It’s a Sad Day, Threshers’ Fan Favorite Chad Carman Released

I was rather shocked when I read the transactions list this evening to see that Threshers catcher Chad Carman was released.

He is a solid defensive catcher who wasn’t given a chance to play in a regular rotation, though he did catch for one of Cole Hamels’ rehab appearances in Clearwater. That’s him in the picture at the top of the page.

I got to know Chad or “Charmin Carman” by his Twitter handle, last summer when he was here on rehab from the Blue Claws after breaking his thumb. He’s a sweet guy who worked hard and always took time with fans young and old.

Because he was so friendly, or “Charmin” he quickly became a favorite of Threshers fans. I hope he knows we’ll miss him. I know I’ll remain a fan no matter where he ends up.

One would suspect that he was released to make room for Andrew Knapp who’s also a catcher, however he’s returning from an injury and so far, we have not seen him catch in extended spring training. He’s been the DH, but not catcher.

Another roster move was Threshers outfielder Justin Parr, who was sent to extended spring training. He’s had a tough time at the plate this year but I’ve respected his hustle and effort.

Threshers DH Willie Carmona was also
reactivated from the “temporarily inactive” list.

Spring Training Ends and the Season Finale of The Walking Dead

As spring training comes to a close, tonight is also the season ending episode of The Walking Dead. Coincidence?

Despite having some talent in the farm system, Ruben Amaro, Jr. has insisted upon drawing from his pool of walkers, I mean The Walking Dead, sorry, maturely-aged veterans. He’s given several players over 30 long-term contracts and acquired others over the age of thirty that were released by their previous teams.

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The age factor is most obviously illustrated by the latest player photos that were released today. Take Chase Utley for example:

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The one exception to the deader is better, I mean seasoned-veterans are better rule is Cody Asche. Two years ago, I had the pleasure watching him play here in Clearwater and now he’s in the Show. He was given a chance out of necessity and he’s stepped up.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather lose games because of a young guy’s learning curve rather than because Amaro keeps acquiring players over the age of 30. Statistics show that the prime baseball years are 27-30 so why does Amaro keep acquiring players or extending the ones he has long past their expiration date? There are exceptions to the age/expiration date, like Mariano Rivera as a reliever, that is a position that allows for that…but when’s the last time we had a player that was an exception instead of the rule?

The Phillies did not score in their last three GAMES. Then again it’s spring training and like team leader Jimmy Rollins said, “Who cares?”

I do, or did. I’m so frustrated with the state of things, that I now root for players, not the team. I’ll root for Cody Asche and pitcher Mario Hollands, both of whom I’ve watched progress. Both are young, the FUTURE of the team, not the walking dead of today.

I hope I’m wrong…dead wrong.

 

Grullon Gets ‘Em Out!

Today was one of those days when I happened to be in the right place at just the right time. Usually, unless you take several hundred pictures a game you never get that one magical moment captured.

Today, Baseball Ross and I spent the early afternoon at the Phillies game. Afterwards, we meandered to the Carpenter Complex to see what was going on.

I made it back to Roberts Field to watch Deivi Grullon catch…and make a stunningly great play at the plate. I think it was one of the best plays I’ve seen up close…and I got it all on “film”!

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What an amazing play! Sometimes you get lucky and capture it, it’s like catching lightning in a bottle…and I love it!

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Final Workout Group Posting

Here it is…

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ARM–Another Ruben Mistake?

As someone who had faithfully followed Phillies baseball for a decade and knowing some of the players eight years, you get attached to them, invested in their progress. You watch them progress and succeed and get oh so close to catching their dream.

Two years ago, I wrote about Derrick Mitchell and how excited we were that he had gotten a chance to play with the big team ( you can read that blog HERE) and how all had hoped that at the worst, he’d end up a September call up. That didn’t happen. It didn’t happen last year either. During the off season, Derrick signed with the Braves and guess what? After being in camp a few WEEKS (he reported to the minor league camp)they have given him a shot in the big game. He pinch-ran, then hit a sac-fly RBI in the seventh. Not too bad! A mistake by Amaro.

Seth Rosin, RHP, was with us last year. He was solid but the Phillies didn’t protect him and we lost him during the Rule 5 draft. He’s now on the 25-man roster with the Dodgers. Another Ruben Mistake.

