Stumbling Block or Stepping Stone?

It’s been a while since my last post, and for that I’m sorry. For those social media savvy folks, I know that you’ve kept up with my career over the past year. Although you may not know the specifics, If you’ve followed me for any number of weeks on either Facebook or Twitter, you would know that I’m currently not playing baseball. Many of you have openly wondered what’s going on, and this entry aims to answer those questions.

First, let me fill you in on the basics. In 2009, after a season-long fight, I had shoulder surgery. The understatement of the year would be to say that 2009 was a tough year for me. I rehabbed until halfway through 2010 before finishing that season well. In 2011, I threw a full season and tallied 100+ innings. In May of 2012, I was diagnosed with a shoulder strain. I received a cortisone injection, and due to the severity of the strain, realized that my season was in jeopardy. “They” say that the shoulder will fight you once you’ve had an operation, so I knew that it would be a windy road to recovery. I missed the rest of the season, and toward the end of 2012 and into this past off-season, I felt great. I was throwing pain free, felt strong, and was excited about the season. With the exception of some minor set-backs, I was well on my way to recovery from last year’s strain.

Part of a pitcher’s routine when getting game ready is to face live hitters. This is a great way to simulate a game, and to get some adrenaline pumping. For me, that milestone meant I was just about ready to get back out there again and play professionally. Two weeks ago, on the 37th pitch of a 50 pitch live BP session, I let a fastball go and felt it. The dreaded “it.” Long story short, this blog entry is to announce that I am having my 2nd shoulder surgery next week. This blog entry is also to announce that I have every intention on rehabbing this 2nd shoulder surgery, returning to the mound, and pitching professionally again.

Some have an obstacle thrown in their path and see it as a stumbling block. I refuse to accept that. Is this an obstacle? Absolutely. Did my heart sink when I heard the news? You bet. However, I refuse to let this stop me. This 2nd shoulder surgery is going to be a stepping stone. I’m blessed to have played professional baseball for as long as I have. I’m blessed to have wonderful, supportive people in my life to help me through this. I’m blessed to have an AMAZING medical team around me to operate, rehab, and patch me back up. I’m blessed to have outlets such as my MLBlog, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to share every detail with you as I travel this road…….again.


  1. Susan Mitchell (@amarah31)

    You are such an inspiration to so many. I just know that God will listen to the prayers of all of those who care about you. You and my Mom seem to be following the same pattern, she just had her 2nd shoulder surgery, and is doing very well. She’s 77, so that ought to give you some encouragement. Sending prayers, and thoughts and all of the very best wishes your way.

  2. Bernard Nace

    May God guide the Doctors as they repair your shoulder. May he place his healing hands upon you. My thoughts & prayers will be with you.

    Best Always!

  3. Karen

    I hope your recovery goes quickly and you get to live your dream of playing baseball again. Will keep you in my prayers.

  4. Terri Lavelle

    Michael, as always, you make me smile. No matter what is thrown your way, you see the bright side. I always use your daily inspirational thoughts on my grandson. God speed as you recover and carry on.

  5. Janette Seaver

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your lovely wife. You are a daily inspiration to my family, especially a struggling college baseball player. Please continue to keep us updated and pray we can lift you up during this time.

  6. john estes

    My prayers go out to you and your wife. I know that whatever the outcome God will use this stepping stone to not only help you, but encourage others, too. I enjoy following you on social media. It is encouraging to see an athlete so committed to his faith and sport. Praying for complete healing.

  7. dugoutsteps

    We will be praying for you. Your story reminds me of a song: He is stronger, He is stronger…God gave you an incredible gift that is an amazing arm that does amazing things. He also gives you nothing that you cannot handle as long as you seek him and his will. I truly believe that scars are just ways for God to remind us how great he is. I have no doubt that he will help you heal from this surgery even stronger than the last, and we will see you in the show one day. I know my family will plan on being there for your debut. God speed, my friend.

  8. The Truth

    You are terrible dude, just quit already. You are NOT a real baseball player; you just play one on Twitter.

  9. QB Bills

    You’ve thrown 100 1/3 innings in affiliated baseball since 2009. It’s 2013. You’re ERA in those 100 innings is 7.02. You’ve thrown 108.1 innings in the freakin Atlantic League since 2011. You’re ERA in the Atlantic League – the last rung of professional baseball is 5.12. You’re hurt again. I get that it’s fun to pretend you’re a professional baseball player and post on MLBlogs and tweet at Major Leaguers. Hey man, it’s your life, do what you want. But isn’t it time to give it up and you know, get on with your life?

