Full Squad, Day Two

Day two started the same as day one – meeting at the mound, pitchers and catchers stretching in one outfield, position players stretching in another.  Once loose, the position players split up between Schmidt and Ashburn infields and began base running drills.  When completed, they completed long toss to warm up their arms.  The groups then came together on the two infields to practice pickoffs and rundowns.

During these drills Andrew Knapp, Corey Bass, Logan Moore, and Joel Fisher came out of the minor league clubhouse and went back to the 7 Mounds.  A few of the pitchers broke away from the fielding drills and began warming up to pitch live batting practice.  When live BP started, the pitcher/catcher pairs stayed together when they proceeded to the fields to pitch.  Eleven of the twelve pitchers who threw today were – Jake Diekman, Sean O’Sullivan, Cliff Lee, Kevin Slowey, Justin DeFratus, Phillippe Aumont, Kevin Giles, Andy Oliver, Nefi Ogando, Hector Neris, and Elvis Araujo.

I managed to watch at least a little of each of these guys.  I started with Cliff Lee because, next to Cole Hamels, he is going to have the most impact on the organization if he pitches well enough to be a trade piece.  Plus, the other pitchers in the first round were Diekman, O’Sullivan and Slowey.  Lee looked comfortable throwing hard.  Having seen Lee in previous springs, I have little doubt that he’ll be ready on opening day.  I only saw a couple pitches by O’Sullivan and Slowey so I don’t have anything to report on them.  Diekman looked like his old nasty self with that side arm delivery.

Three of the four guys in the second round were DeFratus, Aumont, and Giles.  I only watched a little of DeFratus, I was drawn to Giles like a moth to a flame.  He was throwing well.  Then there was Aumont.  Several weeks ago, I surmised that he would be the first player DFA-ed when it was time to make room on the 40-man roster.  Today, I saw why they Phillies love his arm.  His stuff was pretty good.  Let’s hope he can finally put it together this year.

The final group included Oliver, Ogando, Neris, and Araujo.  Neris plunked Carlos Ruiz on the left shoulder on his first pitch, so I left while they tended to Chooch.  I returned to see his final few pitches.  He had regained his control by then.  Ogando threw particularly hard.  But he seemed to be throwing all fastballs.  Fast ones, but with little deception.  Eventually, some of the batters were able to catch up to one here and there.  He did fool Domonic Brown on one pitch where Dom’s bat helicoptered out of the cage into the netting over the fence down the first base line.  Oliver didn’t look to be throwing anything special, but he did manage to get a couple past Howard, but that has been happening too frequently this week.  Araujo is a big guy.  He throws hard, but has an awkward looking looking windup and release.  Like he doesn’t get full extension of his arm during the pitch.

BP off the coaches came next, and everybody was a hitter.  The more I see this, the less helpful I think it is.  I don’t see how hitting a baseball from a 60-year old coach throwing from at half-speed from 45 feet helps with timimg or anything.

Fielding drills were next.  Today, Ryan Howard played first and Russ Canzler took ground balls at third.  Halfway through, they switched places.  The drills are so fast at second that switching the first baseman out every play would be impractical.  The ground balls over at third are just ground balls, the base has no hidden meaning.  What is interesting is that Darin Ruf is with the middle infielders instead of with the first baseman or the outfielders.  Aschee is also spending his time in the infield group.  Also, Chase Utley did not take part in this drill.  It was reported that his has a sore ankle.  The result of stepping on a baseball while working out over the winter.

Afterwards they continued their emphasis on offense when the wheeled out the pitching machines to run through additional batting practice.  I was drawn to Odubel Herrera.  If I can borrow a phrase from Richie Ashburn, he looks hitterish.  He has a nice easy swing and goes with the pitch.  He goes to left field a lot, but has shown pull and gap ability.

One last observation, I saw Chad Billingsley taking part in the drills.  He looks a little hefty.

22 thoughts on “Full Squad, Day Two

  1. cannot believe frenchy is still pitching for this organization. has there been any talk about one last try as a starter

  2. I hope Herrera can stick. He is certainly a bright spot for the team. It seems like Billingsley will have to stay in XST to get in shape, but that was the original thought anyway. He can be very good if given the time.

      1. Ditto. He one of the most intriguing guys in camp, for me anyway. The other story line I’m following closely is whether Schmitty can “fix” Dom Brown. My magic 8 ball says “Doubtful.”

