I just saw BryceForceOne fly over my home in Dunedin! I have the close-up of Middleton’s plane complete with Phillies logo as well as the flight tracker data as proof!
ETA: Ross had just left to walk our dog when the plane was due to fly over. If you know him, you know he’s rather stoic…imagine my surprise when I heard him yelling from about 3 houses down, “YOU SEE IT? IT’S THE PHILLIES’ PLANE! YOU SEE IT!”
For Clearwater, the day started off chilly, it was 56 when Baseball Ross and I got up and it was only 59 and windy when we got to the Carpenter Complex.
Even though it was “freezing” by this Florida Girl’s definition, we stayed all day and I was rewarded. I took two of the best photos I’ve ever taken. I’ve never had any training, so when it all comes together, it’s the best feeling in the world.
I took these two pictures of pitcher Jeff Singer. If you’re familiar with the Carpenter complex, you’ll know that the bullpen between Schmidt and Ashburn fields has a mesh screen over the fencing that is impossible to shoot through. Today I noticed that the fasteners holding the bottom of the screen were missing, so that if I timed the shot and the pitch just right, I could take the shot right behind the catcher as the screen would be blown up in the air by the wind. The shots, as I said before, are two of the best I’ve ever taken.
Earlier in the day, the major league players who did not make the trip to Tampa took batting practice:
Here are some shots from the rest of the day:
Here is the line up for the game VS Villanova. I did not stay for the game as some of my friends were playing in the other games and I promised to get pictures for them.
This afternoon, Baseball Ross and I were able to see new Phillies Manager, Gabe Kapler speak to the fans after practice. Kapler came over after speaking to the media at Spectrum field.
He was friendly and seemed to enjoy interacting with the crowd that was assembled. He answered questions as well as took selfies and signed autographs.
His attitude was much different than the way he is portrayed in the media and frankly, I think like the guy. He was asked “Tell us the truth, what do you think?” and Kapler replied:
“Well, right now I felt absolutely felt nothing but support. So I feel supported, is probably the easiest way to put it. And also know that the fans expect us to be accountable, they expect us to bust our balls out there and to give everything we have. And that’s easy. It doesn’t require any effort. And just like the city of Boston where I played for a couple of years, you care about intensity and fight and determination and grit. And then obviously you expect us to win. We understand those expectations and expect to beat them.”
Sounds like a good plan to me. I recorded the interaction and you can watch it HERE.
I must admit, I may have just put one foot on the Kapler bandwagon. He took time with everyone there and seems to have a good grip on what the team needs to do. His methods are different, practice starts at 11 instead of 9, the atmosphere is more relaxed. Only time will tell if his changes will pan out. I’m kind of excited to see if it meet our “expectations” and if they “beat them.”
As a blogger and Phillies fan, this has been one of the most difficult years. There has been very little information released by the team as to whom they have released. They have not been forthcoming with any of this information.
In fact, the final rosters were not even made available to the general public. I luckily have a number of eyes on the inside who provided a copy of the roster I posted earlier.
Baseball Ross and I have spent the last hour or so pouring over all the rosters that have been released this year and compared it to the final assignments to come up with a list of players that are “Missing in Action”. I hesitate to say released as there is no official word and for all we know the player could have been sent back to the Dominican academy or retired and it’s not fair to say “released”. So here is the list of players that are no longer on any of the rosters.
Yesterday, the new and updated Phillies minor league workgroup list was released. The most major change is that there are now players in the fifth column. This is a combination of players being sent down as well as some players that are on the DL now being included in the list.
While there are rumors of five players being released, there has been no “official” confirmation so I have not mentioned those whom we suspect have been released.
Please remember that until the final players are sent down from major league camp, the lists are rather fluid.
It is also worth noting that the players in the fifth column that are indented are players that are currently rehabbing/on the DL.
Today was one of those days where nothing went as planned but turned out great in the end. I had hoped to see former Blue Jay Pat Venditte make his first appearance at Phillies camp since being traded to the Phils from the Mariners. Since he had just returned from the World Baseball Classic, we thought that he would be at the Phillies’ complex. He was not.
So I jumped in my Mini and headed back to Dunedin and to the Mattick Training Complex where the AA and AAA Phillies and Jays teams were playing. I got to the field as the Jays were taking the field in the bottom of the third inning. Just as I got behind home, the crowd rushed to the fence and when I looked up, I could see why, Josh Donaldson was about to bat.
I have to pause here to say that this was one of the coldest days of the winter. Early this morning, it was 39* F (4*C) and by now, it was in the mid 50s (12.8* C) with a very strong wind coming in from the gulf, right into our faces. It was freezing.
Donaldson took a swing……
Even into that strong headwind, there was no doubt that that ball was going to go out. There was a collective, “Ooooh” from the crowd as the ball cleared the fence and bounced out into the grass near the softball fields on the other side. It was one beautiful shot INTO the wind.
It was his last at bat of the day so I don’t know how his earlier at bats went, but let me tell you, he’s hit long homers into the wind the last two days, there is no doubt that his timing is down and he should be good to go, once he is given the green light to run again.
I never did get to see Venditte, rumor is that he was with the Phillies MLB team. Frankly, I forgot about him once I saw Donaldson hit that homer.
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.