The Colorado Rockies are gearing up for the 2017 season.
On Saturday, they wrapped up their 2017 Winter Caravan, a week-long tour in which they traveled throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming meeting and greeting fans. On Feb. 14, pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
Jon Gray will be among the players who head to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the first pitchers and catchers workout. Gray set the Rockies’ rookie strikeout record last season by fanning opponents 185 times. He finished the year with a 4.61 ERA in 168 innings.
The 25-year-old righty said Saturday that one of the ways he’s looking to build off a promising first full year is by incorporating some specific exercises into his training regimen: pilates.
“Coming off of last year, it was the most innings I’ve ever thrown,” Gray said. “It was probably the longest year I’ve ever had. I knew going into next year, I had to be extremely healthy to carry the workload. I just wanted to take care of my muscles, stay healthy, stay flexible.”
Gray said pilates have helped him feel the healthiest he’s ever felt. Gray didn’t delve into how much weight he’d lost in the offseason, but he did look fitter.
That’s good news for the Rockies. Gray could very well be the team’s starting pitcher on opening day. He blew batters away at a record pace for a Rockies’ rookie last season — including a 16-strikeout game against the Padres in September — but he was inconsistent at times. He failed to make it out of the fourth inning eight times in 2016.
Gray said that becoming more consistent is a focus of his entering the season, and that hopefully, the level of health he’s achieved in part through pilates will help him do it.
“I’ve heard of lots of guys who do it,” he said. “(Cubs pitcher Jake) Arrieta, he swears by it. I agree. I definitely feel different in a good way. I feel a lot healthier. Nothing’s holding me back, no restrictions.”
Subscribe to Denverite’s weekly sports newsletter here.