pitchers catchers spring training

Why Do Pitchers and Catchers Report Early for Spring Training?

Baseball spring training has official begun… well it would have if the MLB wasn’t still in a lockout. Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association have not reached a deal in their collective bargaining agreement, therefore players, regardless of position, have not started reporting for spring training. While this year is different than most other years, normally pitchers and catchers would report to their respective spring training locations ahead of the traditional position players. Typically these players would report to spring training roughly 5 days ahead of everyone else, but do you know why? Let’s take a look at why pitchers and catchers report for spring training earlier than the rest of the players.

MLB Spring Training – Pitchers and Catchers

A sure sign that baseball season is almost here is when you hear those worlds “pitchers and catchers report for spring training”. This signifies that the first players are making their way to warmer climate to start working on their game and practicing for the upcoming season. And even though no pre-season games will start for another couple of weeks, it still gives a lot of us baseball fans hope that the season is right around the corner. When it comes to why exactly pitchers and catchers report first for spring training, even some of the players aren’t quite sure on why that is. Some believe it’s because pitchers need a little extra time to work in more of a real-world environment, while some believe that it’s just so they can get some more throws off the mound before the position players arrive. And while some of these explanations do make sense, to some degree, wouldn’t it make more sense to have the position players out there too taking batting and fielding practice while pitchers and catchers are warming up? So why do pitchers and catchers report to spring training before the rest of the players? One of the main reasons for pitchers and catchers to get their early is so that they can start to work together. The pitcher and the catcher need to be in sync with each other in a way that other position players don’t need to. Catchers need to understand how a pitcher works, what his mannerisms are, what his approach is, how his ball moves through the air, and how he reacts to certain situations. By having the pitchers and catchers working together as early as possible it makes sure they this cohesive bond is formed before any real-world situations present themselves. A good catcher is aware of his pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses and will be able to call certain pitches during certain situations that will work to those strengths. The ability for a pitcher and a catcher to work well together is an important part of the game of baseball, but there’s another reason why pitchers and catchers report earlier to spring training than position players as well… there’s a lot more pitchers to look at than position players. Spring training is a time for coaches and staff to cut their players down and figure out who is going to make the final major league roster for the season. Since there are typically more pitchers than there are position players, coaches need the extra time to evaluate who they have coming to camp. By being able to see pitchers for a week or so ahead of the rest of the players, it gives them an opportunity to evaluate them on their own, without having to worry about the rest of the team. You also can’t get as many pitchers into a spring training game as you can other players, so this gives coaches the ability to observe more pitchers.

Spring Training Signifies the End of Winter

Baseball spring training is an indicator to a lot of people that winter is coming to an end and warmer weather is just around the corner. As soon as baseball fans hear those words “pitchers and catchers report” they know that soon those spring training baseball games are going to be showing up on their TV’s and in just a couple months they’ll be able to head to the ballpark to catch a live game. Hopefully the MLB Players Association and Major League Baseball can reach an agreement soon so that spring training can get underway. We’ve already been delayed a week, but with negotiations continuing, we could start to see pitchers and catchers report fairly soon.
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