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Mariners notebook: A day in the life of a catcher during spring training

Mariners catcher Tom Murphy gives a look into his routine at spring training. (Getty)

Like many things in baseball, the bulletin board in the Mariners’ clubhouse appears to be no more with daily schedules and assignments now flashed on a giant HD monitor with terrific action shots – thank you team photog Ben Van Houten – sprinkled in between the pages.

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The schedules direct players to their workouts, what fields they should be on for what drills, bullpen and cage times, conditioning assignments, etc. Each day starts with a team meeting at 9 a.m. often followed by a chalk talk with the team heading out to stretch at 10:05.

Of course, the players’ days start much earlier. It is not a matter of show and go for the meeting at 9 a.m. There’s early work assignments, extra hitting and of course, the weight room, all available well before 9. It is a busy and full day for all players, but it’s hard to argue that anyone puts in more work than the catchers.

How much work? Well, if you are ever fortunate enough to come to spring training, I would suggest following them around for a morning. You will get a good look at the work you can’t normally see and if you can’t get down here, I shared a snippet of that work Monday.

While most players just have to worry about getting themselves ready for the season, a good catcher will put equal focus or better on his pitchers. All of this makes for a longer day for the catchers.

“These guys are here early and are usually the last to leave,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “Their day usually ends somewhere in a cold tub to make sure they are ready to go the next day.”

Just what exactly does that day look like? Tom Murphy shares his schedule:

• 6:15: Arrive at complex.

• 6:30: Into the weight room to work on rolling out and mobility.

• 7:15: In the cages for early work hitting.

• 8:00: Early work catching.

• 8:30: More stretching, activating, muscles, core.

• 9:00: Team meeting.

• 10:05: Stretch with team.

• 10:30: Regular work begins. Bullpens, team defense, individual defense, individual def, on field conditioning.

• 12:30: Wrap up with more conditioning, then hit the weight room for daily work.

• 2:00: Cold/hot tub.

• ???: Done.

Any time in between activities is spent getting to know their pitchers or talking with coaches. They really don’t have the downtime between or during drills that others have. Catching bullpens is the big extra for them and it is not just physical, there is a huge mental aspect as well with focus, teaching, communicating and learning that obviously goes with that.

So all of the above and then do it all again tomorrow, with games to be added on Saturday. The Mariners have all of two days off during the spring.


• Always worth watching on the first day of full squad workouts are the position groups. Not really any surprises on Infield 1, which included Kyle Seager, J.P. Crawford, Dylan Moore, Shed Long, Evan White and Daniel Vogelbach. Dee Gordon will join that group once he arrives in camp. Outfield 1 included Mallex Smith, Kyle Lewis, Jake Fraley, Braden Bishop, Carlos Gonzalez and Alen Hanson.

• Mitch Haniger may have had a setback last week, but he’s taking a step forward this week.

•  Infield coach Perry Hill is in mid-season form. Sights and sound gold from Peoria.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.