Day 2 of Phillies Spring Training 2017

The clouds started rolling in this morning but we were able to get a full day of spring training in before the rain came.

It was an eventful day. We saw the pitchers warming up then went to the stadium to watch batting practice. Then we returned to the Carpenter Complex in time to catch the catchers take BP then do pop-up drills.

Baseball Ross and I put together a rather extensive video of today’s activities, you can watch it HERE.

The best picture of the day is when Logan Moore ran into the fence right in front of me during pop-up practice. You can see it in the video above and of course, I keep shooting when he did. This is what I got:

Logan Moore
Logan Moore

Below you will find some more stills from the day:

Dylan Cozens
Dylan Cozens
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Andrew Pullin
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Brock Stassi
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Roman Quinn
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Odubel Hererra
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Tommy Joseph
Cameron Perkins
Cameron Perkins
Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery
Rhys Hoskins and Scott Kingery
Ryan Hanigan almost runs into the pitching machine.
Ryan Hanigan almost runs into the pitching machine.
Andrew Knapp
Andrew Knapp
Cameron Rupp
Cameron Rupp
Jorge Alfaro
Jorge Alfaro
Chace Numata
Chace Numata

First Day of Spring Training 2017

I woke up this morning excited as if it was Christmas morning, but it wasn’t Christmas morning, it was the first day of Spring Training.

Baseball Ross and I did a vlog to give you an over view of the day including photos and videos. You can watch it HERE.

Below you will find some of the pictures I took today:

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The new Richie Ashburn Mural at the Carpenter Complex
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The new Steve Carlton Mural at the Carpenter Complex
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The new Mike Schmidt mural at the Carpenter Complex
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The new Robin Robertsmural at the Carpenter Complex
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Rhys Hoskins
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Cord Sandberg
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Mitch Walding
spectrum
While the large stadium signs have yet to change, some of the smaller signs show the rebranding of Brighthouse to Spectrum Field.
spectrum
While the large stadium signs have yet to change, some of the smaller signs show the rebranding of Brighthouse to Spectrum Field.
Bryan Holaday, Cameron Rupp and Chase Numata
Bryan Holaday, Cameron Rupp and Chase Numata
Drew Anderson
Drew Anderson
Elniery Garcia
Elniery Garcia
Alberto Tirado
Alberto Tirado
Hector Neris
Hector Neris
Clay Buchholz
Clay Buchholz
Ben Lively
Ben Lively

The 2017 Philadelphia Phillies Major League Spring Training Roster

The 2017 Philadelphia Phillies Major League Spring Training roster was released today. I am including a copy for you.

The 2017 Phillies MLB Spring Training Roster
The 2017 Phillies MLB Spring Training Roster

Phillies Come Back to Win 8-4-Photos from the Game

This has been a tough spring. My foot injury kept me from going to any Phillies games until today, the last game. On the plus side, the ticket was FREE, so there’s that.

I have to be honest, I really didn’t feel like I was missing much, I love the minor league teams. Those guys are playing every game as it could be their last. Especially after the last round of cuts, it’s obvious that it COULD be their last. They play every game, every play. For many it’s not a job, it’s a passion. There’s something beautiful in that, something simple.

I did enjoy seeing the Phanatic:

Phanatic
Phanatic
I got to see Roman Quinn and Angelo Mora get the end of spring training awards:

Angelo Mora and Roman Quinn get the end of spring training awards.
Angelo Mora and Roman Quinn get the end of spring training awards.
Jeremy Hellickson pitched:

Jeremy Hellickson
Jeremy Hellickson
Peter Bourjos led off:

Peter Bourjos
Peter Bourjos
Then, in order:

Cesar Hernandez
Cesar Hernandez

Maikel Franco
Maikel Franco

Darin Ruf
Darin Ruf

Cameron Rupp
Cameron Rupp

Andres Blanco
Andres Blanco

Tyler Goeddel
Tyler Goeddel

Will Venable
Will Venable

Jeremy Hellickson
Jeremy Hellickson
As it was 0-0 when we needed to leave.  I was feeling like it was ok, that I wasn’t going to miss anything, I mean nothing happened the first time through the line up.

