With so much uncertainty around when Major League Baseball’s Opening Day will be, the Red Sox are trying to keep its players prepared to resume when spring training, (or maybe, summer training) begin.
In a conference call Thursday, interim manager Ron Roenicke gave insight on what the team has both pitchers and position players doing to stay prepared.
According to Roenicke, the coaching staff has instructed their projected starters to simulate two innings during unofficial bullpen sessions.
“So pretty good effort to throw the first inning, sit down for a little bit and then get back up and throw another 15 pitches or whatever it is,” Roenicke said, via MassLive’s Chris Smith.
“And we feel like if we do that, whenever we come back depending on the time period they give us, (it will be enough). If they give us three weeks to get ready, those guys will have four starts. And if they give us four weeks to get ready, they’ll have five starts. And either one of them (three or four weeks), we feel like as long as they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing now and getting a couple innings in, that we can ramp up and get them really close to where they need to be.”
Instructions for position players aren’t as intricate, however. Coaches simply asked that group to treat it like it’s January. And while the coaching staff has returned to their normal residences, many of the players have stuck around Fort Myers.
“They are showing up in waves (at the JetBlue Park complex),” Roenicke said. “The pitchers are showing up first in the morning, the guys who are in the area. And then in the afternoon, the guys who are still there, the regulars, are showing up to hit in the batting cages and stay sharp that way. Some of the pitchers really didn’t feel like they had somewhere else to go to stay in shape, whether it was another country or whether it is up north where it’s harder to work out in the cold.”
The MLB is hoping to squeeze in all 162 games, which seems more and more unlikely every day. Regardless, the Red Sox hope with this down time they’ll be ready when Opening Day does come.