  10. tribetaz69

    Wish you all the luck in the world. Been following you for two years now and will continue. Will be praying for your speedy recovery

  11. P90X Insanity

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    You’re insane!

    Guys, this isn’t some feel good story. It’s a story about a guy that doesn’t have the talent to play in the big leagues, but he keeps trying. If it were anyone else, you would be telling them it’s time to get a job.

  12. Richard Fincher

    To the ones who said that this man is just playing a professional ball player you must have not followed his career and have never met this man . He has more heart than you would ever know . I know this man personally and can tell you that not only is a professional but he gives back to his community . No matter what a players stats are doesn’t mean that he should give it up . 2 players come to mind . R A Dickey and a new guy on the seen Evan Gattis . People told them to give it up . Glad they didn’t listen . Michael has dedicated his life to God and something he loves , Baseball . I am proud to call him a professional and an inspiration to young players . Good luck Michael !!!

  13. lazerbug

    Michael…my first reaction is to say I’m sorry and that I wish we could do something for you. With that being said…It is hard to say I’m sorry for something that is in God’s plan. We never understand the reasons why things happen or why our paths will cross, but I do want you to know that you are an inspiration to many and your story is a long way from over. You are going to show everyone the strength in your spirit and we will see you play again. Thank you for your daily words of wisdom…your words encourage us everyday. We will keep you, your family, and your medical teams in our prayers. @Star_enilnO

  14. Ann Waters

    Will be saying lots of prayers and sending lots of positive thoughts your way for a speedy recovery from your surgery. Echoing what others have already said here, Michael, your perseverance and dedication to God is an inspiration!

  15. get

    I don’t understand some of you guys. You criticize him for what he does yet you follow him on Twitter and read his blog. Unbelieveable.

  16. A baseball fan

    For those of you who choose to speak negatively about Michael, you obviously have no idea who he is. No, he may not have ever thrown a pitch in “the show” and he may never. But what he has done for my 13 year old son and for many others like him is help them have the knowledge and confidence to step out on the mound and face batter after batter in some of the most competitive baseball in the nation! Michael has worked with my son for two years now. He has worked with him through a minor shoulder injury in the past and was able to relate to him and tell him how the rehab would go and what to expect. And Michael will soon be working with my son rehabbing his arm after having elbow surgery at the young age of 13. My son is honored to be able to work with a PROFESSIONAL baseball player! And he is especially honored to be working with one who has the faith in God that Michael has.

    For those of you who are putting Michael down…. Grow up! It’s ok to be jealous. Just because he is something that you guys wish you were doesn’t give you the right to dog him on his blog. And I think you should review the definition of a professional.

    • The Truth

      Your 13 year old son probably has arm problems because he has been working with Schlact for 2 years.

  17. Bert

    I am so glad Michael is above responding to those on here who do so in such a negative manner. On the other hand I am not. How sad is it to spend your day on the internet putting down others or questioning what others have done with their lives. Those who spend their time in the negative world and have nothing better to do with their own lives but put others down have never had a dream.. have never had a goal …will never feel success or the joy of reaching their goals. Guess what all you doubters still living in your parents basement and doubt the will of others… You will always live in darkness while those of us who trust and believe will follow the true light to our destiny. Oh and Stike 3 on you… Michael just struck you out looking.

  18. Renee

    It’s apparent the negativity sparks from childish behavior considering the last remark made…you got put in your place so now you have to take stabs. And with the names QB Eagles & A Baseball Fan it’s also apparent you’re fanatics and those folks will find negativity in any situation. And you will probably never be the QB of the Eagles, and if you’re not supporting players you’re not a true Baseball Fan so who are you guys trying to Punk? You don’t have the drive, ambition or success that Michael has because you spend all of your time trolling the internet. He is obviously special enough to get your attention to follow his career, stats and spend time making your remarks, so he must be doing something right! Michael has every right to call himself a Professional, he’s earned that regardless of how many innings he’s pitched. He was drafted by a Major League Team which is more than what majority of people can say and unfortunately has had some hardships along the way. I’ve seen pitchers go through multiple surgeries and still be able to play, so who are you to judge his goals and abilities? Michael, you’re an inspiration to all, old and young regardless of what you’re doing and where your career takes you. Your PROFESSIONAL MLB peers think the world of you and you encourage and inspire them everyday as well. I wish you nothing but success and look forward to seeing you back on the mound soon!

  19. Straight Up

    Good luck ! Hopefully there are some teams
    That will be wanting you to play ball with them
    Soon . Can’t wait to see you in the Major leagues once again .

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