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Stoudt’s Rehabilitation on Hold
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-04-01

            Levi Stoudt's rehabilitation from right elbow surgery was ramping up when concerns over COVID-19 forced the Seattle Mariners to shut down spring training.

Levi Stoudt, a Marlborough Township resident and a 

Seattle Mariners prospect, delivers a pitch for Lehigh

University.

Since returning home around St. Patrick's Day, Stoudt has continued his throwing program while waiting for the team's Peoria, Ariz. facility to reopen.

            "I'm getting a little bored," said Stoudt, a 2016 graduate of Perkiomen School. "Being sent home was kind of disappointing. It's definitely a weird situation."

            The decision to postpone the start of major and minor league seasons and shutter each of the complexes in Florida and Arizona delayed Stoudt's recovery from ligament replacement surgery. Eight months following the procedure, he was approximately one month away from throwing from a mound.

            "This is a pretty important time for my recovery," said Stoudt, selected in the third round of the 2019 MLB First-Year Players Draft out of Lehigh University.

            In the final days of camp, the 22-year-old advanced to playing catch at a maximum distance of 105 feet. Stoudt said he was throwing three sets of 25 at that distance at 85 percent effort.  At home in Marlborough Township, he has continued to play catch – mostly with his brother Jake – at the same length and intensity level.

            "I'm not advancing, and I'm not going backwards," Stoudt said. "But I'm still at a really good point."

            Since undergoing surgery to replace his ulnar collateral ligament in July, the pitcher did not suffer any setbacks in his rehab. Stoudt said his right arm has not felt this good since his final years pitching for Perkiomen School and Perkiomen's American Legion baseball team.

            "It's never felt better," he said.  "I don't have any soreness."

            In Peoria, Stoudt worked out daily with a dozen other minor leaguers recovering from similar injuries.  They played catch together, gradually increasing their distances after multiple sets of 25 throws under the watchful eye of a throwing coach. Moises Hernandez, the older brother of franchise icon Felix Hernandez, often served as Stoudt's throwing partner.

            "Moises is very laid back and funny," Stoudt said of Moises Hernandez, a nine-year minor league pitcher with the Mariners. Hernandez' main job is to make sure the rehabilitating players don't overexert themselves. "He's a good guy," Stoudt added.

            Before the Mariners shuttered their facility, Stoudt said he was on track to be ready to for the end of the 2020 regular season. Now, the pitcher figures that the start of 2021 is a more likely target.

            "As bad as it would be to not have a season, it wouldn't be the worst situation for me," Stoudt said.

            Meanwhile, with club trainers checking on him twice a week, Stoudt continues to execute his throwing program. He throws nearly every day with his brother or father Todd.

            Recently, at the end of a catch-play session, he threw a handful of changeups for the first time since the surgery. His initial few tosses, gripped between his middle and ring fingers, moved horizontally rather than vertically

            "It had been so long since I let one of those go," Stoudt said. "I already figured out how to get the proper movement."


 

 

 

 

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