    1. I would like him to be in CF with Revere in LF. That noodle arm would be fine out there. also It wouldn’t be a bad 1-2 in the line up. They only problem is having no offense from SS kind of makes the Phils have to put Ruf or someone with a decent bat in Left.

  3. Francoeur looking good he’s right handed and still has that strong arm. Herrera might start out as back up then move to a starter position. The jump from AA to the Majors is a Hugh jump that takes a special kind of talent to also start. Remember he’s been playing all yr. He does fall into the kind of player they are looking for small ball player.

  4. The problem with Herrera is that he is just learning the outfield, and center field is a vital position that REQUIRES a good go-&-get”em ability which is not likely until he’d play many more games learning the position. He certainly will be kept on the 25 through the season because of his hitting ability AND because he supposedly has good foot speed.

    Ideally, he’d be spending the season at AAA Lehigh Valley to learn CF…..but he’d have to be offered back to Texas first who’d probably take him back..!!??

    I wonder if the Phils could make a deal w Texas to enable him to go to LV??

    1. Brewers a few years ago, skirted the regulation by placing their Rule 5 guy on a few extended IRs thru the season. So they were able to stash the player

  5. Revere lead the league in hits hit 300 stole 49 bases you put him on a wining team he might have lead the league in runs. The phillies could do a lot worse plus be had a screw in his foot. Revere not the problem .Herrera might be a good player let’s see .

  6. Revere has not been a good Defensive CF. He does not get a good jump on the ball, and his arm, we all know, is very weak. The route running can be improved, and if he hits .300 again and steals over 50 bases, then he is an asset. But, he needs a lot of good players around him. Anxious to see Herrera’s play in the OF, along with Asche’s improvement, and the health of some rehabbed Pitchers. That is what I am looking forward to.

  7. Look, there is no reason not to keep Herrera, but his ceiling is a utility guy. He’s not a potential regular, not even a potential second division regular. But utility guys have value, especially cheap ones, and goodness knows I’d rather see him get PAs than (say) Francoeur.

    The kind of thinking that sees guys like him, Galvis, and Cesar Hernandez as potential regulars is the kind of thinking that leads to perennial last place teams. Revere, for all of his faults, is twice the ballplayer that Herrera will ever be.

    1. I think his ceiling is second division regular. I think Revere is that now with no chance of improvement. I don’t think Hernandez is a MLB player, and Galvis is a utility guy. Herrera needs some time, but any of these Rule 5 guys we can denigrate, but their ceilings are usually higher than we give credit for, just as long as we say they’re ceilings and not expected outcomes.

      No one thought Victorino was worth anything, but at least his ceiling was average. That was great for us.

      We have to stop thinking that we know everything about these guys just because we heard a report on their tools. From what I understand, most stars we don’t expect to be stars until they are, and then we say it was obvious. If Trout was so obviously a star, why did he fall so far?

      1. So say you’re right … you could be. If his ceiling is second division regular …. that’s not terribly exciting. Again, by all means give him a bench role, see if he can cut it. But if his ceiling is second division regular, why the enthusiasm about giving him a chance?

        Look, with a team like the Phillies, sure you take more chances. That’s why a guy like Dugan – if he gets healthy – could get a shot. He’s a guy with a ceiling of a solid regular, more likely a bench guy or a second division regular. Most of the time, those kind of guys don’t get shots. But the Phillies can afford to give those kind of guys shots. Fine. Asche is arguably in that category also. I support giving those kind of guys shots when you are rebuilding. Heck, every now and then you even get a Ruiz.

        But Herrera is a cut below these guys, sorry.

        1. It’s exciting if you can get him for nothing. We need to do everything in our power to get players with potential. And second division regulars can be worth something to good teams as long as they’re not made up predominantly of them.

          Otherwise, what are you suggesting? Should we throw away anyone that’s not first division or better ceiling? The real answer is that sometimes those second division guys turn into first division because everybody missed their potential. It’s not something to bank on, but who could have seen our 2007-2009 hitters coming? No one predicted Utley’s or Howard’s ceiling properly, and they turned into fantastic players in those years.

          I don’t mean this as anyone can be anything. But maybe we think we’re more sure of ourselves than we should be. I always try to err on the high side; a wider range of outcomes is usually more correct than the narrow one.

  8. I have know idea what Herrera ceiling is there is good reports from spring training. Revere can improve he can hit 320 with 60 sb because he already hit 300 with 49 sb. Herrera this is his first major league spring training. I’m voting for both with Francoeur also .

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