3/27/2009

A week in Dunedin


I've been at the Blue Jays minor league spring training camp for just over a week now. It is somewhat what I was expecting from a spring camp, there are just little things here and there I wasn't to sure about, and am figuring out quickly here in Dunedin, Florida.

I'll try and describe how things go here as well as I can, just to give you an idea of my and any Blue Jays minor leaguers average day. I'm here along with about 130 other minor league players from low A Lansing to Triple A Las Vegas trying to make the highest possible team we can.

We arrive at the complex around 7 am, get changed into workout clothes, and go eat. The breakfasts and lunches are served in the lounge, and most guys are eating or have eaten already by 7:15. Following breakfast the weight room is normally packed out with guys getting a morning workout in. They do have time, and as long as we don't have a morning meeting (scheduled around 8 am every couple days) guys can get a solid hour and a half workout in. We (double and triple A pitching staffs) normally get into our stretching at 9, then throw and get our bodies loose. We break into our team defense after throwing and work on the fundamentals, I'm getting all the bunt plays, first and thirds, pick offs and other Blue Jay basics down. This is normally followed by 10:45 batting practice, then we break for lunch around 11:45. Some guys also get their workouts in over the lunch break since we have about an hour and start our games at 1 pm.
We play at 1, if you aren't scheduled to pitch in that game (usually 3-5 pitchers pitch per game) then you stay and watch the game, chase foul balls, do charts, be the bat boy or ball boy... there's job for everyone. If the team is on the road, the pitchers who aren't in line to pitch that day stay and watch 5 innings of whichever game is played at home that day, then are free to get their workouts in, or take off.
Workouts are not mandatory, but very highly recommended here. We have 5 or 6 strength and conditioning coaches who tend to keep the guys working hard and are always around the weight room for help, new workouts and spots.
The games are not scorekeeped (scorekept?), anyways no one scores the game and it's not very important who wins, the coaches just want the guys to get their work in around this time of the year and have a good look at some guys.
There have been 2 cut days already since I've been here, today being the more significant one. We (double A) had 2 pitchers and a couple position players axed today, and triple A had even more. It's a very tense time of the year for a lot of the guys worrying about being cut. I try to just focus on the pitching, not worry about what I can't handle, and not kiss ass, because if I was a coach I would hate that.
Anyways, so far so good here. I had my first triple A outing today getting a save against the Phillies in Clearwater, and despite having bad stuff I was able to have a scoreless inning and get my outs in about 17 pitches.

For anyone interested, through 4 outings covering 5 innings this is my line.
5 innings, 0 runs, 3 hits, 4 K's, 1 BB, 0 HBP.
We are in camp until the 5th of April when everyone is assigned to a level, I'm hoping double A New Hampshire, but wouldn't mind staying in the Florida sun for high single A right here in Dunedin, but we will see, I'll just pitch my best and let what happens happen. Time to get some rest to get ready for my typical 6:15 wake up call.

3 comments:

Andy Mc said...

Leon,

Great blog. I watched you pitch in the WBC, and as a die-hard Jays fan, we are lucky to have picked you up.

Keep working hard, and please keep up these insider blog posts, they are fascinating.

Hope to see you soon at the Dome, pitching for the greatest team ever.

FritZ said...

Nice to read some updates of you in minor league camp! I hope you will make it into the AA roster!

Ronald said...

Keep up the great work. I hope they put you to AAA ASAP.

The blog is great. Thank you for writing your day to day activities at the minor league camp.