WEEK ONE — February 20th, 2010

The first day of spring training always seems the same except for maybe some different faces. As I walked in the clubhouse, I greeted everybody and we exchanged conversations with each other about how everything has been, etc.

Spring training for a catcher is usually a grind. The day usually consists of meetings, where each day the team is introduced to a player new to big league camp. We then go to stretch and do agility drills. Then after bullpens, we do specific drills, whether it’s bunts, receiving, transfers or blocking. After all that, we take BP and condition after.

I think the great part of spring training is that you’re able to get into a set routine everyday to show up to the ballpark and get things done on the field.

On Friday, I got to catch Anthony Ortega’s bullpen and on Saturday I caught Will Smith’s bullpen. Both of them looked very impressive, as they looked like they didn’t miss a beat, especially Ortega, after coming off his injury the past season. One of the pitchers that I was most interested in seeing was Joel Pineiro. I haven’t gotten to talk to him much, but I did get to see him throw a couple of bullpens and he looked very good.

The drive out to spring training is always tough, although its not long; the drive is just so boring. It took me about five and a half hours to get to Tempe. Coming to spring training, I think the part that was most time consuming was me trying to find an apartment with my roommate, Ryan Mount. I finally got settled down in our new place at the end of this week. So far, the first week has been great and I hope to continue to build good momentum heading into the second week.

– Hank Conger

Stay tuned next weekend for Conger’s second journal in this series.

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