SAN FRANCISCO -- The thought of Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner working out harder is akin to the notion of Michael Jordan selling more shoes. It's excess upon excess.When asked Friday, however, whether he exercised with greater intensity or frequency this offseason, Bumgarner said "both" -- a response that should comfort
SAN FRANCISCO -- The thought of Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner working out harder is akin to the notion of Michael Jordan selling more shoes. It's excess upon excess.
When asked Friday, however, whether he exercised with greater intensity or frequency this offseason, Bumgarner said "both" -- a response that should comfort anybody who's affiliated with or cares about the ballclub.
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Bumgarner proved long ago that diligence equals success. His record total of 52 2/3 postseason innings in 2014, capped by a Game 5 shutout of Kansas City and five scoreless innings of relief three days later, thrilled purists who recalled when starting pitchers were also the finishing pitchers.
For Bumgarner to condition his body thoroughly would be expected. For Bumgarner to try to outdo himself might test the limits of reality.
"I always worked hard, but if there's anything I would say I did differently was maybe [I] worked a little harder this year," said Bumgarner, who's among the Giants scheduled to appear at Saturday's FanFest at AT&T Park. "I feel as good as I've ever felt, as strong as I've ever felt. I'm really excited to get started."
The 28-year-old looked leaner than his listed weight of 250 pounds.
"He looks as trim and fit as I can remember," catcher Buster Posey said. "Knowing him as long as I have, it doesn't surprise me. I watch him all year. He's constantly trying to perfect his craft."
Bumgarner was far from perfect in 2017. He sprained his throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs in a dirt-bike accident on a scheduled off-day in Denver last April 20. Those injuries sidelined Bumgarner for three months and precipitated his 4-9 record, which contrasted sharply with the 100-67 mark he took into the season.
Bumgarner denied that seeking redemption from his subpar season was the reason he redoubled his workout regimen, however.
"I don't know what the reason was," said Bumgarner, whose routine encompassed running, weightlifting, Pilates and yoga. "There was a little extra motivation. I don't know if it was because of the year, because of the injury, because of the team that we have this year. Probably a combination of sorts. I asked myself that question this winter, actually, but I never did find an answer."
Bumgarner had a ready response when asked about his contract status. He's working under what could be one of the most club-friendly pacts in the free-agency era, an agreement that pays him $12 million this year and next. Meanwhile, less-accomplished pitchers are getting richer than Bumgarner, who's the 11th-highest paid Giant.
Bumgarner treated the subject as if it were another sprint to run or dumbbell to hoist. He dispensed with it quickly, leaving no room for worry.
"I signed my deal knowing that I wanted to outperform [it]. I always want to outperform it," said Bumgarner, who signed the extension when he had less than two years of Major League service time. "No matter if it's $40 million a year, I want to outperform it."
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.