Iowa baseball heads into offseason workouts

With the Black and Gold World Series behind them, the Hawkeyes are now preparing for their winter routine.

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Nichole Harris

Iowa head coach Rick Heller watches the game from third base during a baseball game between Iowa and Grand View on March 3, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Vikings 15-2.

Will Fineman, Sports Reporter


With the conclusion of Iowa baseball’s annual Black and Gold world series – an intrasquad, best-of-five matchup – the Hawkeyes will now start their offseason routine to prepare for the spring season.

Their winter workout period will consist of lifting and individual training with pitchers beginning their offseason throwing programs.

“Everybody is in their offseason routine which would be lifting four days a week, and we are doing our individual training mixed in around the weight schedule,” head coach Rick Heller said. “The pitchers are all on an individual program for whatever they are working on this offseason, and they are getting outside this week.”

With the limited time that the team has to work together, the position players will focus more on hitting and take more individual responsibility for working on their defense.

Upperclassmen will get players together to do defensive work on days when the weather allows for it, and most players will also take the time to throw and take ground balls or fly balls in smaller groups.

“With the time limits we have, the position players work primarily on hitting this time of year because if we are going to make changes, we really have a small window to do that,” Heller said. “The position guys have to get their defensive work in on their own, and that is where the older players organize guys on nice days to go out and play catch or take ground balls and fly balls.”

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The pitchers, on the other hand, will have individual programs that will be more diverse, as they only have to focus on pitching.

“Their program is more diversified and more structured just because all they do is pitch,” Heller said. “It just varies based on the biggest need after the coaching staff has a chance to evaluate in the fall. Some guys are on velocity improvement, some guys are on pitch development, and some guys are just trying to stay in really good shape because they are already in a good place.”

Heller said the winter workouts will not be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic other than the usual measures like wearing masks, temperature checks, and frequent testing.

“We are planning on coming back after Thanksgiving break to take advantage of the time we are allowed to work out with the guys prior to them going home for break,” Heller said. “Baseball is in a really tough situation where we don’t have our guys on campus during the most important month before we start practice, so we are going to take advantage of the time we have with them.”

Heller said he’s very pleased with how the fall went for his team, and he said that his players came together as well as any team he has ever had.

The Hawkeyes lost sophomore pitcher Jack Dreyer for the year due to injury, but Heller believes the team still has very good depth on the mound and he is very happy with the way his team swung the bat this fall.

With a limited period of time between the team’s arrival on campus after winter break and the start of the season, winter workouts are key for the team.

“You have to have really good chemistry and a good culture of doing the workouts that the players are given over Christmas break because without that we are going to get off to a slow start,” Heller said. “If they don’t, if someone slacks or takes time off, number one he is probably going to get beat out by somebody who didn’t, and then number two it could potentially hurt our team in getting off to a slow start.”

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