With the start of the MLB season delayed indefinitely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, baseball players are having to do whatever they can to stay in shape while stuck in their homes.
Not all are as lucky as Nationals starter Max Scherzer, who’s social distancing in his West Palm Beach home with Orioles catcher Bryan Holaday. Many players are training with household items, while others have been soliciting the help of their family members in lieu of a coaching staff.
It’s been a unique experience for players who entered the month of March thinking their offseason was about to end. Instead, they’re having to maintain a workout regimen that will have them ready for Opening Day—whenever that might be.
That feeling is a bit familiar for Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, who appeared on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel Monday morning to talk about how he’s been holding up since the season was postponed back in early March.
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“Everybody’s kind of getting a crash course in what it’s like to be a relief pitcher right now,” Doolittle said. “Sometimes as a relief pitcher, you kind of have to get ready and steady ready even though you’re not exactly sure when you’re going to come into a game. It’s just kind of the nature of the job.
“The bullpen phone might ring and just say, ‘Hey, get ready’ and you say, ‘Well, who do they want me for? What spot am I going in?’ and the answer a lot of times is, ‘They didn’t say, just get ready and stay ready.’ So that’s kind of what a lot of guys are having to do right now.”
Of course, things are a bit easier for Doolittle as a closer. But even he sometimes goes into games early to get a few extra outs. Getting hot right before going into a game is a tricky science for a reliever, as the rest of the players on the field are finding out.
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