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Checking in on the Yankees’ shutdown training

How have Yankees players remained in shape as the baseball world sleeps?

Second New York Yankees Minor Leaguer Has Tested Positive for Coronavirus Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It’s been almost one month since March 12, when Major League Baseball announced the suspension of spring training and the delaying of Opening Day. With no end in sight to the shutdown, hope still remains among fans, league officials, and players that some sort of truncated season can be played. Although no official activities have occurred in quite some time, players throughout the league have continued to keep loose. Let’s check in and see what some Yankees have been up to.

Gerrit Cole and Adam Ottavino

The two Yankees pitchers apparently live very close together, as they have been throwing bullpen sessions in their backyards, as can be seen from Ottavino’s instagram.

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backyard baseball// @gerritcole45

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While acknowledging that backup workouts would not fully prepare them for the regular season, both pitchers stressed the importance of, to borrow Cole’s metaphor, keeping the pilot light on, so that they’d be ready to ramp back up once the season can begin again.

That said, I feel bad that Amy Cole has lost her throwing partner.

Jordan Montgomery

In a piece with the New York Post, Jordan Montgomery revealed that he has been throwing bullpen sessions on Mondays and having catches on Wednesday and Friday. He’s also working out with Minnesota Twins farmhand Charlie Barnes at the fields at Sumter High School, where they once went to school. Outside of throwing, he has been doing deadlifts, running sprints, and helping to teach his four-year-old niece to ride a bike.

He acknowledges that it’s frustrating, as he’s ready to return to the rotation after Tommy John surgery forced him to miss the vast majority of the past two seasons.

Aroldis Chapman

The Yankees’ closer has made a bit of a splash on social media. He’s posted videos from his workouts during the shutdown, and a photo he posted on March 28 shows that the hard work pays off.

Chapman has long been known as quietly one of the best athletes in baseball. That said, I do remain skeptical about his social-distancing practices in this photograph.

James Paxton

Originally expected to miss the opening of the regular season due to back surgery in early February, the Yankees left-hander will likely be ready to start the season when and if it does. The latest report, from Brendan Kuty, says that Paxton has been on schedule with his rehab since starting a throwing program on March 11, and that everything has proceeded accorded to plan.


Very little information can be found about hitters currently — perhaps not a surprise, considering that the biggest injury concern in the sport revolves around pitchers’ arms. Thus, the latest update we have on them has been from March 21, as DJ LeMahieu and a number of other hitters including Aaron Judge, Tyler Wade, and Clint Frazier had remained at the spring training complex. For several players, going home meant not being able to work out at the time, due to colder temperatures or inaccessible facilities.

Given the recent stay-at-home order in Florida, only rehabbing players can use the facility, which excludes everybody who had been left except for Luis Severino, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Where they have gone since then, however, has not been reported.

Suggestions from Eric Cressey

The Yankees Director of Player Health and Performance, who has certainly been assisting Yankees players in crafting home workouts, posted yesterday on Twitter a list of things that he has suggested players to use as makeshift weights, reminding followers that “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

I take personal offense at this list, as I’m sure a lot here do, as this just slams in our faces that none of us have an excuse not to do at least a little bit of exercise during our quarantined days. I am, however, a bit skeptical, as to the practicality of using “squirming children” as weights.