Baseball Ross and I wanted to stop by Carpenter to see some of the minor leaguers, there’s still a few I need to get pictures of…so we started walking. (Well he walked and I hobbled.) By the time we got over there, the Phillies were losing to the Astros 3-0. We sighed and settled in to watching the young ones….

Next thing I knew my phone started going nuts and the Phillies came back to win, 8-4. I guess this is a lesson…I leave, the Phillies win. You’re welcome Phillies fans!

 

 

Day 5 Spring Training 2016

Today was beautiful, it was 79 and sunny. It was almost hot with how intense the sun was, but if the weatherman is right, by Thursday we will be missing it as it’s expected to only 61.

So I found a few places in the sun and observed today’s action:

 

Coach Ernie Witt talks with Logan Moore and Cameron Rupp

 
Edubray Ramos in a pitching drill

  
Pitcher Jimmy Cordero covers first

 
Aaron Nola
 

 

Chris Leroux
 
 
Brock Stassi practices at first on the half field
 

JP Crawford takes practice on the half field

 
Newcomer Angelys Nina during infield practice on the half field
 

  

Mike Schmidt (red hat with neck cover) and Charlie Manuel (in red windbreaker) watch JP Crawford hit

  

Pete Mackanin comes in to watch BP
Roman Quinn takes the field to shag flies during BP

 

Odubel Herrerra

With that, that’s all from sunny Clearwater. Back at it tomorrow.
  

Day 2 of Spring Training 2016

Today was a beautiful as yesterday. Highs in the 70s, tons of sun-just a picture postcard kind of day.

Pitchers and catchers did drills and had batting practice. There’s not much you can say, but the pictures tell the story:

 Pop-up drills: the focus was to get rid of the mask and then catch the ball:

Carlos Ruiz

Andrew Knapp

  

Gabriel Lino
  
Cameron Rupp
  

Logan Moore

  

The catchers also had batting practice:

 

Jorge Alfaro

  
Carlos Ruiz

Pitchers did fielding drills:

 

Jimmy Cordero

  
Andrew Bailey

 Later in the afternoon some of the minor league players took the field as well:

 

Zach Green
 
Roman Quinn

  

Carlos Alonso
  
  

For me, the highlight was seeing Carlos Alonso back on the field, seemingly none the worse for his devastating knee injury. 

Day Five of Spring Training 2015

Today was one of those day where there wasn’t a lot of things that were out of the ordinary going on. Pitchers and catchers took batting practice, did drills and ran. Position players took batting practice and did fielding drills. Ryan Howard reportedly was at Brighthouse taking batting practice, but we did not make it over there Later in the afternoon, there was some workouts/long tossing by the minor leaguers that have reported early.

I think that sometimes a picture can speak more than a lot of esoteric comments on what is going on. So I present some pictures….

 

Baseball Ross snapped this pic of Tommy Joseph whom Ross said was looking good.
Baseball Ross snapped this pic of Tommy Joseph whom Ross said was looking good.
Cameron Rupp during batting practice
Cameron Rupp during batting practice
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Major League pitchers running.
I got to see new Phillie, Aaron Harang
I got to see new Phillie, Aaron Harang
Jesse Biddle
Jesse Biddle
Ray Burris offered Cameron Rupp words of encouragement
Ray Burris offered Cameron Rupp words of encouragement

 

It is the Spring of my Discontent

To paraphrase Steinbeck (and badly at that), it is the spring of my discontent. I love baseball, I do, but I’m so frustrated with it, so discontent.

There’s so many reasons…almost too many to count, but I’ll try.

1. The injury bug bit early, often and viciously. Roman Quinn, Jiwan James, Cole Hamels, Ethan Martin, Cameron Rupp, Kelly Dugan, Tommy Joseph, Mitch Walding, Adam Morgan, Hugo Arrocha, Josh Warner, Steven Inch, Nic Hanson, Chase Numata, Cory Bass, Darin Ruf, Rivar Angulo, Delvy Francisco, Mike Adams, Chris Bootcheck, Yoel Mecias, Anthony Phillips, Colin Klevin, Hoby Milner, Ryan Demmin, Aaron Altherr, Larry Greene, Zach Green, Brandon Short, Drew Anderson, Freddy Galvis, Andres Blanco and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. These are the guys I can think of right off the top of my head! While some of them have returned or are scheduled to return, there are still others that have no timeframe for return.

