Full Squad, Day Three

I didn’t go to the Carpenter Complex this morning for the Phillies spring training session.  Instead, I waited for the afternoon minor league session.  So, here’s some pictures and a video from the first two days that I haven’t posted yet.

Video of two Cliff Lee pitches – a soft line drive to short and a single up the middle.

Chad Billingsley getting on line.Billingsley

Ken Giles waiting his turn. Giles

Mario Hollands sporting full stirrups. Hollands in full stirrups

A little before 1:30PM, the 50-plus minor leaguers who are in Clearwater exited the  clubhouse and filed over to take positions along the left field line on Robin Roberts Field.  They waited patiently for the coaches to start them through their pre-practice exercises.  After agility drills they formed a circle and went through a series of stretching exercises and other drills to loosen their muscles.  Here they are doing what we called windmills in high school.  The blue and khaki jackets on the left are Ruben Amaro and Pat Gillick.

Practice ring

While waiting, I noticed that the grounds crew added a twist to the horizontal string they installed at home plate on the warm up mounds between the fields last season.  They have added vertical string to better define the plate.  The string is loosely knotted so that it can be moved to further minimize the target zone to one side of the plate or the other.

New tech HI tech

I’m starting to recognize some of the players in their nameless red tee shirt uniforms.  Names and numbers will come when practice starts officially next week.  There were a few more players in camp today.  Cord Sandberg was here today and  acquisition P.J. Walter arrived .

I think I watched Adam Loewen and Victor Arano pitch live batting practice.  I asked catchers Corey Bass and Joel Fisher who they caught and a couple coaches who was on the mound.  All 4 did not know.  I may be able to identify more players than anyone here.  Loewen throws a heavy ball that is effective when he can keep it down.  Arano really pops the glove.  Can’t wait to see a gun on him.  I was standing near a Phillies exec for a part of the live BP, and I overheard him say that he had yet to see a good curve ball.  I think he meant all week.

Roman Quinn drove a ball around the right field foul pole and followed it up with a smash to the gap in right-center while facing a live pitcher.  Left-handed, of course.


12 thoughts on “Full Squad, Day Three

  1. Jim Peyton’s the best. Jim Peyton’s the best. Jim Jim Jim Jim Jim is the best. (Courtesy of Sailor Jerry).

    1. Yes, but it not unusual for rehabbing pitchers to work out with the other group. That said, I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t report on how he pitched. I checked all the head shots I have when I got home, and I still can’t say with any certainty that it was or was not him, so I’m going to remove his name from the report.

  2. As a thought or two: We don’t really know just how much we’ve gotten back in trades in pitching but iMO we DO have to hold our coaches responsible that they should be able to develop several of them to compose part of a soon future staff.

    They’ve been given the clay and now they’ve got to mold them well and effectively. It seems to me that over the last couple of decades this franchise has had precious little success in developing good MLB pitchers (Hamels being a large exception). Is there something rotten at the throwing core of this team? Why should other clubs do well here and the Phils bring up the rear?

    Are wholesale changes in order before it’s too late to avoid making mud out of gems?


    1. Remember that they traded an amazingly large quantity of high end arms with Drabek, Knapp, Cosart, May, Carrasco, and Bonilla. That is a lot of raw material that your staff can no longer work with. Outside of that they turned Worley, Kendrick, Happ, and Buchanan into major league starting pitchers out of pretty much nothing.

      In other words, if you trade all your pitching promising prospects it is hard to develop good MLB pitchers

    2. art…examine most of the teams you are referring to as to developing arms…then exclude all the top 10/15 pick each team may have had from a particular draft with that pitcher, the Strasbergs, Harveys Coles etc ….then the numbers get lower
      Aaron Nola and whoever we pick in June, be it a pitcher, are two that i would measure for development.
      Eflin is another since he was a high first rounder also.

    3. There’s also a pretty solid homegrown bullpen that we’re looking at now–Giles, De Fratus, Diekman, Hollands, and others. And a group of guys that showed ability elsewhere that the Phils are looking to turn into something more–Ogando, Garcia, Araujo, A. Oliver, J. Rodriguez. I think if they’re able to get more out of these guys than their previous teams, or barbershops, as the case may be, it will say a lot about the coaching ability of the organization right now.

      If you want to criticize the coaching (rather than the scouting/FO), I think you have to point to guys with a lot of ability that didn’t succeed, or went elsewhere and saw a jump in production. I can think of a couple in the last few years, Colvin and Aumont, for example, that maybe didn’t live up to their ability, but I’m not sure other teams are going to be able to fix those guys either. We might be about to figure that out with Aumont. Some of the guys that Matt listed above that we traded away have seen increased success, but I don’t think any of their successes have come so immediately that we can necessarily say it demonstrates a coaching failure in the organization.

      I may be guilty of being overly optimistic or so Phillies-centric that I’m not seeing the massive success stories in other organizations, but I think if you’re looking for the problem, look at the top pitching talent in the last five drafts — Gueller, Watson, Biddle, Morgan, Pettibone. We know these guys’ stories, and I don’t think it’s coaching that’s holding them back.

      1. Buried in today’s David Murphy column is Sandberg reporting that Biddle has looked better than any other pitcher so far.

  3. Also Colvin and Aumont, while having really good stuff, always had control problems. That, I believe, is the hardest thing to coach. I am not apologizing for the coaching, but I think the biggest mistake was Dom Brown. he is so fundamentally poor that I cannot help but wonder why he couldn’t have been coached in areas like base running and route running. I think they have had better success with Pitching development. Where is any development of every day players?

    1. I hear what your saying, but they had to attempt to coach him with the fundamentals. If it’s so obvious, they are also seeing it. Maybe they had poor teaching technique or whatever, but I don’t think we can say that they didn’t try.

  4. The Phillies also have Manuel Chavez , Colton Murray, Ramos, E Garcia, Pinto . Imhof, Gonzalez etc it looks a lot better then last yr.

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