Pictures from Phillies Spring Training 2018 Day 1

There’s only so many words one can write about the endless drills and pitchers fielding practice (PFPs), bunting practice when you see it every day. So I’ve decided to share some pictures from today, the pictures say more than words:

Zach Eflin
Zach Eflin
Jake Thompson
Jake Thompson
Hector Neris
Hector Neris
Pat Neshak
Pat Neshak
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Franklyn Kilome
Franklyn Kilome
Adam Morgan
Adam Morgan

and the Phillies’ new skipper:

Gabe Kapler
Gabe Kapler

Phillies 2016 Extended Spring Training Roster Released

The front office at the Carpenter Complex made the 2016 Extended Spring Training Roster available. 

  
Note: this list may change dramatically once the new players from the June Draft arrive and some of the young Dominican and Venezuelan players return to the Dominican to play in the Dominican Summer League.

Phillies Minor League Team 2016 Rosters Released!

2016 Minor League Roster
2016 Minor League Roster
The minor league roster was released today and I have a copy. The copy is at the top of the page. For ease of reading the tiny print, I have transcribed it here (Note Disabled List is at the end):

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Catchers

  • JP Arencibia
  • Andrew Knapp#

Infielders

  • Carlos Alonso
  • Taylor Featherston
  • Ryan Jackson
  • Tommy Joseph
  • Angelys Nina
  • Brock Stassi

Outfielders

  • Cameron Perkins
  • David Lough
  • Darnell Sweeny #
  • Wil Venable
  • Nick Williams*

Starting Pitchers

  • Mark Appel
  • David Buchanan
  • Zach Eflin
  • Adam Morgan*
  • Jake Thompson

The Bullpen

  • Elvis Araujo
  • Andrew Bailey
  • Ernesto Frieri
  • Luis Garcia
  • Bobby Lafromboise*
  • Edward Mujica
  • Colton Murray

Reading Fightin’ Phils

Catchers

  • Jorge Alfaro
  • Logan Moore

Infielders

  • JP Crawford*
  • Jake Fox
  • Rhys Hoskins
  • Harold Martinez
  • Angelo Mora#
  • KC Serna
  • Jesmuel Valentin#

Outfielders

  • Aaron Brown
  • Dylan Cozens
  • Christian Marrero*
  • Roman Quinn#

Starting Pitchers

  • Alec Asher
  • Ben Lively
  • Ricardo Pinto
  • Nick Pivetta
  • Anthony Vasquez

The Bullpen

  • Severino Gonzalez
  • Ulises Joaquin
  • Edubray Ramos
  • Joeley Rodriguez*
  • Reinier Roibal
  • Tom Windle

Clearwater Threshers

Catchers

  • Gabriel Lino
  • Chace Numata#
  • Joel Fisher

Infielders

  • Maquin Canelo
  • Zach Green
  • Scott Kingery
  • Kyle Martin*
  • Drew Stankiewicz#
  • Mitch Walding*

Outfielders

  • Andrew Pullin*
  • Herlis Rodriguez
  • Cord Sandberg*
  • Carlos Tocci

Starting Pitchers

  • Tom Eshelman
  • Ranfi Casimiro
  • Elniery Garcia*
  • Matthew Imhof*
  • Will Morris
  • Tyler Visa

The Bullpen

  • Victor Arano
  • Joey DeNato
  • Matt Hockenberry
  • Jario Munoz
  • Miguel Nunez
  • Alexis Rivero
  • Jesen Therrien

Lakewood BlueClaws

Catchers

  • Austin Bossart
  • Deivi Grullon
  • Wilson Garcia

Infielders

  • Grenny Cumana
  • Brendon Hayden
  • Jan Hernandez
  • Emmanuel Marrero#
  • Josh Tobias#

Outfielders

  • Zach Coppola
  • Jose Pujols
  • Cornelius Randolph*
  • Damek Tomscha
  • Jiandido Tromp

Starting Pitchers

  • Harold Arauz
  • Tyler Gilbert*
  • Franklyn Kilome
  • Luke Leftwich
  • Mitch Gueller
  • Shane Watson

The Bullpen

  • Alejandro Arteaga
  • Kenny Koplove
  • Zach Morris*
  • Robert Tasin
  • Jose Taveras
  • Alberto Tirado
  • Jacob Waguespack

Extended Spring Training

Catchers

  • Edgar Cabral
  • Roldolfo Duran
  • Greg Brodzinski
  • Nerlius Martinez
  • Gregori Rivero*
  • Lenin Rodriguez
  • Rafeal Marchan

Infielders

  • Jose Antequera
  • Daniel Brito*
  • William Cuicas#
  • Luis Encarnacion
  • Luis Espiritu
  • Arquismedez Gamboa#
  • Edwin Rodriguez
  • Lucas Williams