2. It’s barely a month into the season and Tyson Gillies was suspended for three games for destroying a bat rack in the clubhouse. To me this is a symptom of a larger problem, both with Gillies and the entire system. Gillies is developing a reputation as a guy with anger management issues. Another example happened just two weeks ago here in Florida. Kevin Walter was unhappy with the way things were going during a game in Tampa. He left the field, stormed into the locker room behind the dugout and from where I was sitting I could hear him swearing and a loud thump as if something was either thrown or a table tipped over. Just after that another Thresher player came out of the locker room with a worried look on his face. He stopped another player from going into the locker room saying “You DON’T want to go in there!”

It also is a symptom of how players (and fans) are frustrated with the lack of production and success in the organization. (Read on to number 3 for an example.)

3. The lack of wins. The records speak for themselves:

Phillies 13-12
Iron Pigs 11-13
Fightins 11-10
Threshers 5-19
Lakewood 7-16

Of the five teams currently playing in the organization, only TWO are above .500 and both of those teams are only ONE GAME over.

4. Misusing players. I have a prime example of this and it’s the one that had me totally stymied. Last season, there was only ONE Gold Glove winner in the entire Phillies system, Carlos Alonso. Carlos played 2nd for the Threshers and only made TWO errors all YEAR. ALL YEAR. He was promoted to Reading (and rightly so) and where did they have this Gold Glove winning second baseman play? Third and THE OUTFIELD! Really?!? REALLY?!? I’d have loved to sit in on the coaches meeting where they thought up that gem.

5. Bad umpiring. Last night was the end-all, be-all of bad calls. If you read my Twitter feed last night, you could tell how I was seething. The Threshers had been losing (again) and had battled back and had the winning run was at the plate. Pete Lavin had homered earlier in the game to spark the comeback and had come close to a second homer after that. Lavin came to the plate and Bright House Field was buzzing with anticipation. One foul, two fouls, three fouls, four fouls, it was easy to see that Lavin was pushing hard to be the hero. On the final call he checked his swing and from where Ross and I were sitting (and I later confirmed with another season ticket holder with another point of view) we did NOT see him break his wrists and the bat head did not cross the plate. The home plate ump called him out and didn’t even call the base ump to confirm! The game was over! Lavin was livid. If you know Pete, you know he rarely says anything to an ump, he’s fairly laid back. Last night, Lavin walked after the ump to discuss the call. The ump just walked away.

At that point, Nelson Prada got involved. When he started he seemed more in disbelief that the home plate ump didn’t even check with the base ump. I was just turning to leave when I heard Prada go ballistic! (While I am “censoring” this he used the full words) “That’s F*ing BS! That’s a F*ing BS call!”

I have to say, I was right there with Prada. While I’ve been known to occasionally heckle an ump and sitting behind home is great for that, I do not swear. There’s kids and it’s just not “proper”. Last night was the closest I’ve ever come to losing my cool and joining Prada with F-bombing the ump. My blood boiled! To end a game on a bogus call and not even check with the base ump when the winning run was at the plate was just bogus. I was so frustrated and angry. It took me a good hour after the game to cool off. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry at a game.

I must admit I’m still sort of angry, angry and discontent enough that if Ethan Stewart and Colin Kelvin (returning from the DL) were not pitching today and tomorrow, I wouldn’t go.

If you want to see me try to decide if I’ll go tonight, watch this video, it’s pretty accurate as to how I’m feeling…

Starting Thursday, the Threshers are on the road, so I’ll get a break then, but man, I’ll be dragging myself in tonight. It’ll almost be like trying to drag myself into work on a “Monday morning”.

Let’s hope that Stewart and Kleven use this misfortune as a jumping off point so that we do not end the first month of the season with only 5 wins. If they do, we would be on pace to go 25-115 (assuming they’d continue with winning 5 games a month).

