Cardinals: Flaherty discusses Kobe Bryant, upcoming season, much more
Jack Flaherty is entering his most important season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He is their clear No. 1 starting pitcher and someone the organization believes can lead their rotation for years to come.
That is why, he said, he made some changes to his nutrition this season, most notably recently teaming up with BODYARMOR. He believes that, combined with his revamped nutrition plan created by people in his inner circle, will help him as baseball jumps from the 60 to 162-game season.
Both Flaherty and the Cardinals are optimistic it help him bounce back from a 4.91 ERA last season. In the days before Opening Day, Flaherty talked to FanSided about his partnership with BODYARMOR, his nutrition plan, his expectations for the season and more.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
What went into your decision to partner with BODYARMOR?
First and foremost, just seeing the list of athletes that they work with. That makes it pretty easy when you see them working with the athletes that they do in different sports. You see that list of names, have the opportunity to join and be part of it, especially with Kobe. He was a big part of my childhood. He was one of my favorite athletes. It’s a pretty easy opportunity to jump at. I pay attention to what goes into my body.
As an athlete, what did Kobe mean to you?
Kobe was my childhood. He was the athlete that I looked up to the most. He was one of the athletes that I watched everything about him, from interviews to games to his movements to the way that he went about his business, on and off the court. You pay attention to all of those things. He was someone that I could look up to and embody his work ethic and attention to detail and the little things that he did.
You mentioned earlier that you pay attention to what goes into your body. What’s your daily health and fitness routine like during the season?
It’s pretty simple. I pay attention to what goes into my body. I try to get a lot of sleep, some days are easier than others with the season works. There’s night games to day games and you’re not going to get as much sleep just by nature of the schedule and getting home late. But sleep is very important. When it comes to my workouts at the field, it’s very diligent and very detail oriented. I don’t really stray away from that. I have my routine and work with the trainers and people that are close in my corner to try and figure out what is going to work best for me. I feel like we’ve been able to do that, but there’s always adjustments to be made.
Speaking of adjustments, have you had to change anything going from 60 to 162 games?
I trust my routine. I trust my process. I trust what we’ve done in the past. What will be interesting is as the season goes on is being able to manage it. Listening to your body and knowing that it was a different year last year and getting back to 162 games. It made this offseason that much more important.
There’s been talk about there being more injuries to pitchers this season because of that jump. Is that something you’re mindful of?
I’m not sure. If you prepare and put your body in the right positions and do all the work you can, you can control what you can control. Injuries happen. I don’t know about there being more. You saw the amount of injuries that happened in a 60-game season because we had to start and stop and start up again. For some teams, it was start, stop, start, stop, start. That’s bigger than anything.
How do you envision incorporating BODYARMOR into your daily routine?
You pay attention to what goes into your body from a hydration perspective. I think it’s going to help with my process and my routine.
You’ve mentioned a few times that you’re mindful of what goes into your body. I know of a couple players that don’t eat or drink dairy. Is that one of the things you do?
I’m not that extreme. There’s different things that you can do and everyone’s bodies are different. There are little things you can test to see if you have little things that may hinder you. There’s always going to be times when you’re not going to make the perfect choice. It’s about making the best choice you can with the information that you have.