Chatham Pitchers Prepare for Start of Season
As Chatham moves toward its season opener on June 14 against the Wareham Gatemen, a group of players that have been working particularly hard are the team's pitchers. With players still arriving and the roster yet to be finalized, pitchers have made up the majority of the players present at practices. Scott Winterburn (LaVerne University, CA), Chatham's pitching coach, is now in his second season with the team. Over the past few days, Winterburn has been extremely busy acquainting himself with the team's pitching staff.
"I'm just trying to get familiar with these guys and see what they have. I don't know any of them. I usually come in and check their stats, see if they have any tendencies and ask them about how they work batters," said Winterburn about this year's pitchers.
Having just met many of these players for the first time, Winterburn has the challenging task of developing relationships with them, forming a common strategy and meeting the needs of the team.
"Each guy is an individual. You try as quickly as you can to get to know who a guy is and start to figure out how you're going to use him and how he's going to help the club," said Winterburn.
Yet, despite the quick turnaround with helping these players get acclimated before the start of the season, Winterburn has kept a cool, calm and collected approach, emphasizing fundamentals and mechanics in mass drills designed to give his pitchers as many repetitions as possible.
"I want to get them comfortable here in Chatham and help them realize that the game's the same here and that they have a chance to do the same things that they've been doing in their college careers."
Playing in a wooden bat league against some of the best players in the country presents a dream scenario for any pitcher in the Cape Cod League. Not having to worry about metal bats coming to the aid of over-matched hitters, Chatham's arms can solely focus on their craft. The Anglers' fate this season will likely rest on the performance of their young arms.