Rosters Released and Player Releases

It looks like the rosters have been released for all the Phillies minor league teams. Here’s the links:

Lakewood BlueClaws

Clearwater Threshers NOTE: as of publication time they have NOT updated the roster on their website

Reading Fightin’ Phils

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

And finally, according to Baseball America, the following players were released:
RHP Zach Cooper, RHP Colby Shreve, RHP Mike Stutes, LHP Kyler Burke, LHP Nick Hernandez, C Justin Dalles, C Josh Ludy, C Bob Stumpo, 2B Sam Dove, 2B Jim Negrych, 3B Logan Pierce, SS Ronny Cedeno, OF Bobby Abreu

So there you have it.

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My End of Season Top 10 Prospects in the Phillies’ System

Baseball Ross and I have lived in Clearwater for the last two years. We moved here specifically for the baseball. From Spring Training, to Extended Spring Training, to Gulf Coast League, to the Fall Instructional League and the Florida State League Clearwater Threshers, there’s a lot of baseball to see.

For the ten prospects on the list, they are players I have watched and am excited to see progress.

  
1.  Cody Asche. Recently called up to the majors, he has always been a guy that we’ve had our eyes on. He’s a solid third baseman and has the numbers to back that claim. We watched him most of last season with the Threshers before he was moved up to Reading.

  
2. Maikel Franco. He started the season here in Clearwater before moving to Reading. He plays third and what we like about him is that he has soft hands. He will field the ball, taking time to catch it, then will fire it with laser-like precision. He can also hit the long ball.

  
3. Jesse Biddle. This much-touted southpaw certainly has what it takes. During a game in April that we watched on MiLB.tv, he racked up sixteen strike outs in seven innings against Harrisburg. He also lead the Eastern League in strike outs at the all-star break.

  
4. Severino Gonzalez. He’s moved around a lot this season, Extended Spring Training, Lakewood and Clearwater. Gonzalez has been both a reliever and a starter this season and been successful no matter when he’s pitched.

  
5. Kelly Dugan. He started the season on the disabled list but has come back to amaze. He has a bat that most people notice, but what impressed me was his arm. I saw him catch a ball deep in right field and fire it to third with pinpoint accuracy. No bounce.

6. JP Crawford. A first round draft pick this year, he’s already shown why. He started in the Gulf Coast League and has already leap-frogged over Williamsport to Lakewood. This 18 year old short stop was hitting as high as .380 before being sent to Lakewood last week.
  
7. Cameron Rupp. Rupp played in Clearwater last season, started this year in Reading and has already moved up to Lehigh Valley. He’s a solid back stop. He hits and is a great defensive player. While he may not be the replacement for Ruiz next year, could he be a solid back up for the Big Team?

  
8. Roman Quinn. This shortstop had an on-base percentage of .669 and 32 stolen bases before being sidelined by a broken left wrist. He’s one of the fastest players we’ve even seen. While he’s been a little error-prone, his speed more than makes up for it.

Cameron Perkins
Cameron Perkins
9. Cameron Perkins. He is a solid outfielder with a very strong arm and bat. He was hit by a pitch during a game and suffered a broken wrist. He’s returned to the team though he is just getting his timing back and looks to finish the season strong.

10. Kenny Giles. This reliever is one to watch. Last season, we saw him hit 101 on the speed gun in Dunedin. While not quite as fast after his injury this year, he still has a fast ball that just can’t be hit.

Honorable Mention:

  
Hobby Milner-This Threshers pitcher is one to watch. He’s one pitcher we will go out of our way to see. After his first three starts of the season, he’s become one of the most consistent pitchers. With 11 wins and is tied for the most wins in the Florida State League.

Finally, our ‘Unsung Hero’ award would go to Carlos Alonso. Alonso is spending his second year in Clearwater. He’s one guy that we truly admire, we can’t think of another player who plays as hard, every single play. He’s a solid second baseman who has only had two errors all season. He also has a knack for getting on base, drawing walks and scoring runs.

Carlos Alonso posing with me after signing his jersey for me.
Carlos Alonso posing with me after signing his jersey for me.