Weaver feeling healthy, getting stronger …
“Probably 2008, 2009.”
In what sense?
“There’s no pain when I’m throwing.”
Weaver pitched seven innings of two-run ball in Friday’s 3-0 loss to the Rays. It was, as he said, “probably the best I’ve felt all year, as far as being able to command the fastball, strength and mixing in off-speed.” And that’s saying a lot, considering Weaver has a 1.86 ERA over his last six starts, giving up eight runs and striking out 28 batters in 38 2/3 innings to drop his ERA on the year from 5.79 to 3.14.
The 31-year-old right-hander can tell he’s on because of the location of his fastball, and “the way everything is firing over the mound,” and because he’s “throwing the way you know you can throw and not having to throw around issues that you’re having.” He won’t throw his fastball in the early 90’s again, but he can command it much better.
Early last year, Weaver missed about seven weeks with a broken left elbow that limited his ability to work out. Over the offseason, he committed himself to intense stretching and massage therapy with Yoichi Terada. Weaver, who admitted to not being committed enough to it in the past, did two-and-a-half-hour sessions two to three times a week. And he still does that many between starts.
“I’ve always been battling with something, no doubt about it, for like the last four or five years,” Weaver said. “I’ve finally figured out what it was, and all this stuff that the trainers have been doing, massage therapists have been doing, strength guys have been doing. They’ve been working really hard with me. It seems like things are starting to click and we’re moving in the right direction.”
Thanks in large part to that, Weaver’s arm has felt 100-percent healthy since Spring Training. Now is when he’s starting to gain the strength in it from being able to hit the weight room.
And because of that, he believes there’s upside left.
‘Oh yeah, absolutely,” Weaver said. “I think that I can get stronger. It’s just going to take me doing the work and continuing to trust the training staff and the strength staff, and just going out there and trying to get this thing resolved.”