Twins Alum Participate in Spring Training… As Instructors
The Twins have wrapped up another spring training in anticipation of another exciting season. As spring trainings go, this has been a good one for manager Ron Gardenhire and the staff with no major injuries to deal with and a strong returning cast from that memorable 2006 season.
One thing that the Twins have done in recent years that has really added to spring training has been the addition of marquee former Twins as spring training instructors. Over the course of March, Terry Steinbach, Tony Oliva, Paul Molitor, Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew have been in camp to instruct and observe the current Twins. It’s a great opportunity for the players to pick the brains of former All Stars and Hall of Fame players. It’s also a great chance for someone like me to learn more about the game and how it’s changed over the years.
To that end, I spent some time with Rod and Tony early in March specifically to find out how spring training has changed over the years. Both said the main thing that has changed is that players don’t do as much running as they used to. When they would report to training camp in the 60s and 70s, they did so largely to get into shape. Nowadays, players work out all year long and, in many cases, report in better shape that players used to be in coming out of camp.
Their assessment made me think about all the spring training injuries that seem to crop up over the course of March…the pulled obliques, groins and abdominal muscles. Is it possible that by not running as much as players used to that the players run a higher risk of injuring the "core" muscle groups?