Once you catch three or four days in a row, your hips get very tight. It feels almost like a ball or rock is in there. So it’s key to be able to get that [tightness] out. If [your hips are] tight, you can’t get down as low, you can’t give as good a target and you can’t move as well side to side. It may cost you two or three runs a game if you can’t be flexible and move around.
Most of [the drills to improve flexibility] are just quick, short lateral movements, [for which] you have maybe a box or something on each side and you’re stepping up just to where you’re stretching the hip out. At the same time, you’re strengthening it. When a game comes around, you don’t have that box there, but you’re quicker, because you’ve been working on sliding side to side.
Matt Wieters was a first-round draft pick for the Baltimore Orioles in 2007.