- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 10, 2016

What was wrong with Washington Nationals reliever Koda Glover at the end of last season? He had a torn labrum in his hip.

Glover pinpointed the injury to Sept. 2 when he threw a pitch to Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets. He did not say anything to Nationals management because he did not want to be removed from the game — or stopped from throwing later.

“I didn’t know I was hurt,” Glover said Saturday at Nationals Winterfest. “I’ve only been hurt one other time and it was a UCL reconstruction. That’s just my mindset growing up. I was told, ‘If you’re not bleeding, you’re not hurt.’ I kept pushing through it and I shouldn’t have. I finally sat down with [pitching coach Mike Maddux]. We went over it and got an MRI and come to find out I had tore my labrum in my hip.”

By the time Glover had an MRI, he said the pain felt like someone was sticking an “ice pick” in his hip. After his final appearance Sept. 25, which was against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Glover said he became ill from the pain, which finally pushed him into speaking to Maddux.

In his first nine appearances last season, Glover allowed four earned runs. In 10 September appearances, he allowed seven earned runs.

“I don’t want to say it’s the reason why I pitched bad there late, because it’s not,” Glover said.”… It’s not why I pitched bad. I pitched bad because I pitched bad.”

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Glover did not have surgery in the offseason. He said he had the choice of physical therapy or surgery and chose to work through the injury without surgery.

“I’m starting to feel good now,” Glover said.

The bad results have spurred Glover, an intense 23 year old who last season went from Single-A Potomac to pitching late innings for the major league club starting July 20, to get into his offseason work.

“I’m not used to failing like I did there late,” Glover said. “Mentally, I’m ready to go. I feel healthy. I feel strong. I’ll begin throwing here shortly.”

There is a notable opening at the back-end of the Nationals’ bullpen. Since Mark Melancon signed with the San Francisco Giants, Washington has been hunting for a closer. Glover lauded Melancon — “I love that guy” — and said he is open to whatever the club wants him to do. Can he be the closer?

“It’s obviously in their hands 100 percent,” Glover said. “Whatever they want to do and whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it. I’ve said that since Day 1. As far as if they throw me in that role, am I ready for it? Yeah. I’m ready for it. But, if they don’t want to do that and they want to go with somebody else, I’m perfectly fine with another role, too. I’m just going to do what they tell me to do.”


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