As Major League Baseball cancelled the remainder of Spring Training back in March and delayed the start of the 2020 regular season, players were thrust into a state of uncertainty.
With the shutdown now approaching three months in length, creativity has been required in order for players to keep in shape and current with their workouts. The Los Angeles Dodgers closely worked with players to develop at-home routines with minimal equipment.
Some players — such as Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen — have benefitted from expansive home gyms, and others have reached agreements to safely utilize local centers. AJ Pollock, an Arizona resident, falls into the first category.
During an interview with John Hartung on SportsNet LA, Pollock explained how he’s been able to keep active in his home gym and batting cage:
“I’m pretty fortunate. When we built this house a couple years ago, we were able to putting a cage in. So I’m in pretty good shape. I’m able to throw, I’m able to hit whenever I want to. I have a little gym here, it’s not big and fancy, but it gets the job done.
“I haven’t had too much time in my day, honestly, because we’ve been going back and forth to the hospital. But whenever I’m out there, I’m working out, I’m throwing, I’m hitting. Just staying in shape. It’s a weird time but it looks like we potentially might be going here, and I just want to be as ready as I can.”
The indefinite suspension has been somewhat of a blessing in disguise for Pollock and his wife, who gave birth to their daughter four months early. Fortunately, Pollock indicated his daughter is doing well.
As for matters on the field, the 32-year-old is looking to rebound from what was a disappointing first season with the Dodgers. Pollock was touted as the team’s everyday center fielder but an elbow injury and subsequent surgery led to filling a platoon role in left field.
Pollock finished the year batting .266/.327/.468 with 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 47 RBI in 86 games. He struggled mightily in the postseason, going hitless with 11 strikeouts over 13 at-bats.
“I feel like as an athlete, you have expectations in yourself and you go out there you and fail. I don’t have any excuses for it,” Pollock said at Dodgers FanFest. “It was three games and I did horrible, I didn’t really contribute anything to the team, but it was three games.
“It’s kind of one of those things where you just get your butt kicked sometimes. You move on, and I’m really just looking forward to the season. Hopefully we could get a lot of at-bats in the postseason, you have a bigger sample size and there will be a lot more opportunities to contribute. That’s where my head’s at. I don’t think anyone left last season feeling pretty good about things, but yeah, hopefully next time will be a better result.”
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