My first month of Minor League baseball was interesting to say the least. In my opinion, all highly successful people, whether top-notch athletes or valuable CEO’s, are routine-oriented people. Having a routine helps you reach a comfort level, but it also allows you to be organized and efficient with your time. The past month, I have been focused on molding my new routine. As an amateur, I had my routine set. I threw every Friday and had a lot of latitude with my warm-up. My routine was basically up to me. I also had two extra days of rest as I was throwing once a week. Now, I am starting every 5 days. And, as a professional, there are now set rules and policies that I am required to do. There are arm care programs, long toss programs and pitcher/catcher meetings. We are even encouraged (which means it’s mandatory) to keep a notebook. A pitching diary, of sorts. This book includes anything from throwing programs to self-evaluations of outings. Now, the trick is to take the organization’s requirements and mold a new routine for me. I want to stick to my roots and continue what has allowed me to be successful; however, I must be able to adapt to survive and hopefully climb through the professional ranks.
Many people have asked me what a normal day is like. I will try to break it down for you in the most interesting way possible (sorry, it’s just not all that interesting!). Most days, I roll out of bed around 10:30 or 11am. While that is pretty late, I don’t normally go to bed until 2am. It takes a while for me to unwind after a game (even if I’m not playing in it). This also allows me to be used to the late night bus rides that occur every other week. Most days, we head to the field around 12/12:30ish. Depending on the day, I will get a workout in before our pitcher/catcher meeting at 2:30. We go over the previous game’s notes and discuss what everyone is supposed to do for the day. As a starter, I always know (at least I should) what I am supposed to be doing that day. Then, we stretch. This isn’t a 5 minute stretch. It’s a break-a-sweat 15 minute dynamic stretch. It’s one of those things that you either love or you hate. And that can even depend on the day. The next couple of hours are the toughest. We throw, run, and shag for batting practice. All that fun stuff. I have to be careful to manage my time so that I get my arm care work and running in before BP. I miss being able to hit, but at the same time, it is nice to focus on only one thing. The little things that I hated doing in college because they were very tedious I don’t mind doing anymore. I realize that this is my job, and I need to do everything possible to make sure I can be successful. No regrets. After BP is finished, we have about an hour and a half before the game starts. This is our free time! We make phone calls, send texts, and tweet. I am lucky because the Angels are one of the more laid back organizations. Some programs don’t allow cell phones in the clubhouse. Several orgs also make the players wear baseball pants whenever on the field. The only time we have to wear baseball pants is for game time. It makes all the early work much more bearable, especially when it’s hot! Right about game time is when my day changes. Three out of the five days, I am in the stands running the video, velocity chart, or pitching chart. The day before I pitch, I am allowed in the dugout to do the spray chart. The spray chart is just marking down where the other team hits balls and what pitches they were. Ok…maybe a little more detailed, but you get the gist. And finally on day 5, I am able to pitch. Unfortunately, I am on a 30-40 pitch count or two innings for the entire year because of the number of innings I threw this year in school. And now the crazy part! After I pitch, I am allowed to go to the clubhouse to do my arm care stuff. I don’t even have to go back into the dugout! That has been the weirdest part of minor league baseball to me. I can’t even imagine how different my career at South Carolina would have been if I weren’t in the dugout! No screwing around or dancing! After the game, we usually have a post-game spread of some sort. Subs, burgers, Panda Express, etc. It’s a mad rush to get to the meal table after the post-game meeting! Then, we head home. If we are on the road, we stop to eat and hang out for a bit before returning to our hotel rooms, but at home we head back to our host family’s place to help save money. So that’s it. That’s my typical day. Nothing too crazy or exciting. Obviously, some days are more fun than others. The tough days are the days after riding on a bus through the night and the REALLY fun days are paydays!!! Haha.
Through all of your comments, I have noticed a lot of questions, so I’ll do some Q and A in the next post. All previous questions from other posts will be considered. Here is your chance to ask anything and everything (well, almost).