First and foremost, I’d like to welcome everyone to my blog. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I hope that you enjoy it! I am going to use this first entry as a means of introducing myself. My name is Michael Schlact. I am from Marietta, Georgia where I was born and raised. I attended Wheeler High in Marietta, and was signed to a baseball scholarship at the University of South Carolina. I was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft by the Texas Rangers, and decided to forego college. I am currently in my sixth professional season with the Texas Rangers organization, having played at almost every level. Most recently I was playing for the Frisco RoughRiders when I was injured. More on that in a little while. I am married to a wonderful woman who fully supports my dream chasing, and has been with me every step of the way. We met in high school, did the long-distance dating, and now we’re fortunate enough to be together as I chase my dream of becoming a big leaguer.
My organizational ladder climb began in 2004 when I was assigned to the Arizona League Rangers. I signed in late June and spent the rest of the summer playing in Arizona. 2005 was my first full season, and I was assigned to the Clinton Lumberkings of the Midwest League. 2006 and part of 2007 were spent in Bakersfield, California of the California League, and the end of 2007 through last season were spent playing for the Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas League. Now that you are caught up with my history, let’s get started on some current things. April 2009, my first start of the season, I was pitching in Little Rock, Arkansas facing the Travelers. I had two outs in the 4th inning and I threw a slider. I felt a bad pain in the back of my shoulder, and knew immediately something wasn’t right. The pitch was the last of that inning, and I walked off and sat in the dugout while our team hit. After a quick half inning I went back out to start my warm up pitches, and the first throw I made hurt so bad that I could barely get the ball to home plate. Seeing this, my catcher Chris Gradoville quickly called the trainer and coaches out to the mound. That’s when my heart sank.
I spent the next few months rehabbing my shoulder. Being in Arizona at our spring training complex when your teammates are playing is not fun. Working out, training, running, and strengthening your shoulder in hopes of a return can be very mentally draining. After a few tries at a comeback around midseason, we decided to get an MRI. To make a long story short, one more rehabilitation attempt failed eventually summoned me to surgery. I ended up having season ending shoulder surgery on July 20, 2009. The team physician Dr. Meister performed the surgery, did an excellent job, and was very up front with me the entire time. He told me that the key to a successful return after surgery was hard work, strength, and a strong desire. Those have been my goals since then, and to this day I still believe that everything will work out.
I am currently in the final phase of my rehabilitation. The throwing program has gone great thus far, and now the mound work begins. This past week I threw off a mound for the first time in almost 10 months. The plan right now is to throw off the mound for another month or so. From there, I’ll move into live batting practice, and hopefully games. Once I can prove my arm strength and pitching command is where it needs to be, I’ll be activated and sent out to whatever team the Rangers deem necessary. Again, I appreciate you all taking time out to read this blog. I’ll keep you updated as frequently as possible regarding my comeback, and I hope that you will continue to follow my journey back to pitching!