Q and A – SP – Mitch Houck

9-28-10 interview:

Mack: – Good morning boys and girls… Today, we’re talking with one of those kiiler Clone starters this season, Mitch Houck. Morning Mitch. Did you get home safely?

Houck: Yes, thank you. I had a great flight home, and I’m glad to finally get to see my family for the first time in about 3 months.

Mack: Mitch, you were the 17th round pick for the Mets in 2008, out of Central Florida. Let’s go back to draft day and relive that excitement.

Houck: Fortunately, I was drafted out of high school, so I had a pretty good idea about what to expect. My plan for the day was to go out and enjoy my day, so that I could take my mind off of the ongoing draft. My family was very nervous, but I was able to stay calm until I started receiving phone calls from different teams, that’s when it starts to get exciting, regardless of how you plan for it.

Mack: Mitch, 2011 will be the fourth year with the Mets; however, over the past three seasons you have only pitched in 20 games. I figure that the best way to explain this would come from you….

Houck: I unfortunately missed most of the 2009 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. I was able to make two appearances at the end of that season though, after only being 11 months out of surgery. It was a tough time in my life, but looking back on it now, I’m glad that I went through it.

Mack: We’ve all heard so many different opinions about TJS, and I always believed each healing process is different. Do you consider yourself 100% now?

Houck: To be honest, my elbow feels much more healthy than it did prior to the surgery, so I believe that it was a major success. It’s a risk that many pitchers may have to make in there careers, and fortunately it has payed off for me so far.

Mack: Yes it has… In 2010, which really has turned out to be your first full professional season, you went 4-1, 3.73 , in 10 games, nine starts. Your last appearance was August 3rd… were you shut down early?

Houck: Yes I was. Unfortunately, the downside to undergoing elbow surgery is that it makes the shoulder more prone to injuries than it normally would be. I was having some minor shoulder issues towards the end of the season, so it was in our best interest to go ahead and shut it down for the remainder of the season.

Mack: Ade September 27 at 2:32pm Yeah, I just wrote an analysis of the current Instruction League roster (which I will post tomorrow) and I was particularly pissed your name wasn’t on it.
On one hand, I’d like to see you come to Savannah, but, I hope they send you straight to Lucy for the 2011 season. I know you’ll gladly take what they get, but what plans do you have in the off-season to get ready for a critical year in your baseball career?
Houck: Right now, the plan is to let my body recover. I’ve been working very hard since January to get ready to pitch again coming off of surgery, so I’m happy to have a little time to be able to recuperate. I’m really looking forward to getting back in shape for spring training though. There should be no questions about the health of my elbow next season, so, as you said, it will be a critical year for me to show what I can do, and hopefully advance in my career to where I want to be.
Mack : Sounds like major hot tub time.
Thanks for spending some time with us and good luck in the spring. I’ll see you on the back fields come March.


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