The real work

The real work in Spring Training takes place well before the games begin. In fact, it happens even before the day’s scheduled workout on the backfields at Tucson Electric Park.

The other day on the half field you had Justin Upton and Stephen Drew working on reading pitcher’s moves and their footwork while leading off first base. Doing the instructing were two of the better baserunners of their era, Kirk Gibson and Brett Butler.

Meanwhile on another field, third-base coach Chip Hale along with former D-backs infielders Jay Bell and Matt Williams worked with infielders Conor Jackson, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Roberts and Josh Wilson.

— Speaking of drills, first-base coach and outfield instructor Lorenzo Bundy came up with an amazing one for the outfielders.

Bundy and Butler fed four balls into a pitching machine from deep right-center for the group of four outfielders bunched in left field. The drill worked on a number of areas:

First, they had to battle a tough sun to even see the ball, but just as importantly it taught them the importance of communication as they had to decide before the balls went in the air who was going to take the first, second, third and fourth balls.

“It also helps the guys get comfortable moving around each other and being close to each other,” Bundy said.

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