Final Workout Group Posting

Here it is…


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:


Updated Spring Training list

First round of “shuffling” is complete:


2013 Spring Training Work Groups List Released

The 2013 Spring Training Working Groups list has been released:


12 Days but not much to say.

I felt the need to just mention that there are 12 days left until pitchers and catchers report.

Last year at this time, I felt excited, full of anticipation of the upcoming season. This year…I’m mixed.

I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite guys, some of whom I feel privileged to call “friend”. Derrick Mitchell, Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright, Perci Garner, Cody Asche, Tyson Gillies, Tyler Knigge and Seth Rosin, I’m anxious to see these guys.

Other than that, I’m just flat.

I’ve been frustrated and disappointed by some of the “deals” that Ruben Amarro Jr. has made. I think the thing that has made me so angry and frustrated is that I truly believe that we have a great wealth of talent in the farm system. Some of these guys, in my opinion, could step into the holes that RAJ just “filled”. Guys who have played well and have been waiting in the wings for a shot at the big time. Instead, RAJ has brought in older, “experienced” players…or in my opinion, past their prime to take the spots.

I’ve written on this several times in the two years that I’ve had my blog. I would rather lose a couple of games due to a young guy’s “Learning Curve” rather than losing because an “experienced” player isn’t in the condition needed to make a play. I see that letting the younger player play builds for the future, helps us long term whereas the older “seasoned” player might do ok now, but they’re not going to be able to help us in the long term.

The best news I’d heard was that Cody Asche and Adam Morgan were invited to the MLB training camp. THAT gives me some hope, but knowing RAJ even these guys will be stuck in the limbo known as Lehigh Valley for years to come.

I’m sorry if I’m sounding down. I should be looking forward to the upcoming season. Instead, I feel like it’s going to be deja vu all over again…

At least I’ll get to see my friends in the upcoming days and that makes me happy. I’ll focus on that.



The Good, The Bad and the Ugly–Phillies Style

I just don’t know what happened to this season. I don’t. While I never expected the amazing-ness of recreating the 2008 season, I certainly expected that we’d do better than we did.

May be I’ve become spoiled. I mean, had this happened in the late 90s it would have been the norm, what was expected, but since the miracle of the 2008 season, all the seasons that we’ve been in the hunt, a threat to contend with, this season came as a smack to the face.

What or whom is to blame? The injuries? Trades? Lack of production/effort? Bad management?

Does it matter?

There is so much blame to go around. Rabid Ruben Amarro, Jr., Uncle Chuckles…the injury bug…I could go on. So much of the 2012 season with the Phillies was so ugly that I don’t think I can ever look at the season without putting a metaphorical bag over its head.

We all know what made the season Ugly (and I do mean to use the capital U, it was THAT ugly) and over the next four months every pundit will claim to know the cause of this years’ debacle. So why should I rehash it?

The Bad? Hmm. There were some things that I would say were bad, but did not merit being called ugly. Not many because I feel like 2012 was such a craptastic season that almost all the negatives were so strongly negative that really there wasn’t much bad for me, it all turned Ugly. Top it with the cherry that was Ryan Howard breaking his big toe. Does a year any more Ugly than that?

Bad, trading players to other teams…and then they  made contributions for their new teams. Shane Vicotrino, Joe Blanton, Hunter Pence, Scott Posednik and Rich Thompson were traded away.

I liked Posednik and Thompson. I’d watched the two of them last year in Lehigh Valley. I got to talk to Pods in Spring Training and he seemed like a nice guy. Thompson had been with the IronPigs from the beginning and to see him traded away was like a kick in the teeth, especially when they traded away Pence and Victorino just a month later. Thompson at least got traded to his hometown team, but he might have been good to keep here, he’s a decent fielder and considering his salary was considerably lower, it would have given us some more space under the cap to try to find someone for third base.

Bad was Freddy Galvis coming out to a hot and roaring start…giving hope that may be the season could at least be decent…only to have him sidelined by not only a back injury but a fifty game suspension for PEDs.

Bad was also how the front office kept inflating the attendance numbers to try to keep the “sold out” streak at CBP going. I mean any fool with eyes could see the large areas of empty seats. You can’t tell me that THAT many people purchased tickets then didn’t go. I’m sorry. Talk about “massaging” data!

The good. Hmm…when it comes to the big boys, frankly there’s not a lot for me. I look at Darin “Babe” Ruf…that makes me happy. I look at Tyler Cloyd…that’s another bright and shining star. What do these guys have in common? They’re young and offer promise…may be that’s what the big Phils need…HOPE…not another older player signed for a year or two to fill in a gap. Hope can go a long way in inspiring a team to do better.

For me…the things I’ll remember about the 2012 season all had to do with the minor league levels. Granted, I had a lot of contact with the players at this level…but that’s what will shine for me. This year, frankly, I want to forget the majority of the Big Phillies year and focus on the guys who give me hope that may be once management decides to give the younger guys a chance to play that may be, we can become great again.

I look at Jesse Biddle, Austin Wright, Adam Morgan, Tyler Knigge Cody Asche, Tyson Gillies, Darin Ruf, Tyler Cloyd, Jake Deikman and think…that we might just have something there…we have a massive amount of talent and potential that THEY are our future..THEY are the ones to help pull this team up.

