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Jesen Therrien: between gratitude and dissatisfaction

Although he accepted the position of director of operations for the Baseball Academy of Canada (ABC) last September, Jesen Therrien may not be done with his pitching career.

“Be grateful, but never satisfied”, explains Therrien, using an English expression that he often repeats to young people in the program bringing together part of the elite of baseball in Quebec. Translation: be grateful, but never satisfied.

As he teaches his students, the former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, 28, has gratitude when he thinks about his 15-game stint in major league baseball in 2017, but he still allows himself to dream. .

“I had surgery last September and for the future, we’ll see,” he summarizes about his future in professional baseball.

“Our plan is to develop him as administrator of the program, but he has our full support in his dream if he gets the opportunity one day to return to the mound,” confirms Maxime Lamarche, general manager at Baseball Quebec.

The importance of family

Therrien has already exceeded the expectations placed on him when he was officially recalled to major league baseball on July 28, 2017. Destination: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, before a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves. Earlier that season, he was dominating at the AAA level with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

“The most beautiful feeling that I experienced was not even on the ground, he says. It was to see the eyes of my girlfriend, my family, my friends and my agent [Jethro Supré] after the first game; it was magical. I hadn’t even pitched in that game, but I could see their pride. The reason I went to major league baseball wasn’t just me, it was everyone who believed in me.”

Sweet message for the young people who attend the ABC, but also for their devoted parents. They can keep that in mind.

Held back by injuries

The day after his recall, on July 29, the big right-hander finally worked for an inning in major league baseball, even retiring a Braves hitter on passing strikes, Micah Johnson. Over the days, despite a discomfort in the arm, he also retired some stars like Yoenis Cespedes and Buster Posey. On a less good note, the Quebec gunner also granted a home run to Christian Yelich, among others.

During these few weeks, Therrien especially saw his career change due to an injury to his right arm. At the end of the 2017 season, he underwent the famous Tommy John operation, which aims to reconstruct a ligament in the elbow. Despite everything, the Los Angeles Dodgers organization offered him a contract for the following years. His illness never went away, despite medical follow-up. His most recent surgery on his right arm, six months ago, however, allows him to see some light at the end of the tunnel. His recovery continues.

Discipline and determination

One fact remains: Therrien hasn’t played professional baseball for almost five years. The task is colossal.

“If there is anyone who can pull off such a comeback, who has the discipline and the determination to do it, it’s him,” notes Quebecer Alex Agostino, scouting supervisor for the Phillies and the origin of his selection in the 17th round of the 2011 draft.

For now, however, Therrien is no longer on the radar of the various major league baseball teams. But meanwhile, directly before their eyes, CBA players could hardly bank on a better model.

At home, Therrien is now the father of two young children, alongside his girlfriend Penelope. What to be satisfied, even if it does not appear in the message that he has always maintained as an athlete. By giving news of his family, including little Lily-Rose, who showed up in perfect health on January 20, Therrien’s face lights up. In some cases, recognition and gratitude take over.

Talent to spare at the ABC

If he dreams of relaunching his own career, Jesen Therrien is completely dedicated to his current role with young baseball players in Quebec.

“I am extremely impressed by the talent we have in Quebec. Baseball here is in very good health, he points out, underlining the contribution of the various sport-study programs throughout the province. Now our mission, with the coaches [de l’Académie de baseball du Canada], is to make sure we give the tools for guys at 16, 17 or 18 to take it to the next level. We also have to give them the visibility they deserve.”

Among Quebec hopefuls, Charles-Olivier Cyr, Elliot Cadieux-Lanoue, Jimmy Dionne, Deiten Lachance, Jérémy Pilon and Jacob Wallace are among those who are starting to talk.

To maximize player progression, a trip is now planned for April 16-28, to Arizona. Therrien’s contacts will be useful to them, since they will play games in front of scouts, but they will also work with Quebecer Éric Gagné, a true mentor for the former Philadelphia Phillies. Barring a change, kids should also have the chance to visit a sophisticated training lab owned by famed pitcher Trevor Bauer who, like Gagne, once won a Cy-Young Trophy in the National League. As a result, they will become familiar with the professional environment.

Homeless

This stay in the United States will also come at the right time for the Baseball Academy of Canada (ABC), because the program is not currently pampered in Quebec in terms of infrastructure.

To sum up, the Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard, which has never been a training center designed for baseball, has partially ousted the ABC to make way for a sport-study soccer program. The reason: the young soccer players had found themselves without a home to train following the establishment of a shelter for the homeless in their facilities.

In short, baseball players have had to move into temporary solutions, finding themselves, for the past few weeks, at the modest Ministry of Cricket & Other Homeless Sports. Yes, “Other Homeless Sports” cannot be invented!

Since renovations are now planned at Complexe Claude-Robillard for the next two or three years, Baseball Quebec is now looking for a long-term solution.

“We must foresee all possible solutions,” said Maxime Lamarche, director general of the sports federation. We want to offer our athletes an environment where they are surrounded by competent coaches, as is the case at the moment, but where they can also practice in real baseball infrastructures.

A model to follow would be the Stade Canac, in Quebec, which relies on a dome during the winter.

“This environment already has the advantage of existing in Quebec, which is not the case in the greater metropolitan area,” adds Lamarche.

Political pressure

Reading between the lines, we understand that before considering a move of the ABC program to the Quebec City region, where that of the Canonniers is already popular, Baseball Quebec would dream that a mayor , whether in Montreal, Laval, Terrebonne or elsewhere, raise your hand.

“We want to find a new place, a training center worthy of 2022, summarizes the general manager. It’s obvious that if we want to take our program to another level, we’ll have to go elsewhere. [qu’au Complexe sportif Claude-Robillard].”

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