The Dodgers held their second workout for fans on Monday morning, led by team director of player performance Brandon McDaniel. The plan is to run these workouts twice a week — on Mondays and Fridays at 8 a.m. PT — for the foreseeable future.
In case you missed it and want to follow along, here are the two workouts so far, which were streamed on the Dodgers’ Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts.
Here is the first workout, from Friday:
Dodgers LIVE Workout Series with Brandon McDaniel. https://t.co/XHiZSxk8uj— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 3, 2020
The second workout came Monday:
Dodgers LIVE Workout Series with Brandon McDaniel. https://t.co/MXRj2vRgex— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 6, 2020
“Fridays are going to be built around strength, Mondays are going to be built around sweating,” McDaniel said during Monday’s workout.
The players’ side
To give you an idea of how players are handling these times in limbo, let’s look at Ross Stripling, who was the scheduled starting pitcher for the Dodgers on March 12 against the Cubs in Mesa, a game that was never played. That was day the remainder of spring training was canceled, and opening day was pushed back.
Stripling was set to pitch four innings that day, continuing his progression to build up arm strength as a starter even though his role to start the season would have been out of the bullpen had the five named starters all been healthy. Stretching to four innings would have meant Stripling was two, or maybe even one more start away from being regular season ready, but with the shut down that’s all changed.
Three and a half weeks later, that progress means little. Before MLB is to start up again, it will certainly need at least a few weeks of spring training just to make sure players are ready to go, and give pitchers a chance to build back up arm strength. Stripling likened this week to roughly Jan. 1 of a normal offseason.
Stripling told True Blue LA that he’s throwing five to six times per week, with his first bullpen scheduled later this week.
McDaniel last week said he’s a proponent of throwing year round, but is monitoring the intensity of the pitchers given we don’t really know how long the shutdown will continue.
“Every week that this goes on, we’ll know more and more, and we can start to program that intensity in. Because if we’re still throwing high-intensity bullpens and high-intensity long toss right now, then let’s say we play until Thanksgiving or even into December, that’s a really long time to be going at this with that intensity,” McDaniel said. “At some point, there’s going to be de-training, and a point of diminishing returns.”
Part of the training is working out, and with no team activities the players are on their own in this regard, with occasional check-ins with McDaniel and the training staff. Gavin Lux was able to secure a few items for home from a local gym in Wisconsin, for instance.
Stripling said he goes to a gym twice a week where it’s just him and another player, but otherwise has done all of his workouts from home. And he’s gotten creative.
“I’ve done pull-ups off trees, bought a net at Target to throw into if I have to (I usually play catch with [A’s right-hander] Daniel Mengden), held random stuff around the house for shoulder program exercises,” Stripling explained. “I’ve watched random workout videos on YouTube and done them with my wife in the living room. Even trying yoga for the first time in my life. Nothing is off limits.”