The key behind Rays’ Ji-Man Choi’s shocking flexibility

Ji-Man Choi’s consideration to element in attempting to change into a greater participant contains pilates.

The Rays first baseman carried out a break up in fielding a throw on Mookie Betts’ grounder to start Recreation 3 of the World Collection on Friday. A day later he defined the key to such flexibility, which has been on show all through the season.

“Pilates through the offseason,” Choi mentioned by an interpreter earlier than the Rays confronted the Dodgers in Recreation 4 of the World Collection in Arlington, Texas.

Choi, a former Yankee, mentioned his flexibility developed naturally, as a byproduct of attempting to catch the ball on the earliest level potential.

“Extra follow with that I feel has helped me with my flexibility,” he mentioned. “Lots of people assume I’m a gymnast as a substitute of baseball participant, however I feel that may be a credit score to all of the work I’ve executed all through the offseason and in follow.

“The pliability is the important thing half in any sport, so I strive my greatest to attempt to stretch earlier than getting on the sphere. I feel that has helped me to get extra flexibility because the time went on.”

Ji-Man ChoiAP

The Rays are nonetheless ready for Choi’s bat to warmth up after he helped carry the group within the ALDS and ALCS, towards the Yankees and Astros, respectively.

Coming into Saturday, he was solely 1-for-7 within the collection, however that Recreation 2 hit was noteworthy: Choi turned the primary Korean participant with successful within the World Collection.

“It’s an honor to be the primary Korean-born place participant to be within the World Collection,” Choi mentioned. “I feel extra vital is being on this stage with this group of men, particularly with what we needed to undergo this 12 months with all of the pandemic stuff. If it wasn’t for our gamers’ dedication and exhausting work, I wouldn’t be on this stage.”

Kenley Jansen hit 95 mph in his ninth-inning look on Friday, reassuring Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts the right-hander’s points from latest weeks have subsided. Jansen’s fastball had dipped into the mid-80s late within the season.

“It’s good to listen to it wasn’t bodily, it was form of supply, which resonated with me,” Roberts mentioned.

Randy Arozarena blasted a solo homer towards Jansen, who was pitching for the primary time in 5 days. Roberts was requested if he considers Jansen, who entered in a non-save scenario, as his nearer. Roberts would solely say Jansen is amongst his choices for “high-leverage” conditions.

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