Sorry for the absence over the last 10 days or so. I had to have a procedure done on my “Frankenfoot” that required rest. On the plus side, I’m able to walk now, the best since I sprained it and broke a bone just 10 days before spring training began.
Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the year…the day that minor league pitchers and catchers report. Additionally, the majority of the position players are here already. I’ve known some of these guys for more than five years so it’s great to see some of my friends again.
Matt Hockenberry, who pitched for the Threshers last season, is now a pitching coach for one of the two Gulf Coast League teams the Phillies will be fielding this year. I love this picture as the pitchers are all former colleagues of Hockenberry’s and it’s good to see them all enjoying a laugh together before the work begins. Also in the picture from left to right: Tyler Viza, Alberto Tirado, Alexis Rivero, Garrett Clevenger, Luke Leftwich and Jacob Waguespack in the red shirt.
I took a lot of pictures all around camp yesterday as they are all during drills, there’s not much to say as the pictures speak for themselves:
This is the part of spring training where in many aspects, it’s hard to write a narrative of where a team is going to be. This week is sort of a “limbo”for the players. There are way too many players in camp and the minor leaguers who are on the major league roster have yet to be cut.
The major league camp will start cutting players and those players will either be sent to minor league camp or given their outright release. Once that happens, all of the players sent down will have to be placed on a roster and then the players will have to be shifted around and again, some will be given their release as well.
It’s a nervous time. That being said, as far as a story, the story is the minor leaguers are playing other minor leaguers to keep a spot on the roster. It’s as if everyone is waiting for the other proverbial “shoe to drop”.
Baseball Ross and I will have a recap of the week’s intrasquad games tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, you can find it HERE.
What I thought I’d share today is a series of pictures I took for your enjoyment.
It was a beautiful evening here in Clearwater for the annual “Meet the Threshers” picnic for season ticket holders. It’s a fun time where we had a chance to have a nice meal and hob-knob with the players.
After everyone had a chance to eat, the voice of the Threshers, Kirsten Karbach introduced the team.
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.
This morning it was announced that Phillies Minor leaguers would take on a college team from Japan.
The biggest surprise was how small Japan’s players were. It’s not to say that they were not good players, they were very strong for their size.
David Buchanan was the starting pitcher.
In the second, Mitch Walding hit a solo homer and all the Japanese player could do was watch it go.
In the 3rd, the Japanese team scored 2 on Buchanan.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Herlis Rodriguez got a hit and managed to slide safely into 2nd.
Next, catcher Deivi Grullon hit a long homer into the bullpen to bring the score 3-2. You can watch the homerun HERE.
Herlis was already well on his way home when the ball was still in the park.
Phillies later added one more run to make it 4-2 and it stayed until the top of the 9th. The Japanese team said “sayonara” to Matt Hockenberry’s first pitch of the inning to bring them within one.
Hockenberry bucked down and then it was over. The Phillies won 4-3.