Countdown to Pitchers and Catchers

By: Kelly Thesier/

Sunday is the report date for Twins pitchers and catchers and it’s often typical for players not to come out to the ballpark on the day before the report date as it’s their final day off before Spring Training really begins. But this year there were actually quite a few players working out at the Lee County Sports Complex on Saturday.

When I arrived at the ballpark around 10:00 a.m. there were a number of pitchers long tossing on the field behind the Minor League complex. Among the new arrivals (or players I had yet to see) were Nick Blackburn and Jesse Crain. Blackburn threw a bullpen session and many fans gathered around to watch him throw.

It was hard to miss Orlando Hudson’s smile as he warmed up on one of the fields. Hudson took part in a hitting session that included Michael Cuddyer, Matt Tolbert, Luke Hughes, Toby Gardenhire, Drew Butera, and Rene Tosoni. Cuddyer and Hudson spent quite a bit of time talking and it looked like Hudson will fit right in with this clubhouse.

I spoke with Joe Nathan for a little awhile inside the Twins clubhouse about how his elbow is feeling and his outlook heading into the start of Spring Training. There will be a story up on later with more on that. One thing we discussed was Nathan’s workout program this winter. He worked with the new baseball strength and conditioning coach at the University of Tennessee, Herman Demmink, and raved about the difference that the new workouts made for him. Demmink, who spent three years in the Phillies farm system, played college baseball at Clemson and actually competed against current Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey.

Nathan talked about how he and the other Major Leaguers who worked out
with him were impressed by Demmink’s personal conditioning and said
that I should check out some video of Demmink’s workouts. So I googled
it and found the video on You Tube. Here is the link, and I’ll admit some of the exercises are pretty impressive.

That’s about it for today. I’ll have more tomorrow when pitchers and catchers officially report to Hammond Stadium.

Reminder that you can follow me on Twitter @kellythesier

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