Clearwater Update (2/6/17)

Spring training coverage starts next week, but I was over at the Complex today and saw something of note that I wanted to share with you.  I plan on going over everyday this week, so if I see anything else worth reporting, there may be more of these short reports.

I had heard that Larry Andersen was going to be on hand, visiting with the early reporting pitchers.  However, the pitchers usually work out in seclusion and none were visible while I was there.

Several catchers and position players were on hand and took batting practice.  The early reports included –

  1. Roman Quin who has been here fore quite a while.  I first saw him before Phantasy Week.
  2. Andres Blanco who was here during Phantasy Week, but whom I was unable to identify until today.
  3. Greg Brodzinski who was also here during Phantasy Week.
  4. Tommy Joseph
  5. Aaron Altherr
  6. Jorge Alfaro
  7. Andrew Pullin
  8. Chace Numata
  9. Austin Bossart
  10. Luke Maglich
  11. Caleb Eldridge

Four or five coaches were watching them hit or pitching to the players.  I recognized Roly de Armas, Shaun Williams, and Matt Stairs.

Among the things I felt newsworthy were (keep in mind this was BP off coaches) –

  • Quinn was lacing line drives
  • Alfaro was crushing balls over the left field fence
  • Pullin transformed his body.  He looks like the hulk across his shoulders.  I didn’t recognize him at first.  I thought he was one of the catchers.
  • And, the scoreboard on Roberts has been installed.

I don’t put much stock on BP against coaches.  It’s more a timing and muscle memory exercise than a results thing.  So, I don’t pay strict attention.  But I was curious to see how Quinn looked and equally curious in Alfaro who I had seen bash on Carlton Field while he was on rehab after he was acquired.  When the other guys took their swings, I was talking to some of the other fans in attendance.

20 thoughts on “Clearwater Update (2/6/17)

  1. Thanks for the reports, Jim. My wife and I are headed down the third week of March. I’m looking forward to some baseball again.

      1. Wow Frank, By Saam…..I was just able to reach counter to turn up the radio when he was calling games.

        1. Rem,

          And there was Gene Kelly and Bill Campbell and….well…you get the idea. Some of us are OLD, but still lovin’ life.

          Truthfully, PhuturePhils is one of the greatest discoveries of my, ahem, silver years. And I very much enjoy the great dialog and analyses of the posters here, and admire the great work done by Jim. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a career newspaper guy who some years ago started his own media company, which is still growing. In fact, 17 straight years of revenue growth.

          The point of all of this is that I appreciate the posters on this board and the enormous and valuable work that Jim does. I hope someday to meet Jim so I can thank him in person. If not, Jim, know that your work is very much appreciated.

    1. Murray, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I’ve been to 3 of the last 5 spring training camps (can’t make it this year). The players who stood out most when I went were Cozens (first time I saw him it was blatantly obvious that he was a better player than Larry Greene), Tommy Joseph (blasted long drives everywhere last spring), Quinn (electric – you can’t take your eyes off him), Alfaro (believe it or not, it’s because of his personal charisma – he’s got some start power to him), Knapp (dude is all business – I’d be shocked if he doesn’t make it as major league player in some capacity), Hoskins (stopped us dead in our tracks in the batting cage of all places – and this was before his 2015 season), Walding (there’s a reason he was drafted so high – has a nearly perfect swing, but probably has trouble with breaking pitches) and Pullin (line drive machine).

      As a hitter, there is a lot of Daniel Murphy in Pullin. I wouldn’t count him out either. He can really hit.

      1. Catch – your comment reminded me of those sweet days watching spring training games – which I do every year for the month of March. I was awe struck last year when I saw JP Crawford in the field vs. the Pirates in Bradenton. I mean as smooth as silk and just glided through several plays – pulling off a beautiful dp in very acrobatic fashion. He will be worth the price of admission – just to see him field !

        1. Agreed – he is completely smooth. This “smoothness,” to me speaks to his coordination, body control and athleticism. It is for this reason I predict a long road of offensive improvement for J.P. He might not hit his offensive peak for 5 or 6 years.

      2. Catch,

        I’ll, excuse the expression, catch upwards of a half-dozen spring games and follow that up with that many or more Thresher regular season games. It’s always been interesting how much one can learn from those games. From personal observation, I agree on your comments: Hoskins, Alfaro, Quinn, Cozens, Tommy Joseph.

        For me, Edubray Ramos was another discovery from personal observation when he was at Clearwater.

        Fun for sure.

        1. You also can take away “bad” impressions with certain players.

          Larry Greene never seemed impressive in any way. As soon as I saw him hit (which he did poorly mind you), I sort of wrote him off in my mind.

          Last year, my most negative impression was of Mark Appel. He exuded no confidence at all. None. Zero. It was like he wanted to crawl into a hole and hide. The exact opposite of Quinn and Alfaro. Now, I don’t know if it was permanent or not (and he doesn’t seem like a bad guy), but it was striking. Hopefully he feels better about himself this year.

          Oh yeah, Zach Eflin is just a great, regular dude. Met his grandma and everything – they are salt of the earth people. He just seems like a super nice guy. I’m rooting hard for him.

          1. Oddly enough, Jesse Valentin left a very positive impression – as if he wanted to show that the problems he had were an aberration and behind him. He was nothing but smiles and positivity.

            1. Being in LE I can tell you for a fact, just bc you are arrested for DV doesn’t mean you actually assaulted your spouse, live in GF, family member etc. I haven’t read anything about JV issues so I don’t know if he was actually charged or not. I’ll never demonize (not saying you or any one of us has done this) unless I know the complete facts. Can’t tell you how many times someone says they were hit or they have a complaint of pain when it’s obvious they aren’t being truthful however it’s still an automatic lock up and soley on ones words. Again not sticking up for him or bashing him bc I have ZERO idea of what actually happened.

              As far as Pullin goes, he can grow into the hulk all he wants, if he can ONLY hit fastballs he’s gonna get exposed in AAA. That’s my opinion of him, anytime I’ve seen him play he hits the ish outta fastballs and looks like he’s never played a game against slower secondary pitches.

        2. One spring training two years ago Edubray was staying at my hotel and we met in the pool, he with very limited English at the time. The next day on the practice field, he went out of his way to wave to me and say hello. Sometimes we forget that these are 20 year old kids who are blown away that all of us just want to be part of the baseball world somehow. Spring training is a beautiful thing for sure.

  2. I read on CSN of all places that Jake Thompson is nursing a sore wrist. That’s a bit of a bummer. I’m sure he was destined for LHV anyhow but I hate when our guys are roughed up to start the year.

    1. I expect some young pitcher might end up on the 60 day DL to open up a 40 spot. We’ll see….

      1. Can you put a player on the 60-day DL prior to the start of the championship/regular season?
        The new CBA made changes in that area, i e 15-day is now gone and its 10-day DL, was that changed?

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