What a crazy first couple days of Spring Training - definitely not what I was expecting.
When I pictured Spring Training in my head it was always about 75 degrees and sunny, with tons of fans walking around watching us minor leaguers get our work in.
The first two days could not have been more different. I lived and played in Arizona for a year and I never remember it being this cold this far into the spring. It has been around 55 degrees, overcast, and it has even rained a little the first couple of days, putting a little bit of a damper on the beginning of Spring Training. But it hasn't stopped us from getting our work in.
In fact, the cool weather was probably somewhat of a blessing in disguise on Monday. The pitchers are split into two groups - in a stroke of creative genius they were named Group 1 and Group 2, which are then subdivided into smaller groups A, B, C, D, and E.
I am in group 2 B, so Monday was spent talking about the drills we would be doing once the weather was nicer and we could actually get on the infields, followed by a pretty intense bout of conditioning.
Apparently during the first few days of Spring Training, the trainers want to make sure that we were getting our work in during the offseason so they run us until our legs feel like they're about to explode. We had to run 12 60-yard sprints, followed by 3 intense rounds of a body weight leg workout and finished with abs.
It was so much fun in 55 degree weather, I can only imagine what it will be like in 100 degree weather in a couple of weeks. On Tuesday, Groups 1 and 2 flip-flopped. We threw long toss and got our bullpens in and had light conditioning while Group 1 got to experience the leg workout Group 2 went through the day before.
Today was the first day that the weather was actually relatively nice and we were able to use the fields and get a good day's work in. Group 1 threw their second bullpens while we rotated through 5 stations situated around the backfields.
One of the main focuses of Spring Training so far has been defense and making the routine play, so three of the stations were focused on fielding comebackers and bunts while the other two focused on throwing pitchouts and bunt defenses. You'd be surprised how easy it can be to out-think yourself on a pitchout or intentional walk and make it way more difficult than it really is – which is why we practice it.
Everyone takes these drills seriously, but like I mentioned before, I have to work a little bit harder than some of the other guys. Most of the guys that have been in the system can do these drills in their sleep, which is where I'm working to get to, but at the moment I have to stay focused to make sure I'm getting everything right.
One of the fielding stations is out in center field where we attempt to field smoked fungoes from about 30 feet away. Luckily the coaches are hitting foam balls or else almost every pitcher would probably have some bruised shins. This quickly turns into a competition to see who can be the last to make an error. Being a former shortstop I feel like I should have the advantage in this - I can field the grounders fine but each day I've been eliminated by botching a freaking line drive! One of these days I'll beat Main and win this little fielding competition.
The first few days of Spring Training have gone pretty well, and I'm sure they will only get better as the weather starts to warm up. Only three more days until all the position players report things really take off.
Follow Tim on Twitter at @TGSteggall3!
Subscribe to LoneStarDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on LoneStarDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.
Tim Steggall's Blog to be Named Later (3/10)
Future Rangers Top Stories
MLB Ballpark Experience RankingsThe Stadium Journey staff fanned out to all 30 MLB ballparks to establish this year’s rankings. Each stadium was evaluated based on our FANFARE scale which includes 1) an…
Stadium JourneyWednesday at 8:27 AM
MLB Postseason Schedule ReleasedThe 2016 MLB Postseason schedule has been released.
Indians Baseball Insider08/23/2016
Trevor Bauer relishes opportunity to pitchTrevor Bauer's substantial growth as a major league pitcher has led him to a crucial role as the number two starter in the Cleveland Indians starting rotation. Although…
Indians Baseball Insider10/11/2016
2016 MLB Postseason PredictionsMax Wildstein of HardballScoop.com reveals his predictions for the 2016 MLB postseason.