Reds players respond to Latos
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal posted a pretty candid Q&A with former Reds pitcher Mat Latos on Sunday evening that certainly caught the attention of everyone with the Reds.
Latos, now with the Marlins, told Rosenthal that the Reds medical staff rushed him back from his Spring Training left knee surgery last year. See the next paragraph:
“It’s kind of obvious when you’re looking at it and the (physical therapist) is looking at it, and this knee looks like a water balloon and this knee looks like a regular knee, don’t you think you would say, “Hey, let’s get some of that swelling down before we do anything?” But there’s nothing I can do about it. I went along with it because I wanted to be out there. I figured they knew what they were talking about.”
Latos also described a lack of leadership and hijinx inside the clubhouse last season.
“After Scott [Rolen] left [following 2012], we had guys with two years in the big leagues, in the clubhouse, on their phones, laying down in the video room, just hanging out during games, not in the dugout, not cheering their teammates on. Our dugout looked like a ghost town,” Latos said. “After Bronson [Arroyo last season], the same exact thing. We had starters in there roping our (clubhouse attendants), like, cattle-roping our clubbies. Guys on their computers, buying stuff, hanging out in the clubhouse. We had a guy with a year-and-a-half in the big leagues wandering around the clubhouse, hanging out. We had a closer in there sleeping until the seventh inning. We lose that veteran leadership, that’s what happens. You can’t have that … it turns into a circus.”
Two Reds players that have had injuries in the past, Homer Bailey and Devin Mesoraco, refuted Latos’ comments, especially regarding the trainers and medical staff.
“I never have [felt rushed],” Bailey said. “I always felt like our medical staff has done an outstanding job from day one – all the way from Dr. Kremchek to all the way down. I couldn’t say enough good things about Paul, our PT staff, Steve Baumann. I don’t know what kind of experiences Mathew had. I’m sorry he feels that way. I’m sorry that he feels that way.”
“The only thing I really wanted to say is those guys in there [the training room] do an unbelievable job,” Mesoraco said. “I fought and fought and fought to say ‘hey I wanted to play Opening Day.’ And they kind of held me back. They wouldn’t let me get to the point just because they knew how much time it took to heal. For him to say that they‘re rushing people to get back into the game couldn’t be any further from the truth. They really had to hold me back just because I wanted to be in there so bad. Even the second time after I pulled my hamstring, it was kind of the same thing. I wanted to come back on day 15. I didn’t want to do rehab or do anything. We talked about it. I fought a bit over it. At the end of the day, they knew what was best for me as a player. That was something that wasn’t even in question. They did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
For background — in a June story on MLB.com, Latos was miffed that the medical staff ordered an added rehab start in the Minors rather than activate him from the disabled list. Latos had the flexor mass tendon strain near his elbow after the knee issue.
“It’s pretty bogus I’ve got to go on another rehab assignment, but it is what it is,” Latos said. “I’ll go down there and throw 100 fastballs and call it a day and come back up here and we’ll assess what’s going on.”
The only starting pitcher who does calf roping as a hobby, Bailey, had this to say about Latos’ clubhouse comments.
“I don’t care. I’m not going to waste my living breaths talking about it, I can tell you that,” Bailey said. “The best thing I can say is if this was a court of law, the cross examination would probably go after the credibility of the witness.”
Bailey also had this just before…
“Those were his comments. I don’t know any other players that would go that route,” he said. “It was the way he chose to go. I think you’ll find the majority of the people here have a sense of professionalism and are probably not going to comment on it. However, you all holding your pads and microphones have gotten to be around Mathew enough and can form your own opinion.”
More on MLB.com later …