He hit just .114 over those nine games with the Bluefield Blue Jays and fell victim to injury on June 30th against the Princeton Rays.
"Basically I was on second [base] and our hitter got a base hit," Sweeney recounted. "The coach was sending me home but at the last second he decided to hold me up. I slipped and got into a rundown.
"When the third baseman threw it I went into the baseline to try and get in the way of the throw and the guy was so close to me that I ran into him. When I fell back I tried to brace myself and I fractured my wrist."
Injuring his left wrist, nobody inside the organization immediately knew of the severity of the injury nor just how long he would be out of action.
"They didn't know what it was at first so they gave me some treatment in Bluefield," he continued. "I went for an x-ray and a CT scan in Bluefield and nothing showed up. I came down [to Dunedin] the next day, got an x-ray, and it showed up.
"They didn't think I would be out that long because it was a fracture, but it was the scaphoid bone and they told me that sometimes it doesn't get the blood circulation it needs so it takes a little bit longer to heal."
He would wind up missing the following two and half months of the season, including the playoffs and Bluefield's eventual run towards a potential Appy League championship.
"I was really disappointed," he said. "Hopefully I would have helped the team. They got to the championship without me but maybe we could have done more if I were there, but who knows. I could have helped the team win more maybe."
He never got that opportunity, however, and the rest is history. Now back in Dunedin, he is inching his way back towards making a full recovery.
"I'm at Instructs right now," he said. "Basically I can do everything like play catch and take grounders, and I'm just getting back to hitting. I took BP a little bit on the field [Monday] for the first time so I'm almost there but not quite yet."
Even though most players reported last week, Sweeney has been at Instructs for nearly two weeks and has taken batting practice over that time in the cages. He is pretty sure that the injury has completely healed.
"I think it has," he opined. "I just need to build up strength in my hands and stuff. I just need to work on grip and stuff. I feel fine when I swing so it's not too bad.
"It feels fine [in the field]. I need to finish my way through the hitting process and hopefully I'll get into games here shortly."
Sweeney says he doesn't expect to get into games this week, however, but hopes to finally return to game action at some point next week during Instructional League games.
Slowly getting back into the swing of things, his one main objective for Instructs is to get back to where he was before sustaining the injury.
"I think just getting back to the way I was before," he said of his goal. "We work on everything down here with all of our instructors and this year there's scouts down here throwing BP. I just want to get back to the way I was before I hurt myself."
Back when the short-season leagues began it was expected that third baseman Kellen Sweeney was going to be an important part of the Bluefield team this year. He lasted just nine games, however, when a freak injury put him on the shelf for the remainder of the season. He says he's now getting back into the swing of things though down at Instructs.
Sweeney Getting Back Into It
Kellen Sweeney missed most of the Bluefield season but now he's working his way back.
Sweeney is down at Instructs
Sep 26, 2011