ST. PETERSBURG -- Tom Brookens is one of the Major League coaches who believes in regular throwing work for his outfielders, despite the disappearance of infield and outfield practice from most teams' daily routine. Austin Jackson's throw home to nab the would-be tying run in Detroit's win against the Indians on Sunday is a good example of why.
It was probably the best throw of Jackson's brief Major League career, not just because of the situation, but for the accuracy under pressure. It wasn't something Brookens can claim they worked on that day, but it's something they've discussed.
Jackson usually doesn't get that much air on a throw, mainly to give the cutoff man a chance to get an out at another base if there's a realistic chance. That wasn't a concern on Sunday.
"We talked about in a situation like that, making a throw all the way in the air," Brookens said. "You want to fly it in there as hard as you can. He just made a real good play."
He made a play outfielders don't normally get to practice. While outfielders can practice throws to other bases during batting practice, they obviously can't throw home then. Those usually take place during early work, which Brookens says they'll normally do once a homestand.
Years ago, back when teams had dedicated infield practice before every game, outfield throws would be part of it.
"When I played, we took infield almost every day and outfielders threw almost every day," Brookens said. "Now, you've got to come out early to do it."