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Blue Jays | Eric Thames tries not to bulk up

Toronto Blue Jays OF Eric Thames, who loves to work out hard in the offseason, realized after his first minor league season that there were pitfalls to bulking up too much for the upcoming season. "From doing some research on pitchers and their mechanics, and hitting, I felt like the biggest thing that killed me was my chest," Thames said. "I didn't do chest at all in the offseason, no pushups or anything, just because I felt like when my chest was tight I couldn't throw." Thames took interest in a book this offseason that was devoted to training and stretching for elite-level martial artists. He started doing an intense version of yoga while also weight training in the gym.

The workouts have helped Thames to become a much stronger defensive outfielder, something that was a knock on him in the past. He has better range of motion in his arm now, and he appears to have an easier time making strong throws into the infield this spring. "(Triple-A hitting coach) Chad Mottola said my throw looks 10 times better than it did last year and the year before, and that they're really happy with my progress so far," Thames said. "That was a goal for the offseason, and I feel like I achieved that, so it's just a matter of keeping it going throughout the year to help this team win." Thames seems to have a slight advantage over OF Travis Snider for the left field job in spring training.

2012-03-08 12:05:17 | Source: MLB.com - Gregor Chisholm

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