JUPITER, Fla. -- The elbow discomfort may be gone, but the black elbow brace, Matt Adams said, is around to stay.
Adams has been wearing the brace -- the same one he began using last September when his right elbow was giving him some issues -- each time he has taken swings this spring. Consider it now a permanent accessory to his look.
"I just think it's a good idea to continue to keep wearing it because it keeps me from getting that overextension in my elbow," Adams said. "Everybody thinks it weighs a lot, but it really doesn't. It has an extra pad right over the elbow. It feels comfortable, and I like wearing it. Whatever works, right?"
The brace Adams wears is bulkier than the one he put on when his elbow first began to bother him in 2012. That season ended up being cut short for Adams when he had to undergo season-ending surgery to remove bone chips around his elbow. He initiated this brace by reaching base four times, delivering a game-tying hit and connecting for a go-ahead homer the first time he wore it last September.
That eliminated any concern about it negatively affecting his swing.
Aware that he'll always have to guard against recurring elbow discomfort, Adams took an extra week of rest before beginning his workout program this offseason. The Cardinals' medical staff checked out his right elbow when he came to St. Louis for the Winter Warm-Up, and that follow-up exam produced no concerns.
"I feel better this year than what I did last year coming in, so I think [the downtime] worked," said Adams, who projects to be the team's Opening Day first baseman. "We just have to keep an eye on it. And if I feel anything, I just have to make sure I get on top of it before it becomes an issue like it did last year."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less