Another Woman Hurler Steps Up

Justine Siegal, RHP (AP Photo)

Regular readers of DirtDog Baseball may remember my article from just a year ago on Japanese knuckleballer Eri Yoshida who was the first woman to play professional baseball in the United States.

It must be a sure sign of Spring, because this year the story is about Justine Siegal of Springfield, Mass. who became the first woman to pitch batting practice in MLB Spring Training camp today. Siegal threw to the Cleveland Indians at their Cactus Leage facility in Goodyear, Arizona and earned plenty of kudos all around from both managers and players.

A Cleveland native and life-long fan of the Indians, Siegal is accustomed to breaking through the gender barrier in baseball, having previously coached at both college and professional levels: She was the first woman first base coach in professional baseball with the Brockton Rox (Independent League) in 2009. She also was the only woman college baseball coach in the country when Assistant Coach at Springfield College from 2007-10. 

Siegal attended the recent offseason General Manager’s meetings and asked for a chance to throw in Spring Training. Indians GM Chris Antonetti gave her the opportunity of a lifetime. A right-handed hurler at 36 years old, she has plenty of heat for batting practice and uses a curveball out-pitch when it counts.

The next MLB team to face Siegal will be the Oakland Athletics on this coming Wednesday. Good luck to ’em, Nuf Ced!

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Off-Season Rehab Throwing Program Stage #5

Stage #5 (Preparation for Bullpens):

First Session (Arm prep)

Start session with drills to warm-up. Also use resistance bands.

Warmups at 30 feet: 5 throws facing partner, 5 scap pinch throws, 5 slow follow-thru, 10 one knee.

20 throws at 45 feet: Alternating figure eights and wide-strides.

20 throws at 60 feet: Alternating step-behinds to balance and cross-overs.



Second Session (Long Toss)

Start session with drills to warm-up. Also use resistance bands.

Warmups at 30 feet: 5 throws facing partner, 5 scap pinch throws, 5 slow follow-thru.

10 throws at 45 feet: Alternating figure eights and step-backs. (WIDE stride on figure eights and LONG stride on step-backs w/ stride leg staying on ground).

6 throws at 60 feet: Step-behinds to balance.

10 throws at 90 feet: 3-steps back per throw drill.

10 throws at 120 feet: Simulated ground ball to aggressive front side

10 as far as you can throw it: Simulated ground ball to aggressive front side.

1 throw at each distance coming in: Focus on leading with the logo on the front of your shoe and not “flying open” with that front side. Maintain side profile until landing front foot at last second with hip rotation.

6 nice and easy throws from 60 feet on flat ground: Work on mechanics (Full coil, back leg push-off and maintain side profile until landing front foot at last second with hip rotation).

Note on driving out and down the mound:

  • Push off the rubber at peak leg lift (when the side of the pivot
    foot is against the rubber) with a small, sideways push performed by the hip abductor to initiate movement. This will create momentum while the hip is still closed.

Finish with sleeper stretch and forearm stretch.