Utz works, according to Hammel
CHICAGO — Jason Hammel now has plenty of resources for avoiding cramps in his pitching hand.
Five boxes of Utz potato chips that stood nearly as tall as the sixfoot-six Hammel were in front of his Wrigley Field locker Wednesday morning.
“I have enough to obviously make it through the next 13 to 14 starts,” Hammel quipped.
Under the suggestion of team doctor Stephen Adams, potato chips were recommended to Hammel, who has experienced cramping that has curtailed his workload. Hammel pitched six innings Saturday in a victory over the Texas Rangers and said he ate sea salt and vinegar chips between innings.
“Be careful what you wish for,” said Hammel, who underwent a nutritional overhaul in the off-season. “You are what you eat. I don’t want to get completely wrapped up in this stuff, but it’s awesome.”
Hammel rattled off the benefits of potatoes, which he said provide potassium and carbohydrates.
“It’s not a breakfast or meal of champions, but there are quirky things for everybody,” Hammel said.
The volume of chips overwhelmed Hammel.
“I’m going to pour these into the bathtub when I get home,” he joked.
When it was suggested that beer might be needed to wash down the chips, Hammel immediately rejected that notion.
“We already had troubles with that from the past, so you don’t want to do that,” Hammel said. “No beer and chicken wings.”
Hammel was referring to a 2011 incident in which teammates Jon Lester and John Lackey were among several Boston Red Sox pitchers consuming beer and fried chicken in the clubhouse during games.