Diamondbacks using newer style of batting practice for prep work

Jul 9, 2022, 10:15 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte takes batting practice before the team's baseball g...

Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte takes batting practice before the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, July 1, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks are using a newer style of batting practice in their everyday prep work.

Well, newer for Major League Baseball teams here that are stateside anyway.

The D-backs have been taking live batting practice where a pitching coach throws from the mound as opposed to off flat ground from a much shorter distance than 60 feet, six inches.

“It’s still relatively new for us over here,” Diamondbacks hitting coach Joe Mather said Friday. “I think they do it overseas a little bit more often, but teams are looking to find ways to do it.

“We have a great group of young pitching coaches that can do it for us. Lining it up, talking guys into doing it and going out and being vulnerable because it could look rough because it is a challenge. But it’s really good prep, it really is.”

Assistant pitching coach and minor league pitching coordinator Barry Enright was throwing to D-backs rookies Alek Thomas, Geraldo Perdomo and Jose Herrera prior to Friday night’s 6-5 loss to the National League West division rival Colorado Rockies at Chase Field.

Enright started off telling the batters what was coming before eventually switching to the more live, full-speed look.

“It’s a very controlled version of the game at a crisp velocity still, so you’re seeing arm action, you’re seeing realistic spin from the full distance,” Mather explained of the purpose of the drill.

“Outside of it being tough and a little bit harder on your hards, that’s about as good as it gets in terms of training.”

Mather said Enright, Diamondbacks minor league pitching coach Shane Loux and coordinator of Latin American operations Hatuey “Chuy” Mendoza provided their arms for live batting practice during spring training and that D-backs minor league pitching coach Tom Gorzelanny would also be willing to come down to the stadium to do it.

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Diamondbacks using newer style of batting practice for prep work