When Joe Blanton made his Angels debut earlier this week, he was finished pitching about 20 minutes into the game. And he was finished working about two hours later.
Blanton's work on the mound – two crisp innings of pounding the strike zone and letting his defense do the work – was just the tip of the iceberg. After he was done, he embarked on a marathon workout of cardio and stretching.
"He's got a tremendous routine," said pitching coach Mike Butcher, who is working with Blanton for the first time this spring. "It's a pretty phenomenal routine, and it shows."
It shows when the 6-foot-3 Blanton takes the mound at about 225 pounds looking nothing like the Blanton who pitched so many times at Angel Stadium in an Oakland A's uniform.
When Blanton pitched in Oakland, from 2005-08, he weighed as much as 260 pounds. Still, he pitched effectively, consistently working 200 innings, so he didn't feel the weight was an issue.
"I never looked at it like I needed to lose weight," Blanton said. "It just kind of happened."
Blanton, 32, who signed with the Angels as a free agent in December, said in his first few years in the majors he concentrated on lifting weights and didn't do much cardio. As he got older and moved from the A's to the Philadelphia Phillies in a 2008 trade, he added more cardio and more stretching. Now, he has an exhaustive routine of work that has few breaks. He'll spend at least 30 minutes simply stretching after a game.
"He's very, very diligent," Butcher said. "He knows exactly what he's doing. He puts in a lot of time getting his body prepared."
Although Blanton's performance has remained relatively consistent throughout his career, whether he weighted 260 or 225, he certainly looks and feels better now.
Workout routine paying off for Angels' Blanton
Orange County Register | Mar 8