Phillies Spring Training Day 5

It was a cold day, that brought rain to shorten the day’s activities. Today was more drills and live batting practice.

You can watch video of the day’s activities on our YouTube Channel by clicking HERE.

Andrew Knapp throws to J.P. Crawford to catch Nick Williams.
Andrew Knapp throws to J.P. Crawford to catch Nick Williams.
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Phillies Spring Training-Day 4

It started as a chilly day and warmed up as the players took the field. The first day of full team practice added the position players to the mix as well as some additional minor leaguers.

You can watch our video below to see players such as Mark Lieter, Jr, Aaron Altherr, Michael Mariot, Elniery Garcia, Freddy Galvis, Odubel Hererra, Brock Stassi, Tyler Viza, Caleb Eldridge, Roman Quinn, Miguel Nunez, Rhys Hoskins,  Alberto Tirado and Jeff Singer. To watch the video, click HERE.

Dylan Cozens hits a homer over the brand new Robin Roberts scoreboard.
Dylan Cozens hits a homer over the brand new Robin Roberts scoreboard.

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

Spring Training 2016 Begins

For the casual fan, the first day of pitchers and catchers isn’t the most exciting. They come out and spend about half an hour stretching then break into work groups and go to different fields with different coaches.

  
Then the coaches talk for about another twenty minutes (this is done somewhere on the field so fans can’t hear) and after that, they begin practicing. The first few days, they only pantomime throwing.

 

Aaron Nola during drills
 
Watching drills (especially when you’ve been doing this 7+ years) can get a little boring so Baseball Ross and I walked over to Bright House to watch position players take batting practice.

On the half field next to the stadium, Darin Ruf, Freddy Galvis and Andres Blanco were doing infield drills:

 

Darin Ruf at first
  
Freddy Galvis at second
  
Andres Blanco at third
 
Once inside, we saw:

 

  

Aaron Altherr
  
Brock Stassi takes one deep during BP
  

  

Cody Asche
  
Roman Quinn and JP Crawford

  
Roman Quinn
  
Andres Blanco and Freddy Galvis

  
Nick Williams and JP Crawford

The weather was the best in recent memory. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

It’s the Freddy Galvis Show

Freddy Galvis is the man of the hour. With the Jimmy Rollins trade, Galvis has been the one to watch…and it seems that everyone IS watching. For Galvis, he seems to be putting on a how-to clinic and showing he deserves the starting role.

Below, hitting instructor Mike Schmidt offers pointers as Galvis enters the batting cage.

Mike Schmidt offers Freddy Galvis Hitting advice as Galvis enters the batting cage
Mike Schmidt offers Freddy Galvis Hitting advice as Galvis enters the batting cage
Freddy Galvis relaxes for a moment while awaiting fly balls
Freddy Galvis relaxes for a moment while awaiting fly balls

When I say everyone has their eyes on Galvis, I mean everyone in the Phillies’ front office as shown below where they are watching Galvis during infield drills.

Ruben Amaro (black hat), Ed Wade (white hat), Charlie Kerfeld (red hoodie), Dallas Green (white brimmed hat) and Pat Gillick (red hat) look on as Galvis puts on a show
Ruben Amaro (black hat), Ed Wade (white hat), Charlie Kerfeld (red hoodie), Dallas Green (white brimmed hat) and Pat Gillick (red hat) look on as Galvis puts on a show

Galvis

Galvis

Galvis

Galvis

Like the star of the show, Galvis even signed autographs. You see, last spring a friend of mine came a cross a bat of Galvis’ that had been discarded since it was broken. My friend knew what a baseball fan I am so he rescued it and I returned home from a Spring Training game last season to find it gleaming in the late afternoon sun on my front porch. So today, I took my very first game used bat to the field with the goal of getting it signed.

After Galvis finished batting, I asked if he could sign before he went to the outfield…he said he’d get me when he was finished, however, he was called to the half field to practice in front of the brass so he could not return.

Later, Baseball Ross saw him over at the Carpenter Complex taking bunting practice, again in front of the brass, so I trotted over there. When he was done, he saw me and came over. I have to say this is one of the most meticulous autographs I’ve ever gotten and I am so appreciative that he did such a great job.

Freddy Galvis Bat

 

To put the proverbial cherry on my “sundae”, I happened to run into a friend who “restores” broken bats. My friend can take a broken bat (even one that’s unstable like mine) and work his magic to make it look almost like new. He offered to work on the crack on my bat so I won’t have to worry about it splitting in the future. There’s not many people in this world I’d trust one of my prized possessions to, but this guy’s the best. So in a few days I’ll have a really nice piece for my collection.

I’m so glad I have the opportunity to spend every day in the sun at Spring Training. It’s one of the best things I know.

 

Day Three of Phillies Spring Training 2015

Finally, a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day! After two days that were more like spring in Philadelphia rather than the beginning of Spring Training in Florida, the sun was shining and it was warm enough for shorts. Now this is the life!

Baseball Ross and I got to the Carpenter Complex a little after 10. Since I had not had a chance to watch batting practice yet, we headed directly to Brighthouse. Batting practice is more laid back and the players seem to enjoy themselves more than during other drills. It’s the best place to get autographs as well.

Tools of the Trade
Tools of the Trade

You get to see things like this:

Cody Asche Smashes One
Cody Asche smashes the ball as Mike Schmidt looks on

Aaron Altherr shagged flies in the outfield.

Aaron Altherr
Aaron Altherr

You also get a chance to see players in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Ben Revere shares a smile
Ben Revere shares a smile

Or may be they are thinking about the future.

Darin Ruf Contemplates the Future
Darin Ruf Contemplates the Future

After batting practice, the infielders head over to the half field next to Brighthouse to participate in infield drills and consult with coaches.

The Half Field next to Brighthouse where they practice infield drills.
The half field next to Brighthouse where they practice infield drills.
Freddy Galvis Fields the Ball
Freddy Galvis fields the ball
Mike Schmidt discusses hitting with Freddy Galvis
Mike Schmidt discusses fielding with Freddy Galvis

It was a great day and I was lucky enough to get Darin Ruf’s autograph!

Darin Ruf autographed ball
Darin Ruf autographed ball

This is what I love about Spring Training and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

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).