« Back to 2014 News Archives
It happened quickly and didn’t last all that long, but Jake Rogers (Johns Hopkins) won’t forget it.
The bullpen catcher started the season as both that and a temporary player. With Chatham well ahead of Orleans on opening night at Eldredge Park, Anglers manager John Schiffner inserted Rogers into the lineup and at first base. He made a diving play on a sharply hit groundball and threw onto first. The Chatham dugout went wild, he smiled and the home plate umpire walked over to Schiffner and said, “Quite the substitution.”
When the roster took shape Rogers was relegated to his expected bullpen catcher role, but he’s still taken something from every day at the park. He’s making the most of working with top-flight pitchers, coaches and the opportunities he’s gotten in the batting cage — and Chatham’s (16-20-1) 5:30 game at Harwich (21-14-2) on Saturday will be another chance to do so. Here’s what he had to say about his summer experience.
Jesse Dougherty: You spend all game in the bullpen and therefore with all the pitchers. You ever feel like you’re the only sane one out there'
Jake Rogers: Not too much (laughing). The guys are fun out there and it has given me a cool perspective on what pitchers go through on a day-to-day basis. I mean there’s a reason these guys keep it fun and loose out there, if not you’ll go crazy. Obviously everyone is focused and invested in the game but there’s a lot of waiting and you have to find things to do. So those guys have to just keep focused but also stay loose, and they do a good job of finding the balance.
J.D.: Before we talk about your role with the team, I’ve heard you have a pretty intense workout schedule. What’s that like on a given day'
J.R.: Well I came here wanting to get in better shape and I feel great. I started out with some lofty goals and now I’m up to running about seven miles and biking 30. I try to do something no a morning and night and have to schedule it around whatever lifting I’m doing. I get in on as much as I can here too, doing shuttle runs in the outfield and stuff. Whatever I can do, really.
J.D.: And then you get here and you’re working with pitchers all the time in the pen. Is it cool seeing all the different guys and their tendencies'
J.R.: It’s definitely an interesting view to have, getting to squat for a lot of different pitchers. These guys are so talented and know the game so well, and as far as coaching they just need to figure out what works for them. Obviously the catchers and Jake (McCarter) can give tips on what they see, but these guys really know what works for them and it’s interesting to see them work like that. I really like seeing all the different sequences. I think seeing how guys decide what pitches to throw on this level is something I understand, but also am learning a lot more about all the time now.
J.D.: On top of catching these guys you also get to take batting practice, do you feel like all this work will translate to Johns Hopkins next spring'
J.R.: Absolutely. I already feel like I am going to have a great year, not to sound overconfident, but I had a good junior season and am now soaking up a lot of stuff here. Just working in the cage and getting advice from all the coaches, that’s been great. I feel like I’ll understand the game more when I get back to Hopkins and always look at it differently now. It’s like once you have all this information you can’t really go back. That’s how I feel.
J.D.: Is it hard working on things in the batting cage and getting tips and than not getting to work on it right away in live action'
J.R.: You know I don’t think so. I get why you would think it could be but I’m trying to really focus on every repetition. You can say that you’re going to treat batting practice like a game situation and make the most of every swing, but then it’s a different thing to actually do that. Every time I step in I do my routine, tap the plate, swing my bat around and focus in. I think that since I’m practicing like that it will translate fine.
J.D.: If you had to pick a highlight of the summer so far, what would you go with'
J.R.: That diving play I made the first night was fun and a really cool moment for me. But I think I just have to go with being here everyday. Everything’s a highlight and I am not trying to be cliche. Just getting to come to the field, where we’re living, I mean this place and this experience is a once in a lifetime kind of thing.
Broadcast coverage of the Anglers and Mariners begins at 5:10 p.m. with the Anglers Extra Pregame Show. Watch and listen on TRZ Teamline or listen by phone 1-800-846-4700, code 3481. Visit Broadcast Central for more information.