Dipoto: Mariners getting creative to stay ready during holding pattern

Mar 26, 2020, 10:42 AM | Updated: 11:35 am
Mariners LHP Yusei Kikuchi...
The Mariners are getting creative to stay ready while they wait for baseball to resume. (Getty)

Jerry Dipoto stopped by Danny and Gallant Thursday to talk about the Mariners’ plan of action while there is inaction on the field.

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“For us we are doing our best to communicate every day,” he said. “That goes from executive level through staff to our players, what we are doing in programming with our minor leaguers, but there are a ton of variables that we are dealing with that frankly we have never dealt with before. We are doing our best to try to adapt to those as they surface and understand that this could be a lengthy layoff and were focused on keeping our players healthy and we will worry about baseball when it is time to worry about baseball.”

To that end, the coaching staff has been given a call list to touch base with players on a weekly basis. The medical and training staffs are checking in with players on a daily basis via phone call or text to make sure everybody is healthy. On the baseball end of things, the Mariners biochemists are working with hitting and pitching coaches to put together programs that could fit in just about any scenario.

“Anything from a player has access to a home gym and is able to get out on a regulation mound in the backyard and has access to a catcher, which seems unlikely, down to they have got nothing but a 6-by-6-foot space and no equipment to deal with. How do we keep them as close to their the floor of their baseball maintenance that we can? That’s been a challenge, but it has also been a lot of fun to see how creative our people are along the way.”

How creative? Dipoto gave an example for one of the most extreme situations.

“The weighted sock,” he said. “As long as you have got a pair of socks and we can somehow find something to weight that sock down and we will effectively use duct tape because duct tape works for everything. Duct tape it to the hand and effectively keep your shoulder moving and maintain some type of laxity in the joint by just going through the throwing motion with a weighted sock in your hand. That you just never get rid of. It certainly helps to stop adhesions from building up. It’s certainly not going to enable you to stay ready to throw 120 (feet) next Tuesday, but we are doing the best we can.”

Dipoto and the Mariners had been preparing for the possibility of extreme conditions for some time, not just because Seattle was the original coronvirus hot spot in the U.S., but because his daughter was even closer to it as she lives in Hong Kong.

“This is something that has been on our radar since January,” he said. “We have been educating ourselves the best we can on the proper thing to do.”

“The advice we gave our players when we were leaving Peoria is focus on your health and while you are doing that, please remember that the person to your left and the person to your right are pretty important in this,” he continued. “It gave them, I think, a new appreciation for teammates. Hopefully that gives them some connection to their community and I have been proud so far how our players have handled reaching back out and checking, messaging the community in various ways, that’s also been exciting.”

Dipoto is now back in Seattle with his wife, staying at home. While a good amount of his time is taken up working when he does have time to fill he told Danny and Gallant that he hits the treadmill, has participated in the newly formed Mariners book club, has worn out the Medium App reading absolutely everything and is using another app to learn a little bit more Spanish.

For now, he and the organization are working to stay productive while in a holding pattern. The reward at the end will be games.

“We really don’t know the answer to a lot of questions, we are just trying to prepare the best we can for the inevitable which is we will play baseball again we just don’t quite know when that will be.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.

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Dipoto: Mariners getting creative to stay ready during holding pattern