GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Christian alum Kurt Hoekstra was in his fifth spring training with the Atlanta Braves, but it was his first time as a non-roster invitee.
"I was in a pretty good spot," Hoekstra said about spring training, "I felt ready to go and wanted to make a good impression. I felt like I spent a lot of time in the offseason to get ready."
Unfortunately, Hoekstra only faced eleven batters before Major League Baseball suspended the spring due to COVID-19.
"This whole thing has been pretty crazy," he added. "I was frustrated at first but I can't do anything about it. Nobody has any answers to anything, I'm just trying to stay positive and stay ready for whenever they tell us to head back down."
And it's not easy staying in baseball shape with gyms and training facilities all closed but Hoekstra is doing what he can.
"It's tough, I try to get outside and do some running and some body weight, workout type circuits. It doesn't compare to being in a weight room, but just trying to do what I can to stay in shape."
The Western Michigan alum is coming off of a career year in the minor leagues, posting a 1.81 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 64.2 innings.
"I know what last year was like for me and I was blessed for how good it went. I know anything can still happen this year, I know that it was going to be a big year and I was ready for it," he added.
These are unfortunate times for everyone and Hoekstra, like many others, is still searching for answers.
"I still don't know how to prepare for what's next because we don't know when games will start or how many games there will be. There's a big piece of my life that is missing right now," Hoekstra said.