Lindsey Gives Red Raiders Advantage Off the Field

Jan. 23, 2012

Shawn Lindsey is in his sixth year as the baseball athletics trainer
Jan. 18, 2012

Brannon Easterling had a difficult decision to make last year. A torn ligament in his right elbow suddenly brought his career at Temple College to a halt. Not only was Easterling's career at Temple finished, but the right-hander now had to decide what four-year college would invest in his arm - one that was headed into surgery.

Easterling didn't have difficulty with division I programs expressing interest. He was more focused on finding the right fit for him, as Easterling knew he would be in the middle of his rehab process after having underwent Tommy John surgery.

That precise fit is Shawn Lindsey.

Lindsey, in his fifth-year as the athletics trainer for baseball at Texas Tech, is no stranger to working with student-athletes who have had major shoulder or elbow surgeries.

In fact, Lindsey helped usher four Red Raiders back into the lineup in 2011 after each underwent Tommy John surgery the previous year.

While only one of the four actually suffered the injury at Tech, Lindsey successfully put all of them on the right track with rehabilitation plans that included multiple hours of physical therapy along with the anticipation players felt, wondering if they would ever play the game of baseball again.

The expertise of Lindsey's rehabilitation program culminated in the summer of 2011.

Out of the four players who suffered Tommy John surgery, left-handed pitcher Zach Fowler was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, left-handed pitcher Robbie Kilcrease signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, right-handed pitcher Duke von Schamann became the first Tech freshman to start a career 5-0 in over 10 years and outfielder Nick Hanslik was a key defensive replacement for the Red Raiders.

Not bad work.

"Whenever I came here I had heard how many guys (Lindsey) had gotten back healthy," Easterling said. "That definitely was a big factor on why I decided to come to Texas Tech. It was because I felt Shawn could help get me back to where I was (before the injury)."

Fourth-year head coach Dan Spencer is well aware of the asset he has with Lindsey on his staff, and just how valuable he is for the program.

"The arm care we have for our pitchers is outstanding," Spencer said. "And that is led by Shawn Lindsey."

One of the first Tommy John surgeries Lindsey faced as a member of the Red Raiders staff was that of pitching ace A.J. Ramos back in 2008. To this day Lindsey is quick to point out Ramos, but what Lindsey will refuse to do is take any of the credit for the end result.

Ramos was not only ready to pitch for his senior season in 2009, he anchored the Tech staff while winning five games with 69 strikeouts in 12 start while pitching 65.2 innings.

Ramos was later drafted by the Florida Marlins in the 21st round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft and today is one of the Marlins' organization's top closers after pitching last season in Single-A while being named to the Florida State League All-Star team.

"Shawn was huge in the recruiting of Brannon Easterling," Spencer said. "From a standpoint of having some experience with Tommy John surgeries and what those guys had done after the surgery. Look at A.J. Ramos. He is a prime example. He has Tommy John (surgery) here and being as good as he was for us after the surgery and now doing as well as he has down the road.

"During Easterling's recruiting process, his parents did a lot of homework. He made his decision to come to Tech obviously after he was hurt. There were some other programs in the mix, quite a few of them, and he chose Tech with a lot of it based on how Shawn has responded to those elbow injuries."

Easterling completed his first semester as a Red Raider in December and he is quick to credit Lindsey for his quick development.

"Shawn has really helped out with my rehabilitation," Easterling said. "Coming here over the summer has really helped me out. He got me in a lot better shape than I was in. I feel like so far, so good. My arm is feeling good and has no pain."

Other current Red Raiders who have gone through Tommy John surgery with Lindsey as trainer at Texas Tech:

LHP Daniel Coulombe (RS Junior) -
"The biggest thing is just that he is there with you every day. He tells us what we need to do. He organizes all of our therapy every day."

"He is very encouraging. With Tommy John (surgery) you have good days and bad days. On those bad days he is always there to help you with anything you need. He will stretch you if you need it, he is just there for everything you need. He is very organized. Every day we would show up he would have everything there and ready for us."

"When I first found out I was going to have surgery I just remember him saying that we would be going through this together."

RHP Duke von Schamann (RS Sophomore) -
"I would attribute a lot of my success to Shawn. The summer I had my surgery was one of the hardest times of my life. We did a lot of training. We didn't just get our arms in shape, we got our entire body in shape. I think the rehab he put us through helped a lot."

"The rehab is actually very mental and not a lot of people realize that. It can be an hour it can be two and a half hours of work every day. And the first part of it you can't even throw."




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