Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun provided some very honest thoughts Thursday regarding the length of Spring Training.
The 33-year-old outfielder told MLB.Com’s Adam McCalvy that his favorite Spring Training at-bat is “a first-pitch, line drive double play,” and added that “We don’t get paid by the hour.”
More gold from Ryan Braun on the Spring Training-is-too-long front: pic.twitter.com/mTMPO5tT7f
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 16, 2017
Well, that’s some refreshing honesty, at least. Of course, the “paid by the hour” comments aren’t being received too well on Twitter given that Braun is making $19 million this year.
But putting that aside, Braun is right- Spring Training is far too long. These guys don’t need a month+ of exhibition games to get ready for the regular season, and most of them are working out months before we get to Spring Training anyway.
There can be some benefit to getting pitchers stretched out, but most pitchers aren’t even going max effort or using their full assortment of pitches. With all of the arm injuries we see these days, pitchers are being even more careful before the season starts. And position players — veterans like Braun, especially — don’t need more than a couple weeks to get ready. Most of them have been hitting off (advanced) pitching machines for weeks to months.
In terms of figuring rosters out, we’re usually talking just one or two of the 25 roster spots really being fought for in Spring Training. Teams generally aren’t going to let Spring Training results alter their roster plans much, so trimming the exhibition season down a week or two would hardly impact things there.
Braun’s comments will likely be brought up soon to other veteran players, and it will be interesting to see if they’re as honest as he is about it.