Outfielders

  • Jesus Alastre
  • Venn Biter*
  • Carlos Duran
  • Enmanuel Garcia
  • Samuel Hiciano
  • Mark Laird*
  • Juan Luis*
  • Jhailyn Ortiz
  • Greg Pickett*
  • Jake Sweaney

Starting Pitchers

  • Ismael Cabrera
  • Seranthony Dominguez
  • Bailey Falter
  • Nick Fanti
  • Edgar Garcia
  • Adonis Medina
  • Felix Paulino
  • William Stewart*
  • Ranger Suarez*

The Bullpen

  • Steiner Carmona
  • Skylar Hunter
  • Carlos Indriago
  • Sutter McLoughlin
  • Luis Morales
  • Geudy Ortiz
  • Oskerlly Sanchez*
  • Anthony Sequiera
  • Jeff Singer*
  • Horace Stubblefield
  • Gregory Infante
  • Chris Leroux
  • Jeremy Bleich
  • Hoby Milner

Extended Spring Training Rehab

  • Jimmy Cordero
  • Frank Herrmann
  • Yoervis Medina
  • Brandon Leibrandt*
  • Mark Leiter
  • John Richy
  • Andrew Anderson
  • Scott Harris
  • Austin Davis
  • Derek Campbell

 

Scenes From Phillies Minor League Spring Training-March 31, 2016

As minor league training camp is winding down, the mood and tempo is also winding down. The mood is more quiet, more like waiting for it all to be over. I took most of yesterday to try to catch the few players I haven’t seen yet as well as chat with a few of my friends before they leave.

I found something new to be fascinated with. I have long had a fascination with the knuckle ball. But now it’s with Hoby Milner’s side arm pitch. I’ve long been a fan of and friend of Hoby. He’s a great kid who had some struggles and changed his pitch from the usual overhand to a full-fledged side arm.

I was trying to cover both games so I missed his first inning but according to the BlueClaws Blog, he threw two scoreless innings. I didn’t get any video, but wish I had. Once I started watching, I could not turn away.

Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner

While I didn’t have video, I have placed the photos in sequence so you can get a feel of the motion:

Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner

The sound and movement of the ball was unique. It had a different kind of “whoosh” to it and it seemed to almost swerve from Hoby’s hand, out to the right of the batter and at the last second, swerve back over the plate. The batters just didn’t know what to make of it. In the inning I saw, there were times that the batters would just stand there as the ball went by, not knowing how to time their swing. It was really cool to watch. I almost forgot to take pictures.

Ben Lively (left) pitching to Logan Moore. (David Buchanan on the right)
Ben Lively (left) pitching to Logan Moore. (David Buchanan on the right)

Something else that I saw that was different is Ben Lively’s fastball. I’ve hung around bullpens enough, right behind the catcher, that it really doesn’t phase me. I am usually immune to the snap that the ball makes as it crashes into Logan Moore’s glove. I’ll admit, the first time I heard Lively’s fastball, it actually startled me. I jumped and almost dropped my phone.

HERE’S VIDEO of Lively pitching. The first and third pitches are “normal” and the second is one of the fastballs.

Those were the two things that I enjoyed watching. Today is the last full day of camp. Tomorrow there will be some drills/intra-squad early before the guys shower and load their equipment onto the trucks to go north. I hope to be there to say good-bye to my friends.

 

Phillies Minor League Pitchers Give Max Effort in Intra-Squad Game

Baseball Ross and I skipped this morning’s drills to focus on the intra-squad games in the afternoon. It was a “Chamber of Commerce” kind of day. High of 85, sun and a light breeze. You couldn’t have asked for a better day. 

One thing all of the pitchers have in common is giving maximum effort with every pitch. It’s time to shine and a great showing may just influence where you start the season. 

My friend Ranfi Casimiro did really well against Tommy Joseph and Ross captured it on video HERE

You can also see his max effort in his face in these pitches:

 

Ranfi Casimiro
  
Ranfi Casimiro
 
My other friend, Elniery Garcia, had a nice called strike three against Harold Martinez that you can see HERE.

Here are some pictures of Garcia:

 

Elniery Garcia
  
Elniery Garcia

John Richy was also going all out:

 

John Richy
  
John Richy
  

Side-armer Hoby Milner:

Hoby Milner

Shane Watson:

 

Shane Watson

Nick Pivetta:

Nick Pivetta

As you can see, these guys are going all out, working to earn a spot on the rotation. Who won? Really, you can’t tell. No score is kept, innings sometimes have 4 or 5 outs instead of 3. What you can evaluate is how much they want that starting job, it’s written all over their faces.

 

2016 Minor League Work Group List Released

 The minor league workgroup was released and here it is, hot off the presses: 

If you have questions about the list, I’ve answered the most common ones HERE.

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).

Final Workout Group Posting

Here it is…

20140324-113837.jpg

Phillies Minor League Workgroup List-Updated as of 3/10/2014

This morning the updated workgroup listing for the Phillies minor league camp was released:

20140311-111222.jpg

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.