Report from: Arkansas - Wyndham hotel
April 8th, 2008 - By Brok Butcher
When I arrived in Arkansas I knew that the season has officially begun. We all flew over together with the same goal and aspirations in mind..... to excel at the Double A level and come together as a team to win the Texas League championship. We have an outstanding pitching staff here in Arkansas consisting of Fernando Rodriguez, Robert Mosebach, Steve Marek, Dave Austen, Kevin Jepsen and many other promising Angel prospects.
When it comes to hitting, we also have many prospects such as Hainley Statia, Coby Smith, Ben Johnson, Jordan Renz and Chris Pettit. Unfortunately for the Travelers, Chris Pettit is out for the season due to a freak accident resulting in a broken foot. I was able to speak with Chris before he departed for Arizona and he was surprisingly in good spirits, one thing I've noticed about Pettit while playing with him is that he never gets too high or too low. There is no reason to worry about issues out of your control, and to learn from the past but not dwell on it.
My first outing in Arkansas was decent. I went six innings, six hits, two runs, one walk, five strike outs and was lifted due to a eighty five pitch count. I had a good sinking fastball, but could not rely on my change up or slider as much as I'd have liked. As the game progressed, I felt better and better as I was getting into a grove but it was too little too late as my pitch count was getting too high. I am pleased with the outing but know I could have done better. Actually, I feel this way no matter how well or how poorly I pitch, I think every pitcher feels they could have done better regardless of the outcome.
My next outing is pushed back due to the great weather here in Arkansas. I have already experienced a tornado that touched down ten miles from our stadium. The shrieking sounds of the tornado sirens warned us to put our heads between our legs, and kiss our rear goodbye because this stage five twister could make any breaking ball look like a K-Rod save in the ninth! Definitely the most horrific natural disaster I have ever been a part of, in fact I was driving to the local Kroger Food Mart and a bolt of lightening touched down just behind my strength coach's 1992 Pontiac Trans Am muscle car. At first I feared for my life, but after appearing safe I was hoping the lightening bolt had given me the same fastball that the kid in Rookie of the Year was blessed with!
I am sitting here at the Wyndham hotel, yes the Wyndham, with my brother Jason and dad Gary! It is so nice to have my family here to support me when it feels as though you are all alone trying to navigate through the minor leagues. My dad's career was cut short because he got married and had a family and now is living vicariously through me and enjoying every moment of it. I can't think of a day that goes by that he doesn't remind me of how he can still bring it in the upper eighties at the salty old age of sixty three! When the three of us are together, the trash talking never ends with who was better in their day, but it's nice to know that we all have the same common denominator, the great game of baseball!
Thanks to all the fans of minor league baseball at Angelswin.com!
To check out Brok Butcher's Spring Camp Journals from Tempe, AZ, click on the links below: