Injury Does Not Deter Season Hopes of Captains’ Levon Washington

Coming into his 2013 season, Levon Washington was ready to start out strong. Having had hip surgery just over a year ago, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound center fielder from Gainesville, FL, was looking forward to a season of smoother sailing, unmarred by injury.

Unfortunately, Washington found himself with a pulled right hamstring during his first game of the season.

“I never pulled my hamstring before,” Washington said of his injury. “I didn’t know how severe it was.”

“[I was thinking] ‘I’m healthy now. If this happens, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me, if I’m going to be able to come back or if I’m going to have to go back to Arizona and rehab, or how fast I’m going to recover,” Washington said.

Luckily for Washington, recovery did not require a trip to Arizona. Although he was out for most of April, he made a strong return at the end of the month and proved himself to be a much-needed re-addition to the team.

“I’m not going to lie, I was like, ‘oh no, where’s the season going to go now?'” Washington recalled of his reaction to his injury. However, he didn’t need to worry too heavily about the impact his hamstring injury would have on the rest of his season. Since returning to the Captains, Washington has been nothing but an asset to the team.

On April 25, his first home game since his injury, Washington was 1 for 3 with a double.

“In that game, I was trying to have [the pitcher] focusing on me,” Washington said. “And when I’m stealing bases, I want them to be focusing on me.”

His following game, though, gave Washington much more of a chance to shine.

On April 27, Washington went 5 for 5 on the night, with a double and two RBIs.

“Today, I knew I was going to come out swinging at that first pitch,” Washington said. “Since I haven’t played very much, after I got that first hit, I felt good. I knew I was going to have a good day today.”

The run scored during the first inning of the game on the April 27 was heavily attributed to Washington’s ability to distract the pitcher once he got on base.

“Speed can do that to a pitcher,” Scooter Tucker said. “They speed up their pick to first, change their routine, there’s a lot that can happen [to distract them].”

In addition to Washington’s performance once he got on base, Tucker was also impressed with Washington’s performance at the plate.

“Obviously, he’s been sidelined for a while, so it was really nice to see him come out swinging the bat well,” Tucker said of Washington’s performance on the night. “He ran the bases well, too.”

Washington also knew exactly what type of pitches he was looking for during his time at the plate. “If I get a good fastball, I’m going to hit it every time,” Washington said. “The number two batter should be expecting some fast balls.”

So far on the season, Washington is hitting .433. He has 13 hits, four doubles, a triple and six RBIs. He’s been walked eight times, fanned six times and has one stolen base on the season.

Following his injury, Washington played on a slightly altered schedule, playing one or two games followed by an off-day to rest and retain his health. Washington said he soon hoped to be ready to return to a more consistent playing schedule.

Washington was signed in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Chipola Junior College. He played his first season in the Indians’ Arizona League, where he hit .444 in three games.

He played his 2011 season in Lake County, where he had a .218 average, with 65 hits, nine double, four triples and four home runs. He also stole 15 bases throughout 2011.

In 2012 Washington opened with Lake County but injured his hip on the first road trip of the season. He was forced back to Arizona for hip surgery and rehabilitation before the Captains’ home opener. After rehabbing in the Arizona League, he ended his season with the Carolina Mudcats. Overall in 2012, Washington hit .333 in 13 total games. He had 16 hits and one double, and also had four RBIs and one stolen base.

In his six games with Lake County in 2012, he was able to hit .440 before injuring his hip. With his numbers this season remaining close to those, the promise of a solid season – if he remains unmarred by injury – certainly appears possible.

“I’m not really in that great of shape right now,” Washington said of his abilities coming off his injury. “I haven’t really been doing much of anything [since I’ve been hurt]. But I’m going to do what I can to stay on the field and get to play every day, show what I can do.”

“If I play healthy, I’m going to catch up with everybody else who’s been healthy,” Washington said. “For me, it’s not really how fast you get to that double, that triple, it’s about playing in the big leagues. So I don’t care how long it takes, I’m going to be healthy one day.”

Related Posts

Past and Present Captains Hosting MLB The Show 20 Tourney

Miss sports? I’m guessing so and that’s why you’ve come here. Five young prospects with ties to the Lake County Captains organization will spend Monday fighting for…

As Expected, Tribe Quiet in Rule 5 Draft

The Cleveland Indians went into the Rule 5 draft with a loaded 40-man roster, meaning the club was going to be sitting out the Major League portion…

Lynchburg’s Tyler Freeman – A Prospect on the Rise

At the season’s dawn, Tyler Freeman was a 19-year-old beginning his third season as a professional ballplayer. Most 19 year olds would be found in college, but…

Wilbis Santiago – Developing his Game at High-A Lynchburg

Playing baseball has been a part of the life of Wilbis Santiago since he was six years old. “My uncle gave me a glove and a bat,…

Indians and Rays Swipe Right Again as Tribe Picks Up a Pair

For the fourth time since November, the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays swiped right and made a match. The two clubs announced another player swap on…

The Balanced Approach of High-A Lynchburg’s Mitch Reeves

It is challenging to maintain a balanced perspective when you win the Carolina League Player of the Week Award your first week at the High-A level. Mitch…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.