Yoga gives SDSU pitchers a different kind of workout

Edward Lewis
SDSU Daily Aztec

SAN DIEGO (U-WIRE) – Stephen Strasburg and Addison Reed laid on their backs, sweating profusely. Out of breath and exhausted, the pair relaxed from another tough workout.

But this was not their average San Diego State baseball workout. There were no weights, no baseballs, no gloves – only mats and a heater. It was Bikram Yoga. A style of yoga designed to perform 26 poses in a room heated to 105 degrees, with no pitching mounds or bullpens in sight.

“It was maybe about a month ago,” freshman reliever Reed said. “(Strasburg) came up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to yoga with him, and I was like ‘Yoga, why are we going to yoga?’ and he says ‘Trust me.'”

Since that time, Reed’s one-week free trial has been upgraded to a one-month pass and he swears yoga has changed his whole mentality when he steps on the mound.

“I feel a lot more relaxed up there,” Reed said. “Things don’t get to me as easily as they used to. I’ve learned to just be more in control of my emotions and I don’t freak out when things get tough.”

The weekly trips to yoga sessions are just the tip of the iceberg of the bond that the two pitchers share. With Strasburg’s transition from the bullpen to the rotation, Reed looks to fill the huge void left by the sophomore at the closer spot. And with Strasburg’s unselfish personality, he has been there for Reed every step of the way.

“I did a lot of things (Strasburg) did last year, mechanically,” Reed said. “If he sees something out of tune he’ll tell me, ‘Keep your front shoulder in, make sure your stride is right and your weight is not falling forward,’ and stuff like that.”

SDSU can only hope that Reed can match the brilliant freshman campaign of Strasburg. The reigning Mountain West Conference co-Freshman of the Year finished last season with a 2.43 ERA, 47 strikeouts and a team-high seven saves. But making the transition from closer to staff ace is not expected to be a smooth one.

“You’re going from being involved in every game to now pitching once a week,” head coach Tony Gwynn said of Strasburg’s new role. “It’s going to take him a little while to get used to, but I feel like he’s going to be just as successful as a starter.”

With cross-town rival USD coming to Tony Gwynn Stadium this Friday for the season opener, the Aztecs won’t have to wait long to see what Strasburg and Reed can do in their new roles.

“We’ve been looking forward to getting out here and playing somebody in a different uniform,” Gwynn said. “So let’s strap it on and see what happens.”

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Yoga gives SDSU pitchers a different kind of workout