Talking Shop: Move to bullpen has Ryan Shopshire tweaking his routine
The season is almost a month in, and it has been a bit of a rocky start. This year is a transition year for me. I have been a starter since high school, and now I’m now pitching in the bullpen. This is a dramatic change from last year when I was a starter and would pitch every five days. A positive of being a starter is you know exactly what day you will pitch and, therefore, you can plan accordingly. I had a set routine as a starter, and my routine had to change this year. Not a bad thing, just an adjustment from what I was used to. Being a reliever, you need to be prepared every day.
Also, when you pitch as a reliever, you need to be ready at a moment’s notice. There are no long tosses or critiquing pitches before games — it’s literally “go-time.” As a reliever, I have adopted several little touches to help my game. For example, stretching and moving around between innings is key for relievers. This keeps me flexible for when I need to get “hot” — ready to pitch. Another new routine I’ve developed is drinking an energy drink around the fifth inning. A teammate of mine, and fellow pitcher, suggested this. It gets that energy flowing. All in all, I have adjusted to being a reliever and the different mindset needed. I am creating a routine to become a stronger pitcher, which, in the end, will help me on my road to success.
As for the Dunedin Blue Jays, we started the season in a rough slump; although, we have been earning victories lately. We played the Yankees last series and swept them at their yard. It was a big series for us as a team. We got the bats going, as well as the pitching, to keep us in the lead. Hopefully, we can use that momentum to finish the first month strong. We end the month with two series’, which happens to be our first road trip.
The Florida State League is a big commuter league, which means there are not many long road trips on the bus. Although, not many (if any) are fans of the long bus rides. I have to admit that traveling together creates good team chemistry. I believe that staying in hotels and hanging out with teammates away from the field creates a stronger bond, which shows later on the field. I am excited to get on the road and see what this team is all about.
I want to finish this post by wishing everyone a belated Happy Easter! Being a Christian, this day has always been a very special celebration. God bless.
Listen to the Dunedin Blue Jays live @ http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/index.jsp?sid=t424
Until next time, stay safe people!