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.
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.
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.
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.
The XST schedule has been set Those files are attached below.
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 email@example.com.