D-backs SS Nick Ahmed: ‘I simply know I would like Jesus to assist me’

Nick Ahmed

Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed warms up earlier than a spring coaching sport, March 16, 2023. (AP Photograph/Ross D. Franklin)

As MLB gamers throughout the nation take the sphere this week to start the 2023 season, you will be hard-pressed to search out anybody extra grateful to be enjoying than Nick Ahmed. After enduring accidents and diseases and making the fewest appearances of any season in his 9 years within the main leagues, the Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop is raring to regain his kind.

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Ahmed is coming into his tenth season, all with the Diamondbacks, who acquired him in a 2013 commerce with Atlanta, which drafted him within the second spherical in 2011 out of the College of Connecticut. He made his MLB debut in June 2014, gained Gold Gloves in 2018 and 2019, and is now the Diamondbacks’ longest-tenured participant.

However the 33-year-old can be coming into the ultimate season of a four-year deal he signed in 2020, coming off a season by which he appeared in simply 17 video games. He missed the primary 13 video games of 2022 with a recurring shoulder downside, performed from April 22 to Might 15 and was out for the season.

When shoulder ache prevented him from even throwing the ball to first base, he knew he needed to repair it. However that was only the start of his trials in 2022.

“It lastly obtained to the purpose the place I simply could not do it anymore, I could not play, I could not throw the ball throughout the infield,” Ahmed advised Sports activities Spectrum this offseason. “It additionally affected a number of issues off the sphere. I could not put my seat belt on within the automobile, [could] barely in a position to bathe and dry off afterwards. Simply reaching throughout my physique and as much as get one thing out of the cabinet turned troublesome and difficult.

“And as I am enjoying by way of this and going by way of the season, I am attending to the purpose the place I am on the point of go to the physician simply to get a second opinion. And the evening earlier than we fly to LA to play the Dodgers and I’m going see that physician in LA, I awoke at three within the morning after I went to mattress feeling nice. The worst illness I ever felt in my life; a minimum of the primary three.”


For the subsequent three weeks, he may barely get away from bed, was usually dizzy and had problem respiratory.

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Nick Ahmed throws to first base, Might 8, 2022. (AP Photograph/Ross D. Franklin)

In order that delayed any work on his shoulder, however Ahmed thought the break day may assist.

“I attempted to come back again and the shoulder was really worse after three weeks off. So it was form of a affirmation that, ‘Hey, you have to go maintain it.’ After all I went and had my shoulder surgically repaired and it was a lot worse than anybody thought or anticipated. I needed to put in a bunch of anchors to reconstruct my ear lip and shave off a bunch of various bony bumps. [I was] thanks for doing it, as a result of I am going to have a greater shoulder on the opposite facet,” he stated.

As he started rehab on his shoulder, Ahmed thought he may deal with different elements of his physique that he needed to strengthen or elements that have been bothering him. His ankle was a type of areas, however once more he did not see any enchancment.

“I am like, ‘Man, what is going on on? My ankle is not getting any higher, the truth is it is getting worse. I am not even enjoying proper now. I am simply recovering,’ Ahmed stated. “So I ended up getting checked out and I had a damaged bone at the back of my ankle. Nothing tremendous severe in the long term, however I needed to go in for surgical procedure to have that bone eliminated. So I ended up having one other operation.”

He included ankle rehabilitation into his routine and hoped to lastly recuperate. However then he ended up within the hospital for a day with abdomen pains.

“I actually could not eat, sleep, transfer,” Ahmed stated. “I used to be within the fetal place; i simply felt like i used to be making an attempt to get by way of the day and get by way of it. … After the COVID, after the shoulder, after the ankle, after which I’ve the abdomen factor.”

Typical medical doctors and exams couldn’t give him a trigger, so he ended up seeing one other physician who ultimately decided that Ahmed had parasites. So he obtained a protocol to eliminate him.

“The entire summer season, it was one ache, harm and sickness after one other and there have been many days the place I could not sleep,” Ahmed stated. “There have been many days after I was simply stricken and overwhelmed with ache and sickness and I did not know if I used to be going to get higher. It was form of a hopeless feeling that one factor begins to get higher after which increase, one other factor hits you. After which one factor begins to get higher and increase, one other factor hits you. I feel lots of people can relate to that. Life simply involves you, and generally it could actually overwhelm you, with numerous waves.

“I went to the scriptures and tried to simply depend on what God was saying to assist me get by way of these instances. Second Corinthians 4 simply jumped out at me. It was one thing I held on to.”

“That is why we by no means quit. Though our our bodies die, our spirit is renewed day-after-day. For our current troubles are small and won’t final lengthy. But they carry us a glory that far surpasses them and can final perpetually! Due to this fact we don’t take a look at the troubles that we now see; moderately, we repair our gaze on issues that can’t be seen. For the issues we see now will quickly cross away, however the issues we don’t see will final perpetually.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT)

Nick Ahmed

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Nick Ahmed works out earlier than a spring coaching sport, March 16, 2023. (AP Photograph/Ross D. Franklin)

“It simply gave me a lot hope, however the primary factor was it redefined my perspective,” Ahmed stated. “The phrase ‘repair your gaze’, my gaze was mounted on my ache, on my sickness, on my insomnia, on the scenario. [So] I started to repair my gaze again on Jesus the place he belonged and never that I consciously selected to not, I used to be simply so overwhelmed with ache and discomfort that it was troublesome.”

That passage from the Bible was not new to Ahmed, but it surely spoke to him proper the place he was. He says he has learn the Bible cowl to cowl and continues to learn it.

“The Bible may be very sensible,” he stated. “It offers us very actionable steps of issues we will do in our lives. So it’s important to do what it says. In James, [it says] we can’t be hearers of the Phrase, we should be doers.”

On days when he was in an excessive amount of ache to even learn the Bible or pray, his spouse, Amanda, inspired him to easily play worship music. Whether or not he was mendacity in mattress or on the ground within the fetal place on account of ache, he would play worship music on his cellphone and simply let it wash over him.

“It turned my track as I used to be going by way of life and thru trials and thru rehab and within the coaching room, doing all these painful workouts to attempt to get my physique again to the place it wanted to be,” he stated. “… I began singing on the prime of my voice [last] a 12 months greater than ever in my life. To not anybody however myself. I simply sang the lyrics to these songs again and again and it helped me focus not on my non permanent circumstances, however on who God is and who He says I’m.”

On March 6, Ahmed returned to the sphere in a spring coaching sport in opposition to Kansas Metropolis in Shock, Arizona. Within the backside of the primary inning, a line drive got here his approach. The shortstop jumped and plucked it out of the air, as he had performed numerous instances in his profession. He made a pair extra putouts on the day and went 1-for-3 with one out on the plate.

“It was nice to be again on the court docket,” he said in a tweet following the sport.

In 13 video games this spring, Ahmed is hitting .250.

“I feel we missed Nick rather a lot final 12 months, from an expertise standpoint, consistency, protection, capacity to hit lefties,” common supervisor Mike Hazen stated after Ahmed’s first look this spring.

The Diamondbacks open the common season Thursday at Los Angeles. Ahmed is aware of he might not see as many begins as earlier than, as 23-year-old Geraldo Perdomo made 131 begins at shortstop final season whereas Ahmed was recovering.

For now, nonetheless, Ahmed is delighted to be again on the pitch after a troublesome 2022. And he’s grateful for the teachings that God taught him by way of trials.

“I simply know that I would like Jesus to assist me, not solely to climate the storms of life, however to come back out the opposite facet a greater particular person and extra like Him,” Ahmed advised Sports activities Spectrum. “And I can share the issues I have been by way of.”

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