One of the biggest wild cards entering 2015 is the status of Ryan Braun, Tyler Thornburg, and Jim Henderson. Beyond some details given months ago, we had no indication on the status of their recovery. Today at Brewers on Deck, we received additional details about their status, and the news is encouraging.
Ryan Braun is the biggest name of this group, and the last we heard is that the cryotherapy procedure was a success. At Brewers on Deck, he discussed with Todd Rosiak how it has progressed since then:
Ryan Braun says his thumb feels great. Doing his regular offseason routine and taking BP with no issues. True test comes vs. Live pitching.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 25, 2015
Braun is not discouraged by Brewers' lack of personnel moves this offseason. Also says it will be weird to consider he's now senior Brewer.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 25, 2015
Braun said his thumb situation will be reassessed regarding possible cryotherapy moving forward, but no plans/need right now for more.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 25, 2015
"I don't need added motivation," Braun said about the Brewers' disappointing finish last season motivating him for this season.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) January 25, 2015
So far, everything has gone well after the cryotherapy procedure. There's still more progress to be made before the start of the season, but at least there have been no setbacks so far. This will be an injury that we will monitor throughout the season, but all signs are positive for now.
Next up is Jim Henderson. He was shut down last season with a shoulder injury, and ended up having shoulder surgery to clean up his shoulder in an effort to recover. Adam McCalvy got an update on his injury status:
Jim Henderson update: Began throwing off a mound last week; first true bullpen sessions coming this week. Hopes to be 100% by Opening Day.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 25, 2015
This one isn't as positive, but at least is trending upward. There's still a lot to see with Henderson before Opening Day, and the bullpen sessions will begin to test that. There are questions about how his shoulder will hold up after the sessions, as well as if he can get his velocity back to where it was in 2013. Remember, Tom Gorzelanny had shoulder surgery after the 2013 season and spent the first 2 1/2 months of 2014 on the disabled list. While Gorzelanny's surgery was more extensive, shoulder injuries can be tricky. However, it won't be long until we know more about Henderson's progress.
The final injury update is about Tyler Thornburg. He went on the disabled list in June with an elbow injury, and never returned from it last season. Today, we got confirmation that it was an UCL injury, as well as the status of his recover. From Andrew Gruman:
Thornburg says he is already throwing two bullpens a week and plans to be ahead of schedule when pitchers and catchers report.— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) January 25, 2015
Tyler Thornburg's injury was to his UCL. He thought Tommy John was a possibility but the PRP therapy and lots of rest helped.— Andrew Gruman (@AndrewGruman) January 25, 2015
It's scary to hear that Tommy John surgery was a possibility for Tyler Thornburg, but the rest of the news is very encouraging. The fact that he's already throwing two bullpen sessions a week is a big step forward, and as long as everything goes well, he should be 100% when pitchers and catchers report next month. Like Braun and Henderson, we will be watching Thornburg as spring training starts, but all signs are good for now.
All three of these injuries updates are very encouraging as the Brewers approach 2015. The health of all three players could be key in the Brewers making a run at the postseason, and to hear that everything is going well is a relief. Now, we just need to see if that trend upwards continues.