Tuffy Gosewisch was a good catcher with a lot of promise, but apparently the Phillies didn’t think so as they traded him to the Diamondbacks for a half-used stick of pine tar. Gosewisch has joined Rosin in Australia and has also made the Diamondbacks 25-man roster. Another Ruben Mistake.

What do these three guys have in common? They weren’t given a look by the Phillies and have gone on to find success with other teams. More importantly, these are the ones we can think of just off the top of our heads.

How many times can the Phillies do this? I just keep thinking, ARM, Another Ruben Mistake. Maybe Amaro forgets that three strikes and you’re out. Mitchell-Strike One, Rosin-Strike Two, Gosewisch-Strike Three—you’re outta here…well we can wisch.

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(Original phot from fightinforphilly.com edits are mine)>

Times They Are A’Changin’–But Without New Group Lists

While there have been cuts the last two days at the Phillies camp, you’d never know it if you looked at the group lists they are handing out that were dated 3/10.

I was sad to see Lou Marson let go (again)…only to have the Phils pick up a 30-year-old catcher that had cut off three fingers and a thumb in a freak table-saw accident. Granted the digits were reattached…ETA Koyie Hill’s story about nearly losing his fingers can be read HERE

Hilton Richardson whom I wrote about last week is also gone. Additionally: Braden Shull LHP, RHP Geoff Broussard, Karl Galinas and OF Jonathan Knight.

Baseball Ross and I will check again for a new workgroup sheet tomorrow…hopefully no one else will be gone by then. I know it’s “the nature of the beast” but that doesn’t make it any easier.

If I Were Jimmy Rollins, I Wouldn’t Make Ryne Sandberg Mad

You know, two years ago Ross happened to be at a spring training game where Ryne Sandberg lost his temper. It happened after two of our guys were hit by pitches by the pirates.

To me, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of an angry Sandberg, if you don’t believe me, watch the video. Please note that there is profanity. You can click HERE to go to the blog and see the video.

May be J Roll should keep this in mind the next time he might tick off Ryno.

A Tale of Two Balls

Sitting around the Carpenter Complex like I do, you see a lot of things. Some things are more memorable than others.

One of my favorite was sitting on a bench and talking with Roman Quinn. He was here at the end of the season last year with his wrist injury and is now rehabbing a new injury to his Achilles’ tendon.

You might think a guy with “swag” in his twitter handle might be a little pretentious, but let me tell you, that is not a word I thought of talking to Roman. He’s a sweet soft spoken guy who’s positivity is amazing considering his bad luck with injuries. He was quite impressive.

He was also kind enough to sign a ball for me.

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The other ball I collected this week has a more “colorful” history. Baseball Ross and I were watching one of the A+ (group 3) scrimmages and Hilton Richardson, a free agent signee who hadn’t played for 2 years, smacked a ball out over the right field fence at Ashburn Field. It bounced out on the macadam and disappeared.

Later when Ross and I were walking to the car I saw it…sunk in the drainage ditch next to the parking lot. It was barely visible above the green gunk but it was there and Ross, being the gentleman he is, carefully retrieved it for me.

It took three days of baking it in the hot car in the Florida sunshine to get it to dry out. It did however, retain the green hue of the algae. I caught up with the glasses wearing Hilton and got it autographed as well.

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I also found Richardson’s hit interesting as hit hit it about the same place that Chase Utley did last year when Chase was here in rehab. (Yes, I have that ball as well, though it stopped short of going in the water.)

Pitchers Delight

This is one of those days where you just can’t be everywhere at once. There were three games going on all at once making it difficult to get the coverage in pictures.

That aside, I did snap a few shots.

Antonio Bastardo started in the game between AAA and AA Phillies teams.

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At the same time on the other side of the complex, Ricky Bielski, a RHP who usually closes started the game and pitched two shutout innings.

And back on Schmidt Field, Ranfi Casimiro was on the mound. Casimiro, an intimidating 6’8″, started a little shaky, but steadily improved through three innings. I overheard two coaches discussing him and they seemed pleased, noting that he had “changed his angle (of his throwing arm) and was looking good.”

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Casimiro seemed pretty happy with his outing, leaving the field with a grin.

All in all, it was a great day for baseball.