Rehabilitating a surgically repaired shoulder was the most demanding process of Tampa Bay outfielder Luke Scott's professional baseball career. The former Oklahoma State star spent the first six weeks of 2012 in Oklahoma City working with trainer John Carey.
The final step before joining a new team at spring training was working all of January and early February with Carey, who owns SWAT, which stands for strength, wellness and athletic therapy.
Carey said Scott's exercises were specialized. A strength program was tweaked per recommendation by Dr. James Andrews.
“So far, so good,” Carey said.
This season, the 33-year-old Scott is among the American League RBI leaders. With 121 career homers, he's a key offensive cog on the pitching-rich Rays, who could be a postseason threat if the lineup provides steady production.
This is Scott's second major surgery. He had elbow surgery 11 years ago. This time, doctors placed seven “anchors” in Scott's shoulder, five on the backside, two on the front.
“Tommy John (surgery) wasn't as hard as this one,” Scott told the Bradenton Herald. “I've had a lot of challenges in my life and my faith has gotten me through it. I try to look at things from the positive side.”
Carey is the ultimate positive influence, a new wave trainer who incorporates every aspect of modern medicine.
Carey wrestled and played football at Guthrie High School. He earned a degree at Langston.
Two decades later, Carey, 44, impacts baseball players at various levels.
Carey has worked with more than a dozen baseball players Other clients have included St. Louis All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday and Minnesota right-hander Scott Baker.
In last week's Major Baseball League Draft, three Carey players were selected in the first round: OSU pitcher Andrew Heaney (Marlins); shortstop Gavin Cecchini (Mets) and Edmond Santa Fe's Ty Hensley (Yankees).
Another Carey client is Leedey High shortstop Drew Ward. A junior next year, Ward might become the highest-drafted position player out of Oklahoma in years.
Carey typically sees Scott four or five days a month. He's spending this week with Scott in Tampa Bay. Holliday was a regular until the Cardinals expanded their training staff this season.
Road trips are common, but Carey also spends a lot of time in Oklahoma City.
“He is very thorough,” said Heaney, a former Putnam City High School standout. “He doesn't just tell you to get in the weight room and get jacked. He works on everything from your diet, to sleep to weight training and flexibility. That's what's different about him. He's the whole package.”
JOHN CAREY CLIENTS
OF Luke Scott (Tampa Bay)
OF Matt Holliday (St. Louis)
P Scott Baker (Minnesota)
2B Brian Roberts (Baltimore)
P Kameron Loe (Milwaukee)
SS Jack Wilson (Atlanta)
P Andrew Heaney (Marlins 1st Rd. pick)
SS Gavin Cecchini (Mets 1st Rd. pick)
P Ty Hensley (Yankees 1st Rd. pick)
P Erik Cordier (Atlanta Triple-A)
P Jake Odorizi (Royals Triple-A)
P Ross Seaton (Astros Triple-A)
P Chad James (Marlins High-A)