Porterfield was named the Tampa Bay Rays Head Baseball trainer in 2006 by Andrew Friedman and served in that capacity until 2017 when Friedman lured him to Camelback Ranch with the title of Director of Pitching Health or Medical Director, depending upon which article you believe. Throwing a baseball is not a natural act. It puts lots of stress on the human arm and sometimes creates extreme damage. Andrew Friedman is trying to mitigate that by being proactive utilizing a person of Ron Porterfield’s expertise.
Porterfield is on the cutting-edge in training and rehabilitation and this is his second full season with the Dodgers. Porterfield received the Career Service Award from the American Sports Medicine Institute in 2008, an honor that “recognizes individuals who have provided a career of exemplary care to baseball players.” In 2009, Porterfield and his staff were named major league medical staff of the year from the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society. He’s no chump!
Nathan Eovaldi and David Price credit Porterfield with saving their careers. Both called Clayton Kershaw and told him to listen to Porterfield. Hopefully, Clayton is doing just that as he tries to get ready for Opening Day. Evoaldi flat out says “Without Ron Porterfield, I would not be here.”
Jesen Therrien and Julio Urias are two of Porterfield’s latest rehab projects.Peter Gammons reported this in THE ATHLETIClast November:
Urías, now 22, was labeled a future star when he was just 16 in a tiny A ball franchise in Northern Michigan. But he went from May 20, 2017 to Sept. 15, 2018 without pitching in the major leagues because of one of those complex shoulder injuries that teams often consider to be career threatening. In his seven postseason appearances, Urías showed so much, between his 93+ mph velocity, his slider, his changeup and his curveball spin, that he is back in the preface of the Dodger pitching prospectus.
Porterfield refused to rush Urias and in fact, shut him down a couple of times. He flashed what he had last year at the end of the season and this year, is the talk of Dodger Camp as he is touching 98 MPH with his fastball and has impeccable command of four pitches. What do they call a pitcher has four killer pitches which he can command? An Ace! That’s what they call him.
The Dodgers were patient with Julio and were not tempted to trade for Corey Kluber because they had someone who just might be better. if he is injured, it won;t kill We don’t know how Clayton Kershaw will pitch this year. The Dodgers will be a better team IF he can stay healthy and put up his typical numbers, but it won’t kill the team if he is injured. The Dodgers are a class organization and they re-signed Clayton (actually for just 1 additional year) simply out of respect for his body of work for 10 years. Forgetabout the playoffs for once – the man has been the face of the organization for the past decade.
He may not be the pitcher he once was, he might be worse, he might be better, he might be the same, but we know he will stay a Dodger at least 3 more years! Loyalty counts for a a lot to me.If nothing else, the Dodgers have shown they are loyal to their long-time Ace.
Striker Buehler, Julio Urias, Hyun-jin Ryu, Rich Hill, Ross Stripling and Kenta Maeda potentially form the nucleus of a TOP PITCHING STAFF. As Doc Roberts said yesterday, Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May are knocking on the door and could see time with the big club this season. Both pitchers have taken amazing strides the past season and both appear to now “get it” as how to pitch to MLB hitters.
Of course, it’s Spring Training – that’s a lot different from the Regular Season and the pressure is very different. The “eye test” tells me that these two young mean appear undaunted by the big stage. In 2018, Gonsolin and May both went from throwing in the low 90’s to the high 90’s. Gonso breaks the 100 MPH barrier with ease. I am about 100% certain you will see one of them with the big club THIS year and 57.8% certain you will see both.
Caleb Ferguson is struggling this Spring – some of that could be because he is struggling with what his role is, much like Ross Stripling did. Right about now, Caleb should embrace his role in the bullpen because that is where the Dodgers need him with Tony Cingrani out again. The injury with Cingrani appears to be the same as last year which could mean surgery in my opinion. Fergie needs to be the lock-down lefty to go with Alexander.
The team is shaping up nicely. Forget the record (although it is a winning one) – there’s about 2 weeks to Opening Day and the Dodgers are getting ready to break out of the gate. There will be no World Series Hangover. Watch and see! I am anxious to see what the next steps are with
Jesen Therrien as Porterfield is not rushing him either, but we will see soon enough!
P.S. I had to add the “Captcha” Feature to keep out the Russian Hacker Bots -Sorry!
I took it off because it is a pain to log-in sometimes and you complained and i did too, but we have to add it back. A CAPTCHA is a type of challenge–response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human. It’s stopped them in their tracks. Dirty ___________s!