As a freshman at Winthrop in 2014, left-handed pitcher Matt Crohan dealt with a flap tear in his left shoulder. He was able to keep throwing with his injury until his third start during his junior year in 2016.
During his third start last season, he felt pain in his pitching arm beginning in the first inning. While the injury continued to get worse, Crohan battled and pitched six innings. The injury ended his 2016 season following that start.
It was a frustrating way for his season to end, especially since he was a top 100 MLB First-Year Player Draft prospect before the season. Although he was selected in the 32nd round by Cincinnati, he returned to Winthrop for the 2016-17 school year.
“It was really frustrating,” Crohan said of the injury. “It gave me the opportunity to pretty much finish up my degree in college to the point where I will just have to do an internship by the end of this year.
“Considering where I was, even entering college, never thinking I was going to even finish college for a while, thinking I was just going to play professional baseball by the end of my junior year and now I almost have a degree in my hand, which is something no one can take from me.”
Despite his success in the classroom, he found out his injury was worse than he thought.
“I had a Bankart tear and the flap tear,” Crohan said. “The front of my labrum was completely torn off on the front and then my bicep tendon was split in half. I had to get a labrum reattachment and then they did a bicep tenodesis.”
Crohan had the surgery on July 5 and his doctor said the recovery time was nine months. He’s scheduled to return to action at the beginning of April 2017, but he’s hoping to return earlier, he said.
He’ll get a better sense of his return date when he meets with his doctor in mid-December.
Right now, he’s back to throwing on flat ground. He started throwing at the beginning of November from 45 feet, and is now throwing at 60 feet for 10 minutes straight. He’s hoping to throw from 90 feet by mid-December.
Crohan’s goal is to make an impact for Winthrop as soon as he can, but he knows he’ll have to ease his way back into action for his redshirt junior season in 2017.
“I talked a bit over with coach but it’s not set in stone, I would come back and start in a game just so I don’t risk the chance of getting hot and cold,” Crohan said. “It would be like piggy backing, I would get ready for the game and go one or two innings. Then they’d have a starter warming up with me to go the rest of the way.”
If Crohan is healthy, he’ll get selected for a third time in the MLB Draft in June. However, the draft is far from Crohan’s mind right now.
“My primary goal is to just get healthy,” Crohan said. “I’ve done everything I can possibly think of and humanly imaginable to get myself to the position I am now. The doctor was shocked at my last checkup with how well I was doing. Never did he think I would be well to this point.”
Read my previous feature articles on Matt Crohan here:
- Matt Crohan looks to build on last season
- Matt Crohan unsure of future after injury
- Matt Crohan will return to Winthrop
Find more MLB Draft coverage here.