This is what keeps me going, the hope that may be these guys that I’ve watched this summer and in some cases, several summers, that these guys can get us to the big game…whether Rabid Ruben and Uncle Chuckles give them the chance before any of them are old enough to qualify for social security remains to be seen.


As I read over what I had written, I realize I sound bitter. As a fan who live and dies with her teams, this year has been so hard to take. So much potential seemed to have been squandered. Personally, I lay a lot of the blame with management who seems stuck on bringing in and then keeping in older guys who just don’t seem to be getting it done on a regular basis…which would be understandable, IF there weren’t some kids in the farm system that might just have the potential to get the job done, as well as the veterans are but would also give hope to the future. That’s what makes me bitter.

I’ve said it before and I’l say it again, I’d rather lose because we have younger players learning to play at the Major League level than losing because the players we have are at the end of a great career and can’t manage to keep playing everyday at that same Major League Level.

Now…that I have that rant off my chest…I’ll start blogging about the Fall Instructional League…and my lists of “BEST OF” for this year….so keep reading…I’ll be back soon



Jesse Biddle hits a season high 12 strike outs in a game

Walking into the park today, this is who greeted us:

Phinley sells programs

It made me smile as did the fact that Jesse Biddle continues to improve with each and every outing. Today, he blew me away along with 12 of the Palm Beach Cardinals.

Jesse was simply amazing. He had command and was just “dealing”.

Jesse Biddle with a smile

I like this picture, Jesse seems to have a smile on his face, like he knows how well things were going.

He ended his seven innings of work with 12 strike outs, 4 hits and only 1 walk.

I have video of his 11th and 12th strike outs. THIS is the 11th and THIS is the 12th, both were in Jesse’s 7th and final inning. When interviewed after the game in THIS article, Jesse said it was his best inning.

Brody Colvin came in and worked the 8th.

Tyler Knigge came in at the 9th and struck out the final Cardinal to end the game. You can watch it HERE. The Threshers took down the Cardinals 3-0.

The cherry on the sundae of my Sunday was that I was selected as the “Gus Goodsport” fan of the game and won an authentic Threshers practice hat, with a retail value of $28!

Gus Goodsport Authentic Practice Hat

Florida State All Stars from the Threshers announced

As I reported earlier, the list for the Florida State All Star game was announced, though at the time, the only name I could find mentioned was Threshers’ pitcher Jesse Biddle.

This afternoon the Threshers announced others who made the All Star team:

The FSL All-Star squads were announced today! Making the team from Clearwater are pitchers Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Austin Wright, along with catcher Cameron Rupp.

Baseball Ross and I said the same thing at the same time….WHAT ABOUT CODY ACSHE AND TYLER KNIGGE????

And being the snarky little thing I am, I posted such a thought right under the announcement on the Threshers’ Facebook page. Surprisingly, they responded:

Asche would likely have been selected were it not for Lakeland 3B Nick Castellanos, who leads the league with a .409 average

Ok, I get that he plays the same position as the guy with the best average in the league, but  to Asche’s defense he does have FEWER errors making him a better fielder….so why wasn’t he designated the DH?

*shaking my head*

Well to me, he’s still an all-star.

Congratulations to all who made the team.



It’s the Circle of Life, Baseball Style

Last night was the fan fest at Brighthouse Field for the Clearwater Threshers. It was also a night where the Tiki Bar was open. Good times to be had for all.

Players and season ticket holders were treated to free food and entertainment by the amazing Greg West.

After a while, it was time to introduce the team.

2012 Clearwater Threshers Coaches (L-R) Chris Truby, David Lundquist, John Mizerock and their strength coach.
2012 Threshers Pitchers and Catchers (L-R) Back row: Adam Morgan, Tyler Knigge, Frank Gailey, Brody Colvin, Lisalverto Bonilla, Garett Claypool and Jesse Biddle Front Row: Robert Stumpo, Kyle LaFrenze, Austin Wright, Jordan Whatcott, Hector Neris
(Front Row (L-R) James Murphy, Edgar Duran, Albert Cartwright, Jeremy Barnes, Cody Ache, Carlos Alonso
Front Row (L-R) Brandon Tripp, D'Arby Myers, Peter Lavin

This is where I get to my “Circle of Life” comment. Jesse Biddle, the young pitcher on the right of the second picture in the blue in white checked shirt, I saw him pitch his very first professional game in Williamsport.

Back in 2010, my husband Ross had read about Biddle being one of the up and coming prospects in the Phillies’ farm system. We watched the papers every day and the day he was due to pitch his first game, we made the over 2 hour trip to Williamsport to Historic Bowman Field to see him. We even braved driving through Little League World Series traffic to do it, (If I remember correctly.)

In digging through the 40,000 pictures I have on file, I found my pictures from that day. For some reason that escapes me now, they were wearing green uniforms (it may have been “Green Night” celebrating recycling and I think we were given CFL lightbulbs as the give-away). I happened to talk to Jesse after the team was announced tonight and he seemed genuinely surprised that someone would driven that far just to see him pitch. He was a really nice guy and I’m really looking forward to seeing him progress this summer.

Jesse Biddle pitching his first game in Williamsport 2010

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, watching a player work his way up is the best part of baseball. Seeing players play in their first game or season then the next level and the next, year after year. We also saw Joe Savery pitch his first game in Williamsport and now he’s on the Phillies 25 man roster. Its like a circle of life and it moves us all…