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Pitchers & Catchers Workouts

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On the fourth day of Dodgers spring training at Camelback Ranch, there wasn't a lot of action. James Loney and Adam Kennedy both reported to camp, three days before the day position players are scheduled to arrive. Ted Lilly reported as well, two days after the birth of his daughter.

Clayton Kershaw recovered from his minor back tightness to throw bullpen session today, and Mike MacDougal is having no problems with his back as well.

Given the lack of news today - other than Matt Kemp answering questions about Ryan Braun, which I wrote a bit about for SB Nation Los Angeles - I thought I would walk you through a typical early camp workout for pitchers and catchers.

9:30 - 9:45 a.m.: The morning begins with a clubhouse meeting, led by manager Don Mattingly

10:00 - 1010 a.m.: Stretching, with the catchers on field number one (the field built with the same dimensions at Dodger Stadium) and the pitchers on the minor league fields for now (they will move once the minor league players report and start using those fields (beginning March 5).

10:10 - 10:30 a.m. - Conditioning, in other words running, on the same fields for each group.

10:30 - 10:40 a.m. - Throwing, which involves playing catch at ranges from 60 to 150 feet

At this point the two groups begin working on different things. For the next hour, catchers work on defense and hitting under the watchful eyes of Manny Mota, Dave Hansen, Rob Flippo, Travis Barbary, and Steve Yeager. The pitchers, meanwhile, split off into the four groups, one at each of the minor league fields for 15 minutes:

  • First and third situations with Rafael Chaves and Davey Lopes, on the small field (technically Field 7, pictured above, as it does only has an infield and a backstop)
  • Covering first base, with Bruce Hines, Aaron Sele, Lorenzo Bundy, and Chuck Crim
  • Pick-off plays, with Tim Wallach, Jose Vizcaino, Maury Wills, and Jody Reed.
  • Bunt plays, with Ken Howell, Glenn Dishman, and Juan Castro

During this hour, Rick Honeycutt will rove around the fields for pitchers, and Don Mattingly, trainer Sue Falsone and her staff will tend to different fields for both pitchers and catchers as needed.

At 11:50 a.m., the pitchers and catchers converge for bullpen sessions. For this week, pitchers are throwing a bullpen session every other day, though that changes as spring training continues and games begin. Each session is 15 minutes long, and the pitchers that are throwing split into groups. Today's groups were:

  • Group 1: Chad Billingsley, Jamey Wright, Clayton Kershaw, Aaron Harang
  • Group 2: Josh Lindblom, Fernando Nieve, Angel Guzman, Nathan Eovaldi, Wil Ledezma
  • Group 3: Chris Withrow, Michael Antonini, Scott Rice, Ryan Tucker

While the first group threw their bullpen sessions, Group 2 stretched and played catch while Group 3 played pepper. Once the first group was done, their day was done, and Group 3 moved up to stretching and playing catch as Group 2 threw their bullpen sessions. Finally, Group 3 threw their bullpen sessions and the day was done.

For pitchers not throwing bullpen sessions, they spend about 30 minutes working on bunting while some continue to work on pick-off plays.

Generally, the workout is scheduled to end at 12:35 p.m., though some get extra work in at this point.

There are also position players in camp early, and they have been on their own field either taking batting practice or running conditioning or fielding drills, or hitting in the batting cages adjacent to the Dodgers complex.