College shortstop-turned-professional pitcher Tim Steggall is about to embark on his first season…
Tim Steggall's Blog to be Named Later (3/22)
From what I understand most organizations don't give their players any off days, so while today wasn't necessarily needed it was very much appreciated, as the last few days have been both physically and mentally demanding.
With the beginning of games starting last Thursday, the daily schedule at the ballpark has completely changed. Whereas the pitchers used to arrive in two groups at different times in the morning, now mostly everyone arrives bright and early, usually around 7-7:30, as bullpens and early work begin at 8. There are no more mornings of sleeping in until around 9:00 for a 10:30 stretch.
After early work and bullpens the teams split up, stretch and throw on their respective fields, and then run through a light defensive fundamental drill. After that the pitchers that are not throwing in the games in the afternoon head to the conditioning field and get their running in. And that's it. The morning workouts are no longer the main focus of the day and now tend to be relatively light.
After the morning workouts half the pitchers head inside and hit the weight room while those throwing in the game try to find something to do to kill the next hour and a half before lunch.
It's after lunch that things really start moving. All four minor league games start at 1:00, with two of the teams playing at home and two playing on the road. I have thrown two innings so far, both in road games, which makes for long days. So far since we have been playing games, I usually arrive at the field around 7:00 am and don't leave until around 4:30 pm. But the long days are definitely worth it as it's great to be playing again.
Now I obviously don't have a ton of pitching experience, but it's great to get back on the mound in game situations. All the bullpens in the world can't prepare you for your first live at-bat against the opposing hitters. The adrenaline starts to flow and you forget everything that you have been practicing in the bullpen and just go out there and compete.
Pitching is a much different feeling of competition than hitting. As a hitter I knew going into a game that I was going to get my 3, 4, or maybe even 5 at-bats, hopefully get a hit or two and try do something to help the team win. With so many chances in a game, much less a season, it is possible to brush off a bad AB and get mentally prepared for the next one.
The same can't be said for me as a pitcher. I have one inning (at least so far) to come in and throw my best stuff at the hitters to try and get them out – there are no second chances.
It's a rush jogging out to the mound knowing that I am not only competing against the hitters but also competing for a job. This reality was really hammered home as the first round of cuts was made on Sunday. Yeah, we are competing against each other for jobs, but no one wants to see another player packing up their stuff. It's not a good feeling walking into the locker room and seeing an empty locker where a friend used to sit. One of the guys that was cut was standing next to me in line during early work when he was pulled off the field; Everyone immediately knew what was going on.
Cuts make for some interesting dynamics and conversations and a lot of nervous laughter. Like I mentioned, no one is happy to see someone they know get released, but everyone breathes a little sigh of relief when they find out they won't have to be cleaning out their locker. I can only control how well I prepare and execute and I don't let the thought of being released affect the way I go about my business on the field.
The days are getting longer and the pressure to perform well and play at the highest level is growing, but this means that Opening Day is only a short time away.
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.
FutureRangers.com Recommended Stories
Dr. Roto Video: Week 12 Key Matchups
Dr. Roto highlights each and every game upcoming for Week 12 and a Fantasy matchup to monitor within. Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon (pictured above) makes his return against the less-than-stellar…Read More
The 10 Biggest Anti-Knife Cities In The U.S.
If you're a hunter or an outdoorsman like us, chances are you carry some sort of pocket knife or multi-tool with a blade at all times. If you visit some of these cities your every-day tool could put…Read More
OU's Perine rushes into record books
Norman has seen a lot of special days, but few will compare to what Samaje Perine did Saturday in rushing for 427 yards and five touchdowns.Read More
6 Biggest Man-to-Man Rivalries in Sports
From Pierce and Lebron to Peyton and Tom to Ali and Frazier, we're celebrating love/hate on and off the field of play.Read More
Apache Administers Death to Taliban (VIDEO)
The Apache helicopter is one of the most famed and efficient killing machines in the U.S Army. Get the skinny on this 'steel dragon' and watch what one does to a platoon of Taliban fighters in…Read More