JUPITER — A little Goody’s Powder on the tongue does the trick when Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin has a headache.
Born and raised in the mountains of Asheville, N.C., Maybin says it’s a North Carolina thing.
“I feel much better after I take it. My mom still uses Goody’s Powder. I got a headache she’s like, ‘Get you a Goody’s Powder.’”
Headaches aside, staying healthy is something Maybin was hoping to achieve during the Florida Marlins 2010 spring training, which ended Thursday, April 1.
The camp had kicked off in February at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, with Maybin still recouping from his November surgery for a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Even though he arrived early and worked hard to stay fit, he found himself sidelined with a left groin injury for about a week in the first leg of spring training.
“I think it was just early in spring. I wasn’t quite used to the added weight I put on in the off season, about 10 or 15 pounds of extra muscle,” he said.
Maybin said jokingly he didn’t think the groin injury had anything to do with the flailing motion of his arm when he runs, moves that earned the name “chicken wing.”
The burgeoning Marlins outfielder said he feels great and thinks the groin injury has completely healed.
“It’s back to 100 percent and I feel good and we just have to take it from there,” he said.
Maybin sat out of spring training from March 7 to March 17, but he returned swinging a hot bat against the Washington Nationals three days later.
“On March 20, my dad’s 50th birthday, I hit a home run,” he said. “The first day of spring, too. It was kinda cool.”
All-Star shortstop and National League hitting champ Hanley Ramirez also missed one day of spring training with a right groin muscle strain.
Maybin said getting back early and getting some good workouts in has helped to alleviate most concerns.
“No really big concerns except for getting healthy and being ready for the beginning of the 2010 season,” he said. “Whenever I relax, I seem to play well, [as] opposed to putting too much pressure on myself.”
Marlins General Manager Michael Hill said in an earlier interview with the South Florida Times that baseball is a demanding, high-profile game with high expectations.
Hill said everyone, including players, is routinely evaluated, which can be difficult when decisions have to be made.
When Maybin couldn’t find the strike zone in 2009, the 6’4,” 215 lbs. outfielder was demoted to the minors in New Orleans.
“I had to go back down and make some adjustments, just work on some things. A lot of strike-zone discipline,” he said. “Making guys work harder on getting me out, stringing out the strikes.”
Maybin saw a marked improvement in hitting after returning from the minor league.
“It felt good to swing the bat well, see the hard work in Triple-A really start to pay off. Just doing something and trusting it,” he said.
“Recognizing the strike zone, I tried to do so much early in 2009. People wanted to see so much and I wanted to show so much,” he said.
Maybin, 22, credits much of his success to parents Rudy and Renee Maybin for keeping him grounded in his faith.
“God first of all,” he said. “Without Him, nothing is possible. And then certainly I think I have a great core at home with my mom and dad.”
He continued: “They’ve always been supporting me and make sure that I go down the right path.”
Maybin said he thinks spring training went well, and he feels stronger and more comfortable about his game and where it’s going.
“My expectations are always high,” he said. “This year is kind of different. I feel a lot more relaxed.”
Maybin will celebrate his 23rd birthday Easter Sunday, April 4 on the road with the Marlins as they prep for the April 5 season opener against the New York Mets.