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Monday, June 1, 2020

Sean Doolittle raves about benefits of using bullpen cart

Virtually no relievers have used the newly-available bullpen cart to enter the game, but the practice may well have one high-profile convert after Thursday night.

Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle became only the second pitcher in baseball to enlist the services of the cart against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he plans to do it again, feeling it actually helped him.

“A lot of times for me, controlling my breath, controlling my energy, is so important,” Doolittle said, via Mark Zuckerman of MASN. “And when you run in from a bullpen … I spend my eight or nine warmup pitches trying to slow my breath down, and not really getting that much out of the pitches. And here, I had less time when I got on the mound. I had 1 minute, 13 seconds. I looked up. But I wasn’t out of breath. My heart rate was up, just from throwing out in the pen. But I was in a better spot, energy-wise, I thought. So I loved it.

“I think there‚Äôs a practical thing to it. People are making a big deal out of it, and I’m like: ‘Why would I not conserve my energy before going into a game, in the biggest moment? Why would I not?’ I’ve been advocating for bullpen carts for a few years. I think they’re a good idea. I think there’s a practical application for them. So I had an opportunity to try it out, and I think it was great.”

The Diamondbacks were the first team to bring the cart back, and a few teams have followed, but they’ve seen virtually no use so far. Perhaps other players will take note of Doolittle’s praise and start a pro-cart revolution throughout the league.

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