Rockies Pitching Coach Steve Foster Remains Connected With His Pitchers – Forbes

Posted: April 11, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - APRIL 29: Pitching coach Steve Foster meets with Kyle Freeland #21 of the ... [+] Colorado Rockies in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 29, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Ideally, the Rockies would have played their 12th game of the season Wednesday, completing their first homestand in the process. The starting pitchers would have been on their third turn through the rotation.

Of course, none of that has happened with the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the start of the season and causing concerns whether there will even be games this year.

Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster said when Major League Baseball halted spring training March 12, the starting pitchers were given a road map of sorts about what would be needed when a second spring training began.

This is kind of an unprecedented time, Foster said Wednesday on a conference call with Denver media. The thing that I know is if you give us 20-25 days, I think its going to give us plenty of time to get our pitchers built up enough to be able to compete. Theres enough history in this game to know what it takes to build a starting pitcher up. It all comes down to that, because the relievers and the position players can get ready in plenty short time.

Foster said weekly Zoom meetings began this week. Pods have been established for both the major league and minor league pitchers with the pitching coaches and coordinators serving as pod leaders for the weekly meetings that can include discussion of training regimens to keep arms and bodies in shape and go well beyond those conventional areas.

Coaching isnt just coaching when were on a baseball field, Foster said. Coaching is life coaching as well. And sometimes life goes in directions we didnt expect, and we certainly didnt expect this.

Mental skills development director Doug Chadwick is in charge of distributing a weekly YouTube clip or article to pitchers throughout the organization. Foster said Chadwick gets input from pitching coaches, and then hes going to pick what the weekly discussion is going to be centered on. This week, Chadwick selected a YouTube clip from author, speaker and pastor John Maxwell titled, The Reasons Why Most People Fail Dont Make This Mistake.

Foster said Chadwicks choices are something to spearhead a discussion. But with pitchers widely disbursed Foster said about 15 Rockies pitchers live near the clubs complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. - there is an added benefit to these discussions.

It pales in comparison to just seeing faces and laughing, Foster said, and if we need to cry, well cry. But most importantly, its that were connecting, were staying engaged, were encouraging, were finding out the information from guys on how theyre doing because no ones been here before.

Foster said the pitchers are following health mandates, and some have been pairing off when it comes to playing catch Kyle Freeland and Jeff Hoffman, Chi Chi Gonzalez and Jairo Diaz and Carlos Estevez and Antonio Senzatela.

Freeland has purchased a portable mound. And reliever Scott Oberg has brought one out of storage, as he noted in his Instagram post showing the mound outside his home in Sewell, N.J., and captioned: What bullpens look like for the forseeable future.

Foster was speaking from his home in Mosinee, Wis. He said his daughter, Lauren, a shortstop on the University of Wisconsin softball team will finish her junior year online next month. They have been working out together, but not playing catch or hitting since she wont be playing until next spring.

Foster said what he missed most being away from baseball are the people and the competition and being part of the team.

Our everyday existence is about a win and a loss, Foster said, and risking it all and being all-in and engaged and interacting with people and laughing and loving and crying.

Its by no means the same as trying to weave through nine innings and prevail, but Foster has found some competitive outlets around the house.

We do have Yahtzee here, he said. We have ping-pong. We have a pool table. Weve got some things around the house to draw a little blood.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Fosters family in other, more serious ways as well. His brother P.J. Foster, 39, was getting ready to leave the U.S. Navy after 20 years and was on his way home from the western Pacific Ocean. But when crew members of the USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19, the aircraft carrier went to port in Guam so crew members could be tested and isolated, causing an extension of the younger Fosters tour of duty.

Hes been recalled, and now hes on a warship in the South China Sea, Foster said. Thats as much as I know.

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Rockies Pitching Coach Steve Foster Remains Connected With His Pitchers - Forbes

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April 11th, 2020 at 6:41 pm

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