Control is the goal

Q&a Andrew Huber, Patapsco, Baseball

April 09, 2009|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

Baseball has become a way of life for Andrew Huber, a second baseman and pitcher for No. 8 Patapsco. The senior right-hander, 18, is still coming back from an operation in August 2007 to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, commonly known as Tommy John surgery. He plans to play baseball next year at CCBC-Catonsville. He also played soccer for the Patriots.

What's the earliest memory you have of baseball?

When I first started playing, I just loved it. It's something I always wanted to do. Nobody had to force me into it. If anything, I was dragging people out to play.

Were you always a pitcher?

No. I caught until I was like 12. I've always pitched here and there, but catching was more my thing.

How did the switch from catching to pitching come about?

I've always thrown pretty hard for my age. Because I threw so hard, it was like everybody wants to pitch you and I just started working on it, getting real good.

What do you like about pitching?

It's always on me. I'd rather have the ball in my hands than have to wait for it. If it's in my hands, I always have something to do with it. I control it. I can do more.

Do you ever have days where it's just not going where you want it to go?

(Laughs) You always have those days. That's when it's bad, especially when there's nothing you can do about it. Then I'd say it's probably more embarrassing. You try and change and you try and adjust, but sometimes there's nothing you can really do.

When did you start getting the pain in the arm?

We were playing New Town my sophomore year, and that was the best day I've felt in my life. That was probably the hardest I've ever thrown in my life. Then I snapped a curveball and it just went. It was like the worst day of my life. I knew something bad happened. Normally, if I have arm problems I'll just play it off and I'll deal with it. But then I tried throwing and it just got worse. The burning started coming.

It happened on one pitch?

Yeah. When I was throwing, right when I let the ball go for home, it just popped and the ball didn't even make it past the grass to get to home plate. It went nowhere. Then I tried to throw another one and it didn't even make it to home plate. It was like I couldn't pick my arm up. I couldn't bend it. I couldn't do anything, hardly.

How long after that did you have surgery?

I played through it for about three months. I took some time off and I could throw probably about 70 percent or 80 percent, but whenever I tried to throw hard, it would just light up again. I just dealt with it, like I just dealt with the pain. I would take a lot of medicine to try to help it out. My arm was unbelievably strong [except for] around it. Where it was torn, there was nothing I could really do.

You had surgery almost two years ago. Does it take that long to come back?

If I would have just worried about pitching, I probably would have been good last year, but with the way things went last year with our team, I didn't really need to worry about pitching as much. I was just trying to get my arm strong. That's how I started playing second base.

Hitting, it doesn't bother you?

No. I get stiffness, tightness a lot. That's the problem I'm having a little bit now. I'll get tightness in my elbow, but you've just got to work through it. Everything loosens up as you go. I'll get soreness every once in a while, but from talking to everybody, it's going to be like that for a little while. Your arm gets stronger as you go. It almost feels like a whole new arm.

Do you think you'll do much pitching this year?

If everything goes the way it should, I want to. I was throwing really good when baseball first started, when we had tryouts and then I kind of got the soreness a little bit in one of my scrimmage games. Now I'm just working my way back in. They all want me to take it slow. They're more worried about the end of the year when playoff time comes.

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