Red Sox News: Season delay causing Boston to be creative with training
The Boston Red Sox are trying to be as creative as possible with their training regimen to best prepare their pitchers if the 2020 season is played.
As the days flip away on the calendar the start of the 2020 baseball season feels like it’s slipping away. With the world watching and hoping that the spread of the coronavirus stalls, we’re all just wanting some normalcy back in our daily lives. For the Red Sox, that means trying to be as creative as possible with their training regimens to get players as ready as possible if the season kicks off.
Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke and pitching coach Dave Bush spoke to the media on Tuesday and covered a laundry list of topics. Boston’s coaching dynamic duo has been hard at work despite the restrictions that are in place. The duo may not be able to be in camp or training sessions with their pitcher but they’re still in contact and doing their due diligence.
I can’t even begin to imagine the stress on not only the players but the coaching staff to try and prepare for a season we may never see, especially with facilities being closed. It still seems to early to definitively say we will see live baseball in 2020, though Roenicke has a good feeling that we will.
"“If I’m going with my gut, I do,” Roenicke said."
Not everyone will have the same ability to get into the best shape ahead of what may be a season this year. According to Bush, his biggest goal is to keep his pitchers tossing regularly and with varying intensity to get their arms sharp and keep them there.
"“But the goal for most guys is to be throwing four or five days a week in some capacity,” Bush added. “So even the guys who are throwing into a net, if they’re able to stretch it out a little bit and put a little intensity into it, then they’re probably fine for right now.”"
Obviously this can only get them so far and without access to their coaches and team doctors/trainers, there will be a plateau. We all saw how the Red Sox pitching staff handled a jumbled spring training in 2019, this is 100x worse.
Ahead of 2019, Alex Cora kept his starters off the mound for much of the spring and then toyed around with his bullpen to the point that nobody knew their role heading into the season. This caused mayhem on both sides of the game as neither the rotation or relievers looked to fully get comfortable.
There were a few bright spots in Eduardo Rodriguez, Brandon Workman, Josh Taylor, and Marcus Walden, but save for those few, the season was a disaster on the mound.
As for Bush, he mentioned that he’s got a handful of plans on his desk ready to go into effect when we learn more about what this season may look like. Even with these at-home training sessions and Zoom calls, he has to get his staff ready for live baseball. You can only simulate so much as nothing truly compares to a batter in the box staring down your best stuff.
"“Sitting on my desk here next to me I’ve got three or four different versions of potential spring training plans based on how much time we have (in spring training),” Bush said Tuesday. “After that, a lot of it is thinking about if we have doubleheaders, if we have bigger rosters, how we’re going to get through whatever kind of season we have.”"
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The Red Sox will be heading into this season without two of their best pitchers in Chris Sale and David Price. The former had Tommy John surgery recently to repair his throwing elbow and the latter is soaking up the VItamin D in Los Angeles with the Dodgers. Then you have to factor in the loss of Rick Porcello to the Mets via free agency this past winter.
So not only do Bush and Roenicke have to formulate a plan for a wonky season, they’ll have to do so without three of their most trusted weapons. Losing the trio of veterans leaves massive holes in a Boston rotation that was already reeling from a rough campaign in 2019. We saw a pair of positives from spring training in E-Rod continuing his dominance and the resurgence of Nathan Eovaldi. But with this extended break there’s no idea how they’ll look when the lights get turned back on.
Nobody was prepared for the season to be delayed especially not by something the likes of the coronavirus. It’s reassuring though to see not only the players but the coaches doing everything they can to ensure that everyone stays on the same page. Hopefully, we see some Red Sox baseball in 2020, and I’m positive Roenicke and Bush will do everything in their power to get the team ready.