TEMPE, Ariz. -- Many around the Angels will say that players came into camp this spring in better shape than they have in a while, and there's a pretty good reason for that.
For the first time, the organization has hired a nutritionist.
Her name is Becci Twombley. She's been serving as director of sports nutrition at USC for the last year and a half, after spending the previous five years at UCLA. The Angels consulted with Twombley this offseason and added her to the staff as a dietitian and nutritionist for the 2014 season.
"We have no doubt she'll change the way we eat, the way we prepare, the way we take care of ourselves, the ability of the player to stay in peak condition through the course of the season," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "The athlete in today's game is wired so much differently in a high-performance-type way, and diet and nutrition makes a big difference."
Twombley has set up menus for Angels players in Major League camp and at the Minor League complex. Over the offseason, she visited with some personally to discuss how they eat, while strength and conditioning specialist T.J. Harrington traveled to work with several players on their conditioning.
"We did a more efficient job of staying in touch with our players, giving them goals from a conditioning perspective, weight perspective," Dipoto said. "They all had targets, they all hit their targets, they all stayed diligent to their program because we helped them manage it. That's the first time that we've done that, and I think it's been very effective."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.