Jonathan Lucroy had a controversial offseason in which he talked about how maybe it’d be best for him to be traded since the Brewers are rebuilding and losing is a drag. It’s hard to disagree with him, but it’s not the sort of thing players can ever really say without catching a lot of grief. Lucroy caught grief.
This year Lucroy is going to just catch. And, according to this story from Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, he’s going to do it in . . . The Best Shape of His Life:
Lucroy, 29, who has been here since Monday, is in perhaps the best shape of his life after an off-season of rigorous workouts back home in Louisiana with brother David, a pitcher in the Brewers’ farm system. His main goal is to stay healthy and productive after a 2015 season marred by a broken big toe and concussion, with too many hitting slumps in between.
That is the extraordinarily rare straight-up, unadulterated, unfiltered and unironic BSOHL. They were common in the wild until a few years ago but have since become a highly endangered species. How fortunate we are, in 2016, to see one in the wild. In Maryvale of all places.
(h/t to Scott McLune for the heads up)
Cardinals infielder Jhonny Peralta has been pretty consistent over the past few seasons, but back in his Cleveland days he used to have a pattern in which he’d show up to camp a bit chunky some years, svelte in other years and his performance at the plate would improve or decline accordingly. It was kind of annoying for Indians fans, but they got used to it, even if they wondered what things would be like if he was consistently committed.
Things got better once he got to Detroit. He wasn’t always great, but he looked the same from year to year at least, so expectations were never such that Tigers fans, like Indians fans before them, felt as if he could, if everything broke just right, be an MVP candidate. There’s something to be said for predictability I suppose.
Maybe The Cardinal Way is rubbing off on him then, because after two very nice seasons, he’s poised for . . . something big:
Check back in October and we’ll see how that went.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Twins reliever J.R. Graham has lost “roughly 30-40 pounds this offseason.” It’s not a result of workouts, though. Just a change in diet. Bollinger says that Graham cut out sugar, alcohol and foods heavy in carbs and focused on a high-protein diet with lots of salads, meats and vegetables.
That’s an awful lot of weight to lose in four months, but the dude is only 26 and guys in their 20s lose weight just by thinking about it. Which is so very annoying to those of us who aren’t guys in their 20s.
The real test, of course, will come when he is working out far more strenuously once spring training starts and gets into the season. Normal schmos like me can keep up that kind of diet without much of a hitch as long as we have the willpower. An athlete’s energy requirements are far greater and far more specialized, so he’ll need more fuel than he’s probably been getting this offseason. Word is, however, that professional sports teams have people on staff that, you know, have made monitoring that kind of thing their life’s work.
In the meantime:
“I can just feel the change,” Graham said. “The energy. Everything. I feel great. I’m excited to see how it’ll translate into spring. I know I shouldn’t have any problems because I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster. All that. So it’s really exciting.”
It’s very exciting indeed. Because, with that, Graham becomes the latest baseball player to be . . . In The Best Shape of His Life.