Dodgers: Blake Treinen throwing with high schooler to stay in shape

Blake Treinen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Blake Treinen, Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen is playing catch with a high school catcher to stay in shape while he waits for the MLB season to begin.

During these challenging times amid the novel coronavirus, everyone needs to be creative in managing their work/life balance. Baseball players are no different. Situated in a new house in Washington state, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen has been keeping his arm strong by throwing with a high school sophomore who he connected with through his neighbor.

The 31-year-old reliever revealed on Dodger Talk this week that he met the teenage catcher through his neighbor’s daughter.

"“I got really lucky,” Treinen said. “The house that we bought, our neighbors have a daughter whose in high school. She’s actually dating one of the guys on the baseball team, and he happens to be a catcher.”"

Treinen is certainly motivated to stay in shape during the inconvenient pause to the schedule. He said he was feeling good in Spring Training before camp was shutdown. The Dodgers signed him to a one-year, $10 million deal over the offseason, hoping he could provide a bounce-back season after a sub-par 2019 performance in Oakland.

Upon throwing with his new catching mate outside of his house, Treinen was pleasantly surprised to learn the kid could handle major league pitching.

"“He’s a sophomore in high school, so I was a little nervous playing catch with him full-tilt, like I would in Spring Training or with my teammates during the season,” Treinen said. “And he was receiving really well. Come to find out, he was on one of the Little League teams that went to Williamsport.”"

Treinen was one of the better relievers in the American League in 2018. Over 68 appearances, he pitched to a sparkling 0.78 ERA, with a 11.2 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 rates. But he saw his walk rate nearly double last season, and his ERA ballooned close to five runs (4.91).

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Rosters are expected to expand if baseball returns this season, so the right-hander could see his role expand out of the bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts will need his relievers to carry a heavier load as the starters are eased back into their routines, and forced to pitch over a compressed schedule.