No major league team skips practice. However, it’s hard to find a team that goes the extra mile like the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Almost every day, Pittsburgh holds an extra workout on the field before official training begins.
The drills change daily. From defense, to bunting, to running the bases, and more.
The number of players varies from day to day. Players are notified of the schedule in advance via an electronic bulletin board in the clubhouse.
Before the home game against the New York Mets on Tuesday (June 10), the team held infield drills. In addition to Bae, Josh Palacios, Zack Suwinski, Tukupita Makano, Rodolfo Castro, and Canan Smith-Njigba, who was called up that day, participated.
Under the guidance of first base coach Tarik Brock, the team’s first baseman, the players practiced running from first to third and second to home.
It’s rare for a major league team to be so serious about extra work before official batting practice. Usually, players who are in a hitting slump are the first to come out and take extra batting practice, or players who need to improve their defense or baserunning are given extra work.
Bae Ji-hwan, one of the “regulars” at the extra workouts, admitted that the amount of training is not small, asking, “Don’t you think we train a lot because you’re a reporter (who has covered several teams)?
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh announced its lineup for the day: Tukupita Makano (shortstop), Brian Reynolds (left field), Andrew McMurchin (designated hitter), Carlos Santana (first base), Zack Sewinski (center field), Keivryan Hayes (third base), Bae Ji-Hwan (second base), Josh Palacios (right field), and Austin Hedges (catcher). They will face right-hander Tyler Megill. Pittsburgh’s starting pitcher is Rich Hill.
Ahead of the game, right-hander Chase De Jong was designated for assignment and outfielder Kanan Smith-Njigbo was recalled.
Smith-Njigba has been batting .245 with a .339 on-base percentage and .547 slugging percentage in 28 games since being demoted to Triple-A and will get another chance.
Manager Derek Shelton said, “His swing is better, his defense is better. I think it’s the result of getting consistent at-bats. He wasn’t getting consistent at-bats in the majors before. The message we gave him when we sent him down was, ‘You need to play every day,’ and he’s been consistent,” Shelton said of his improvement. 메이저놀이터
With the move, Pittsburgh shaves one spot off its bullpen and bolsters its bench. “We wanted to take advantage of the off-day schedule and have more options on the bench,” Shelton said. It gives us better matchups and more flexibility,” Shelton said of the move.