After arriving in Arizona on Tuesday night I made my way over to our Spring Training complex on Wednesday for a workout. The report date for position players isn't until February 24 but I like to get there a little early to get settled in and comfortable before things start up for real. On Wednesday, I spent the morning saying hello to players and coaches that I haven't seen since the end of last season. It is always good to see the guys again after a four month break. That is one of the strangest aspects of being a baseball player. You spend more than twelve hours a day, everyday, for eight months with a lot of your teammates, and then go four months straight without seeing them at all.
After I straightened out my locker and organized my equipment, I headed out to our batting cage to get a few swings in. I hadn't picked up a bat for six days because of the long drive across the country. A week off of swinging doesn't seem like it would feel that long, but when you swing everyday for a month, taking six days off feels more like an eternity. I could definitely tell that I hadn't swung in a few days. It took at least a dozen or so swings before I started to feel comfortable again with a bat in my hands.
The best part about Spring Training is the practice time. Playing in games is fun, but I really love to practice. Being able to spend a few hours working on different parts of your swing, or fielding a bunch of ground balls is what I really love doing. I ended up spending about an hour and a half taking swings and talking to guys around the cage before I got some throwing in followed by a quick weightlifting session. The one thing I really want to make sure of this year is that my body feels 100%. Making sure that I get my stretching in is something I really want to focus on. I've never been the most flexible person in the world, but if I make sure to dedicate a good amount of time to improving my flexibility I think it will help keep me feeling loose and fresh for the year.
After practice I jumped in the cold tub, the only miserable part of my day. I don't know how cold the water is, but it feels pretty close to freezing. It helps get rid of inflammation in your body and keeps you feeling good, but sitting in ice cold water for twenty minutes is perhaps the worst thing imaginable. When you first jump in it really does take your breathe away for about a minute. After that your body starts to go numb and the water doesn't seem as cold as it is. I guess its worth the pain if it keeps my back and legs feeling good.
The next few days will look a lot like today's workout. Pitchers and catchers officially reported on Thursday and will start getting there work in for about a week before they are joined by the rest of the team.