How Yankees' Adam Ottavino is Staying in Shape, Keeping in Touch With Teammates During MLB Hiatus
Even if the 2020 regular season seems far away, with no definitive date set for an Opening Day, MLB players are doing their best to stay ready.
For Yankees' reliever Adam Ottavino, although staying in "playing shape" is a tad unrealistic, he's doing all he can while staying home to keep his arm moving.
"In the backyard, I have a little net and I just keep the arm going, basically doing stuff that I usually do in the offseason," Ottavino told Meredith Marakovits of YES Network. "I don't want to lose too much of what I gained during the spring."
The 34-year-old right-hander explained that his goal during this period of uncertainty is keep in shape enough to be ready at a moment's notice.
"Just trying to make do with what we have," he said, describing his situation at home with his wife and daughters. "I have a little gym in the basement as well so I'm kind of one of the lucky ones probably."
New York would have been playing its fourth game of the 2020 season when the YES Network interview took place on Monday. Instead, Ottavino and the rest of Major League Baseball are stuck waiting, wondering when it will be safe to resume baseball activity.
During the novel coronavirus pandemic, the lights-out reliever has been able to keep in touch with his teammates in a variety of ways. After all, when asked about what he misses the most, Ottavino explained it's the routine of spending every day with his Yankees teammates for the majority of the year.
"We have a bunch of group chats that I'm involved in," the right-hander disclosed. "There's a bullpen one, a whole pitching staff one, some other ones with some other guys ... Just trying to stay in that mind-frame a little bit. It's definitely weird for all of us to not be playing at this time of the year."
In his first season with the Yankees in 2019, Ottavino was arguably the club's most reliable and effective asset out of the bullpen. The right-hander posted a spectacular 1.90 ERA across appearances in 73 games during the regular season – both best among all New York's hurlers.
As for how he thinks the league should handle the logistics of a shortened season, Ottavino explained to Marakovits that he's a fan of the idea to incorporate doubleheaders on a weekly basis once baseball resumes. Whatever it takes to play as many games as possible.
"I think we have to get as many games as we can in to try and keep the integrity of the baseball season," the right-hander spelled out. "I don't know that we'll get 162 but I think in baseball more games is better. It kinda does help separate who's the best from not the best in terms of the teams and then we'll see what happens in the playoffs.
"For me, whatever we have to do. We're used to having a few days off here and there but i feel like doubleheaders, maybe an expanded roster, that could be something that's beneficial."
One perk of being able to stay home, however, is spending time with family. Between helping to homeschool his two daughters and making meals – he revealed that he makes breakfast and lunch while his wife typically cooks dinner – Ottavino has found a silver lining in being away from the game.
More time at home with two young girls, however, means one specific movie is on practically all day long.
"I'd say Frozen  is on from start to finish at least twice in our house every day," Ottavino said, beaming. "They were obsessed with the first one. They love the second one. I feel like I'm getting to the point now where I'm starting to know all the words to all the songs. We're getting to a good spot."
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