We are a little bit more than a month into Extended Spring Training and while this is not technically a full season team, we are on the field six days a week and have games on five of those days.
The weather is starting to heat up and the reality of the season is starting to sink in. Everyone is in Extended for a reason and is working on something to get them shipped out to an affiliate.
However a key part of this equation that I think is often overlooked is staying healthy; being out on the field for hours at a time in 90 degree-plus temperatures takes a toll on your body. The coaches are always telling us how “we can’t make the club if we’re stuck in the tub.” Luckily we have a great training staff that works to keep us out on the field and improving.
One thing I took for granted as a position player was my health. I started pretty much every game in my college career, playing through a lot of minor bumps and bruises. I was lucky I never seriously injured anything, but like many other position players, it seemed like there was always something nagging, whether it was being cut up from sliding, a sore arm, bruises from wearing pitches, or some tender muscles simply from running around everyday.
I would often give pitchers a hard time because it seemed like they were more susceptible to minor injuries and were always hanging out in the training room.
Well now I know why. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I think about is how my arm is feeling. I was never so in tune with the way my arm felt in my entire playing career.
When I was a position player, if my arm was sore or tired, I would just take it easy that day and hope that it wouldn’t affect my throws during the game. Now, my arm is my livelihood and playing catch is a huge part of my day that I really have to focus on to make sure I am working on certain things. A sore arm can really affect that focus and the ability to get work in.
Lately my arm has been sore and tight as it is still not totally accustomed to the increased workload of a pitcher. Therefore, I have learned not to fear the training room, but to accept it as a part of my daily routine.
The training staff does a great job of keeping us healthy and making sure our minor injuries don’t become major ones that might hold us out from playing and improving. And that is the ultimate goal – to stay on the field and improve and take the next step up the ladder on our way to the big leagues.
Follow Tim on Twitter at @TGSteggall3!
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