Colorado Rockies fans see their favorite players taking batting practice and showcasing their skills during a game. However, there’s a critical part of each player’s success that is never seen by the public but is an integral part of their success.
Gabe Bauer is the director of physical performance for the Colorado Rockies and, along with his team of co-workers, oversees the in-season and offseason workouts for the players. Splitting his time between Denver and Colorado’s spring training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., Bauer has overseen an implementation of a strength and conditioning program that has helped both pitchers and position players succeed and stay healthy at altitude.
Part of that program includes a postgame workout that is short but critical to staying in optimal health, Bauer said.
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“The majority of our position players prefer to train after the game, even though it’s 10-15 minutes,” Bauer told me in an exclusive chat. “Guys get here early and they want to focus on baseball. They’re so locked in with the game and who they’re facing that night that they don’t want to get a workout beforehand. The postgame workout is not something new. It’s something the position players want to do but the pitchers are different. They come in prior to the game and get their lift in, especially the starter from the day before.”
During our talk, Bauer singled out Trevor Story as not only one of the players who religiously follows the routine but also has been doing it for years coming up through Colorado’s minor league system.
“It’s been close to 10 years since I’ve been exposed to this. It’s really helped me a lot, understanding the body and how it works as well as what to put into your body,” Story told me. “It’s been a slow build for this whole time to create where we are now. It’s rewarding and I enjoy it.”
After playing in what can often be more than three hours and being mentally focused for every play, it may seem like the last thing the players want to do is exert more energy. However, Colorado’s All-Star shortstop told me it’s important and necessary.
“It’s tough. It’s something that’s tough to do right after a game but we realize how important it is to keep you on the field and keep your strength up to be able to maintain the way you want to play,” Story said. “It’s a lot easier to do some days than others but those guys have helped me so much that we’re pretty locked in on the schedule.”
“Some of these guys get here at noon for a 6:40 p.m. game and they’re banging away in the cage. They’re putting in a lot of activity during the day,” Bauer added.
Staying at a high level on the diamond takes many hours of work around the year. That includes those critical extra minutes after the conclusion of a game.