Pitchers and Catchers, Day Three.

Attendance was down today.  I had assumed the milder weather would more than double the crowd at the Carpenter Complex.  I was wrong.  Even with a 20 degree increase in the  temperature, most players were still wearing their wind breakers.

I received an early call advising me that batting practice wouldn’t start until quarter after eleven, so I headed to the Complex and took in another round of PFPs.  Before breaking into their groups, the pitchers and catchers stretch out their arms long tossing after calisthenics.

Pre PFPs

As most pitchers disperse to the various fields, the catchers and a group of pitchers head to the “7 Mounds” to get their throwing in for the day.  Here the catchers are ready to receive from their pitchers.

7 Mounds

Today, I decided to follow Ken Giles’ group for a while.  Pictured below is Giles following through on a simulated pitch on Ashburn Field.  His group was working on the same drills that Coach Larry Bowa led them through yesterday.  Today’s added wrinkle was a throw to second base after a come backer to the mound.  Giles’ group also included Cliff Lee, Jake Diekman, Justin DeFratus, Kevin Slowey, and Sean O’Sullivan.  Giles was among the smaller guys in this group.  I had always assumed he was bigger based on the velocity he generates.

Giles

I stayed in place for the next group when I saw a guy who looked to be as big as Phillippe Aumont.  I did not realize that Elvis Araujo was so big.  I didn’t get a picture of them together, but here he is, a head taller than the rest of his group with his back to the camera.  Hector Neris was also in his group.

Araujo

Before heading over to Bright House Field, I saw the “A” group over on Schmidt Field.  The group included a lot of the starters not named Lee who are expected to vie for rotation spots – Cole Hamels, Dave Buchanan, Miguel Alfredo, Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams.  Here’s a picture of MAG.  He looks like the fittest guy out there.  He must take his uniforms to a tailor to get them fitted.  Here he is making a pitch to the plate. Gonzalez wind upIt is difficult to stay interested in PFPs, so my friends and I left for Bright House, planning to be there at an early  11:00AM.  Well, here’s where a retiree’s lack of date, day, and time recognition can come into play.  Our early arrival was in fact late as there was confusion between the phrases “quarter after” and “quarter to”.  So instead of being early, we were a little late for the first group.

I recognized Jeff Francoeur, Ben Revere, Odubel Herrera but not many others.  I still haven’t seen Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, or Dom Brown.  I’m sure they are here, I just haven’t seen them yet.  With a bunch of “maybe gonna be” Phillies taking BP, we are easily distracted as people like Pat Gillick, Ed Wade, Joe Jordan, Charlie Kerfeld walk by.  We even notice Scott Palmer and Howard Eskin.

As the outfielders set up for fielding practice, we made our way to the half field to see who was taking infield practice.  Cody Asche was at third with a guy who looked like Maikel Franco.  Galvis was at short.  The rest were a blur of guys probably ticketed for Lehigh Valley.   Michael Jack pulled Freddy aside for a short talk after his shift was over.  One-stop shopping for fielding and batting advice from a Hall of Famer, can’t beat that.

I, for one, have missed Jimmy Rollins’ in camp.  I know that the MLB has declared Chase Utley as the “face” of the Phillies (a distinction probably heavily attributable to his large female following), but I think Rollins was the heart of the team.  He would have been here early, outside with his team mates, and the others would have followed his lead.  I hope I’m wrong, but I think the Phillies traded away more than just a shortstop this winter.  We’ll see as camp progresses.

And finally, here’s a picture I wanted to share a few weeks ago, but misplaced.  It was taken on the last day of Phantasy Week.  DDDarren looked as good in person as he appears in this photo.  He announced this week that his last scan was clean.  Great news.

Oh, and for those who have asked, I have NOT seen Roy Halladay, yet.  I hope not to.  The two saddest sights for me last season were Halladay walking around carrying not wearing his glove and Charlie Manuel in civilian clothes.  It is good to see Charlie wearing red down here this week, though.

14 thoughts on “Pitchers and Catchers, Day Three.

  1. I wish I could be in Florida. 5 inches of new snow; on top of 4 feet of snow. Temp is moderate (31 or so) but negative numbers are coming tonight… again. Keep up the great work, Jim.

  2. Good to see Ethan Martin will be stretched for starting at LHV.
    Hopefully he can overcome the assorted ailments that have plagued him in the past and get the innings in he needs in 2015. Still think the bullpen may be his final destination.

  3. Leadership on this team is going to be really interesting and seems like it might be lacking. You have Howard who we have heard isn’t a hard worker, utley hamels and lee are hard workers but come off as ‘leave me alone I’m working’ , Ruiz who is awesome but focused on his pitchers and papelbon who seems like he might be the best leader of a single group of the team. Who would have thought. Hopefully they don’t miss Jimmy and Roys leadership from the last few years.

  4. Jim,
    How did Jordan Guth look when you saw him pitching the other day? He was moved out of the bullpen at the end of last season at Clearwater and then, as I recall, seemed to do very well as a starter. Wonder if they plan to keep him on in a starting role or return him to the bull pen?

    1. I haven’t seen Guth since last season. I recall that his walk rate was high as both a starter and a reliever. He was somewhat effective in both roles last season, allowing 9 of his 16 ER as a starter in his last 2 of 8 starts and 6 of his 10 ER as a reliever in 2 of his 25 appearances. He’s entering his age 24 season after 1.5 years at Clearwater and should probably be moving up to Reading. Whatever role the Phillies have planned for him, he needs to reduce his plus-5 BB/9 to be effective.

  5. this was taken from phoulballz.com on Shane Watson

    Shane Watson, image- Jay Floyd
    Righty hurler Shane Watson is on the road to recovery once again.

    Following his second shoulder surgery in a year, the Phillies’ first round draft choice from 2012 began a throwing program on Friday under the watchful eyes of Phillies trainers and coaches in Clearwater, FL on Friday.

    Watson threw 25 pitches from 60 feet and stated via text message on Sunday that he feels good. The California native will throw again on Monday. Going forward, his throwing program will consist of throwing two consecutive days, followed by one day off, throwing two days and so on, as he works to build arm strength.

    Currently, the six-foot-four 200-pounder is also working on strengthening modalities with the Phils’ training staff as well as “dry mound work” with minor league pitching coach Steve Schrenk.

    The 2015 season will begin with Watson serving a 50-game suspension, stemming from a positive test for a banned substance late last season. The suspension will count as served, despite the 21-year-old being on the disabled list at the time. The forced time off could be good for Watson, who experienced setbacks following his previous surgery to correct an enlarged capsule.

    Watson went under the knife most recently in late autumn after his initial procedure last January wasn’t enough to keep him in throwing shape.

    Prior to being sidelined with his initial shoulder ailment in July 2013 as a member of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Watson posted a 4-7 record with a 4.44 ERA and a 6.9 K/9 mark in 21 career pro games.

    The current projection is to have Watson seeing game action by June, if everything progresses well.

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