Pitchers and Catchers, Day Two.

The temperatures were about the same today, but even with the lack of a heavy breeze, most players still opted to wear their windbreakers.  I arrived in time for PFPs and followed Jesse Biddle’s group.  The only other guys I recognized were Papelbon and Mario Hollands.

The picture below shows Biddle fielding a come backer from Coach Larry Bowa and preparing to throw home.  Biddle is one of the few pitchers in camp to opt for the more stylish stirrup socks, a look I prefer to the “pajama pants” that major leaguers usually wear.  This is Richie Ashburn Field.  The clubhouse and team offices are behind the left field fence in the background.

Biddle 2-20-15

After the drills with Bowa, the group moved across the driveway, passed the bust of Paul Owens to Steve Carlton Field.  Coach Ray Burris put them through a series of drills requiring each pitcher to either field a ball down the first base line or race to first to accept the throw from the first baseman if he couldn’t intercept the ground ball.  The drill produced a little levity when Burris “accused” one of the pitchers of breaking early out of his simulated pitch to field the ball.  Later, another pitcher lost one of the high chops in the sun.  Burris chided him, “Where are your sunglasses?”.

Next I latched onto the Cliff Lee group.  I know he’s not a prospect, but I wanted to see how he looked going through the drills.  Here he is simulating a pitch.  The coach will roll a ball down the line as if it were bunted and Lee will have to field the “bunt” and throw to first.  That’s Hamels exiting stage right to be the first baseman for the next pitcher.  Jerome Williams was coatless and also in this group.  This is on Mike Schmidt Field.  I was fortunate to get a spot at the fence where I could shoot through the opening in the fence.  Unfortunately, Larry Anderson kept photo bombing me by entering the frame from the left.

Lee 2-20-15

After the PFPs, the catchers took batting practice on Ashburn Field.  Below Tommy Joseph is taking a swing.  He looked good, swinging freely and making solid contact.  I had some video, but it didn’t turn out.  I’ll try again over the weekend.

TJ 2-20-15

I had tried to get credentialed by the Phillies.  I finally got a call back from someone in the Communications Office.  I was offered access to maybe a couple games during spring training.  I probably overplayed my hand when I explained that I was more interested in games where players not on the 25-man roster like Biddle, Joseph, Maikel Franco, Kelly Dugan, Aaron Altherr, Nefi Ogando, Adam Morgan, and others were scheduled to play.  After all, the name of our site is Phuture Phillies.  I also tried to get passes for the press conferences and included in news releases.  I haven’t heard back yet, but so far I’m not being included in the daily releases.  Sorry, I tried.  I had heard that the Phillies didn’t care about the blogging community.  Guess it’s true.

I did get good news this afternoon when the Threshers’ PR man saw me along the fence.  he asked if I wanted access similar to last season’s.  Of course, I said yes.  So, I will be able to provide Threshers’ and GCL coverage as I did last year.

Additionally, the new scoreboard has been installed.  I have confirmed that it will include pitch velocity.  Yay!  It will also provide updated stats in realtime.

I’m going to start at Bright House Field tomorrow morning.  With the tempeartures going up this weekend, I should be able to determine who is actually in camp early among the position players.

One last time, here is a copy of the Spring Training roster.  No surprises among the players.  Guest instructors include Dan Plesac and Aaron Rowand among other, more familiar names.

2015 ST Roster

The XST schedule has been set  Those files are attached below.

2015 XST Schedule – Page 1, 2015 XST Schedule – Page 2

The Minor League schedule I posted several weeks ago remains unchanged.  As always, if you would like an electronic copy of any of the files, contact me thru prospectpoll@yahoo.com.


12 thoughts on “Pitchers and Catchers, Day Two.

  1. i really appreciate reading details like these. I have never been to spring training, so I am living through reports such as these.

    Do they charge to watch the drills? Or, do they only do that for the games? How many people attend on a weekday? Is it in the hundreds?

    1. No charge. Open free to the public. They have guards and security to direct parking and inspect bags. Parking is limited and is free on non-game days. When the Grapefruit League starts, it costs $9 or $10 to park. It doesn’t matter if you are going to the Complex to watch the kids or to the Phillies’ game. When the Phillies are on the road, parking is once again free.

      The guards inspect bags looking for alcohol. A couple years ago, some guys brought booze to the Complex. Basically, they are just trying to prevent a reoccurence of what transpired that day.

      There were probably 200 people there today. The weather kept the numbers down. With temperatures going up tomorrow, there could be upwards of 500 people there. On a good day the bleacher seating will be full and crowds will be two, three deep along the fences. Deeper wherever the autograph seekers think they’ll be able to get their stuff signed.

      The day of the week doesn’t matter. Most people are down from the Philadelphia area or are family members of the younger players in camp. They plan their vacations around this. The locals who attend are mostly retirees. So there are no work days to interfere with spring training.

      One last thing. When the Phillies do have a game at Bright House Field, there will be three games at the Complex. Two of the five minor league groups will be on the road, and 2 will host games at the complex. Group 5 will play an intrasquad game or a game against some traveling team that comes through Florida from up North. Usually some college or JUCO program that is looking to play against comparable talent – that which can be provided from the Williamsport/GCL/Academy players that make up Group 5. A lot of times, position players who need at bats or pitchers who need to get work in will come down from the 25-man to play at the Complex. I remember watching Halladay begin his rehab with the minor leaguers while some AAA pitcher was starting at Bright House. Three free games or one over-priced game where the starters might be pulled after 2 at bats, you make the call.

  2. Let’s say, one of your admiring readers wanted to contact the Phillies person that you contacted asking for access, and let them know that as long-time fans I get termendous benefit from the information Jim Peyton provides through the Phuture Phillies website, then thank them for the access they provide you, do you think it would hurt or help or do neither, and may I ask what that contact number or address was?

    1. No, don’t do that. It was not my intention to embarass anyone in the Phillies’ front office. Rather, I wanted to let readers know that I attempted to gain a higher level of access to improve my reporting and did not succeed. The reference to their blogger policy was just to confirm what a writer at The Good Phight stated as their policy toward bloggers in a story posted November 11, 2014. I was not aware that was their policy when I began my efforts to gain credentials. If and when the Phillies decide to rethink their position on bloggers, I’ll be uniquely positioned in Clearwater to take advantage. In the meantime, I’ll continue to report as I have with the access afforded me. I know that some people in their organization read Phuture Phillies. If I can do a good job, maybe that will help soften their position.

  3. Hey folks, I’m going to be at the facility and going to some ST games with my son (who is on spring break from college) March 7, 8, 9, and 10. I would love to say hi to anyone who posts on the site. And I’m still interested in reviving an idea I explored but did not follow through on a few years ago – Phuture Phillies day at the Reading Phillies – that will be THE spot to be by June or so to watch the hottest prospects in the organization, by that time Crawford and Quinn should be up and the Reading rotation should be absolutely loaded all year, even if some pitchers (like Nola or Biddle) get promoted.

    Let me know.

    1. They are on the road the 8th and 9th, I’ll be at the Complex. Might be there on the 7th and 10th as well. I will be at the March 11th game against the Pirates.

      1. Great – we are hoping to get there just in time for the game on the 7th and are traveling to see the team on the 9th and will be at the game on the 10th. We will do mornings at the Complex on the 8th and probably 9th and 10th. Thanks for the reports!!!!

  4. Just wondering how is Franco looking is a call up after Rule 2 probable and if so do we know whether he will be playing 1st or 3rd?

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