Blanton doing better
For most of the first month and a half of the season, Joe Blanton threw with pain. It wasn’t constant nor daily. Sometimes little adjustments helped, and he tried a lot of them. But the tweaks never stopped his shoulder from bothering him for long.
“It was changing my arm there, changing my arm there, trying to find a comfortable spot where I could compete and it wasn’t hurting,” Blanton said. “But at the same time, after doing that for so long, trying to find your arm slot is difficult.”
After the Nationals placed the 36-year-old on the disabled list last week, Blanton took a week off from throwing to let his shoulder calm down. When he started again, his arm slot was “all over the place,” which is to be expected given all the tinkering. By Friday, his fourth day of throwing after that week-long hiatus, things began to feel normal again, Blanton said.
“Hopefully that [arm slot] becomes more repeatable, you get stronger, then hopefully it gets in the right spot and sort of clicks,” Blanton said.
Blanton said he does not feel too much of the weight of struggling right away on a new team. He hopes the Nationals and his teammates know his track record and understand that the first month of the season qualifies as an aberration. The numbers support that conclusion, as his batting average on balls in play against (.368) and his home runto-flyball ratio (33.3 percent) are not only elevated beyond his career norms but far above league averages.