Rockpile Rumblings Spring Training- Rain Go Away, It’s Time to Play!

On Saturday, we played San Francisco’s A club which may be future Augusta Greenjackets.  We saw two very good pitching performances from Daniel Winkler and Alex Gillingham. Winkler has been impressive all spring, attacking hitters, keeping the ball down and pounding the strike zone. He went three innings of scoreless ball.Gillingham followed with three innings of solid pitching as well. We took the lead when Robert De La Cruz hit a solo HR to put us up 1-0. With the score tied 1-1 in the 8th, the Giants scored 5 runs on only 1 hit, 3 walks and an error. De La Cruz also had a single making him the only multi-hit player going 2-2. There wasn’t much offense today. Once again, in spring training games, we mix and match a lot of players in the game to get them at bats and much needed innings on defense. I believe there are no better teaching tools than the actual game itself. Yes, we can discuss certain situations, we can simulate a game situation by setting up runners on base with a specific number of outs, but nothing is like the real speed of the game when you have to see it, think it and react to it as quick as you can. We constantly talk about a pre-pitch thought process that is mandatory before every pitch. Simply, it’s about understanding how to play the scoreboard. This will be discussed over and over all season. The scoreboard creates the situation. Nothing can be solved until we have an exact idea of what the scoreboard is telling us. It sounds wacky, but the next time you watch a baseball game, follow the board and watch how the game is played according to the scoreboard.

On Sunday weather kept us from playing any games. We all met in the weight room, had our group meeting and then everyone went to the cages. Now, you have to realize we have around 140 to 150 players in camp and they all have to get there work in on this rainy day.  First, all the live pitching took place with hitters standing in the box. The pitchers simulated a game; therefore, all of the pitchers that threw on this day, were the pitchers that were suppose to pitch in games. This keeps them on track for preparing for the season. Next, we had staff batting practice. There are 10 very large cages that we use. The big league club used the 1st four cages and the minor league club occupied the rest. After batting practice, we had meetings inside and the day concluded. Hopefully, we can get our games in today (Monday). A day of rest is great, but these players really need to play in games because once again, there is no better practice than games.

Until then, take time to help someone today and don’t take any day for granted!!!

May God Bless and Never Surrender!!!

-Joe Mikulik

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