Starting pitchers are on the mound, in full view to spectators, just once every five games or so. That leaves a fair bit of behind-the-scenes time for them to fill, when they mostly fall not only from view, but also our consciousness. What exactly are they doing on those days, anyway? Sure, they’re throwing and working out, but there’s gotta be more, right?
Yup. They play hockey in the bullpen with shovels and a baseball.
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 16, 2017
As you can see in the video, they’re actually pretty good at smacking – and blocking – that ball with otherwise unwieldy shovels. But aggressive, too. These guys are competitors, even on the not-quite-ice of the bullpen.
It’s all fun and games until someone takes a shovel in the eye.