Friday, February 26, 2010

Alyson Footer's Touching Base debuts

Each Friday throughout the Spring, Alyson Footer will provide a new segment called Touching Base, with a different Astro coach. Today, it's Brad Arnsberg.

Arnsberg's Spring Training work day starts at 5 a.m. and ends 11 or 12 hours later. He has charts to study, data to input, schedules to organize. When he was hired, the Astros' video coordinator, Jim Summers, sent Arnsberg a hard drive of every game the Astros played last year, and he got to work, studying deliveries and pitching motions in a cram session if sorts as he prepared to begin a new Spring Training with a brand new set of students.

"My early days here, it's more about putting the name with the face and putting a face with the delivery I've seen. Mostly just get my feet on the ground and get to know the guys and start to build the pitcher-coach-pitcher bond with the group. I try to establish that real family feel early in camp. I try to go out of my way to get all 28, 29 guys into games as early as possible.

Right now, it's Baseball 101, baseball awareness. Jam sessions on the mound. Most guys are rotating through skill work, doing more mind work and trying to stay ahead of the game. Knowing bunt plays, knowing our signs from the catchers as far as pickoffs and pitch-outs. Knowing when our catcher is throwing through to second base rather than coming up and throwing to third. Those kinds of things to stay a step ahead."

Something you didn't (want to) know:
He loves watching the Winter Olympics. Favorite event? Ice Dancing.

Just when he was about to get a +4, he ends up with a -3.