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On Tuesday, San Francisco Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow came on Murph & Mac to talk about all things spring training, including Joe Panik’s form, Mac Williamson’s return from injury, and Drew Pomeranz’s unique offseason mindset.
With so many new acquisitions for the Giants this offseason, there are a ton of storylines for the team heading into the season, but when asked what he finds interesting so far, Krukow had one storyline in particular that came to mind.
“Number one is Joe Panik,” Krukow said. “He opened up spring training with a three-hit day. I think he realized last year that his body was changing. He was thickening up around his legs, and it was really affecting his range, so he went into this offseason and lost 10 pounds.
“He looks great,” he said, “and not only is he able to cover more ground on the defensive side, but he’s swinging the bat well, so I think that’s a good story. I think he feels that he wasn’t getting a lot of the love and a lot of people were overlooking him, and I think that’s one of the really great stories that’s happened early on this spring.”
Another storyline that Krukow was intrigued by was the return of Mac Williamson. The young outfielder is coming off a brutal concussion last season, and Krukow thinks he needs to start hot this offseason to keep his momentum going.
“The other story I think we’re all watching is Mac Williamson,” Krukow said. “Can he ignite and light it up like he did last year before he had the concussion?… I think he’s gonna light it up. I think that’s the attitude you should have. What’s he accomplished? Well he’s had two phenomenal weeks where he’s carried a club. That will wet your appetite, but I still think he’s gotta come in and light up the spring.
“So far he’s got “0-spring” going, but he needs to do that,” he said. “Whether you’re trying to win a job, or trying to keep a job, or you’re a veteran of ten years and you’ve been to the All-Star Game six times, you still need to have that mentality.
Another offseason storyline for the Giants has been newly acquired Drew Pomeranz’s unique offseason wight-plan. The goal of losing weight during the offseason is something that a lot of players gravitate towards. Pomeranz, however, came out and said he wanted to gain some weight this offseason so he could feel more like himself. Krukow recalls a similar method from his own playing days
“When I was in the Cubs organization,” Krukow recalls, “we had a guy there, Rick Reuschel, who played with the Giants and was one of the best teammates I ever had, and he was a big fella. He would pitch at 270 lbs, and he was actually the second fastest guy on our team… at 270. Everyone was on him about losing weight, wanting to prolong his career, so he did. He came into camp one year at 240 lbs, and he was horrible. He didn’t feel right, didn’t look right, and when he got the weight back, he kicked it back in to where he was good.”
Krukow went on.
“You gotta be careful about gaining weight. Your arm speed and bat speed are all relative to hip speed, and when you put weight on, your hips get slower, so you have to watch that. With some guys, though, it’s a difference maker. It improves their timing. It makes them better, and maybe Pomeranz is one of those guys.”
Listen to the entire interview with Murph & Mac below: