It started out as a muggy afternoon and by the time the games were over, it was breezy and starting to sprinkle. I was kept busy by having the majority of my pitcher friends all pitching in the same game. There were two major leaguers, Carlos Ruiz and Charlie Morton on the other field. I was also lucky enough to meet two fans and the father of a player who loves the pictures of his son that Ross and I have posted. It’s things like that that make what we do so fun.
Here are the two major leaguers:
And the rest of the guys:
I was excited to get this shot, as Encarnacion hit a homer on this swing.
Now that my foot is healing, I am able to get to spring training almost every day. I feel like I am playing “catch-up” after missing so many days. There are so many players that I haven’t had a chance to see, let alone photograph.
The highlight of yesterday was being able to catch Carlos Alonso’s home run:
Ryan Howard was playing and it seemed like he was struggling at the plate, striking out all three times I saw him bat, though Baseball Ross thinks he saw him hit a double later.
Yesterday the starting pitchers for the A ball games really gave me pause. It shows, in my opinion, the hope and hopelessness of the Phillies organization.
You can contrast the youth, health and play of just these two players and get a sense of what is wrong with the front office’s plans.
Garcia is 20 and in the peak of health. Harang will be 37 and has already two missed starts this season due to back issues. If you saw my picture from the first day of Spring Training, it’s easy to see that he did not report to camp in shape.
To me, this is the most glaring problem with the organization, they bring in a high-priced older player with obvious health issues, pay them a ton of money (for Harang it’s 5 MILLION) and then are stymied when they break down.
Contrast that with kids like Garcia, who are in great shape and developing, improving with almost every start, kids that are barely making enough money to get by.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather lose games because a kid is learning how to play at a higher level where they can use the loss to improve their play than to lose because a “veteran” isn’t able to perform at a high enough level.
Garcia is in MiLB camp, which started later than MLB camp, so he hasn’t been “stretched out” as much as Harang…but if you look at their lines, it makes the problems with Harang seem glaring, like the lights of Las Vegas. Both pitched against A-ball teams.
Garcia: 3IP, 1H, 0R, 0W, 2K (both swinging)
Harang: 5IP, 7H, 3R, 0W, 5K
For me, this is what is going to make the MLB season long and arduous…and give me hope for quality minor league teams. The more I think about it, the more excited I am getting for the minor league season to start. With some of the young players we have, Garcia, Franklyn Kilome, Aaron Nola, Roman Quinn, Dylan Cozens, Matt Imhof, Jan Hernandez, Rhys Hoskins, JP Crawford, Deivi Grullon, and Grenny Cumana we could have some contenders in the minor league system. So if you want to catch me at a game, don’t look for me at Citizens Bank Park.