A peculiar infield drill

There is a unique drill taking place before my very eyes.

Infield/third base coach Bruce Hines is down on one knee hitting grounders to shortstops Jack and Josh Wilson, who also are on their knees on the grass in front of their position.

Each player catches the ball on his knees stays on his knees and throws to first base, which is occupied by Ryan Langerhans.

The drill has now changed. Everyone is on their feet — and the infielders apparently at not allowed to move their feet while catching grounders hit at them.

Gotta check that out and will get back to ya.

Just talked to Wilson — Josh, that is — and he explained that both he and Jack Wilson worked with Perry Hill in Pittsburgh and Josh with Hill in Florida and found the drill to be helpful.

“It’s a thing where you take your feet out of it and concentrate on working the hands,” Josh said. “You follow the ball much better and really helps you keep you eye on the ball. You have really focus and stay locked in.”

He said the infielders take from 10 to 15 grounders on their knees and another 10 to 15 while on their feet.

“This is the first time we’ve done that here. Jack wanted to do it and I did it a lot this season in Spring Training. I’ve been doing this drill for the last five or six years.”

The big news coming out of the pre-game was Ichiro. He’s not in the starting lineup because of a sore left calf and is listed as day-to-day. Ichiro has 184 hits this season and is trying to become the first player in MLB history to have nine consecutive seasons with at least 200 hits.

Franklin Gutierrez is batting leadoff in tonight’s game against the Athletics.

The lineup:

Gutierrez CF,

Russell Branyan, 1B

Jose Lopez, 2B

Ken Griffey Jr., DH

Bill Hall, RF

Kenji Johjima, C

Jack Hannahan, 3B

Jack Wilson, SS

Michael Saunders, LF

— Jim Street


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