2017 Spring Training, Pitchers and Catchers Report

Hooray!  The off season has come to an end with the official start of spring training – which we simply refer to as Pitchers and Catchers.  This is the day all baseball fans look forward to once their team plays it’s last game of the season.  Phillies’ pitchers and catchers reported for physicals yesterday and began their workouts today on Schmidt Field at the Carpenter Complex (officially the Paul Owens Training Facility at the Carpenter Complex).

First meeting in right field before workouts begin
I don’t recall this stretching exercise in past spring trainings

There were far fewer fans on hand for the start of 2017 Spring Training.  Last year I reported several hundred on day one.  I bet there weren’t very many over one hundred today.

As in past years, a lot of position players were present and went into the stadium to take batting practice.  I devoted today to pitchers and catchers.  I’ll follow BP tomorrow or Thursday.

Due to all the recent questions regarding the health of some pitchers, I decided to see if I could get video of Mark Appel throwing.  I found him long tossing on Roberts Field and saw him uncork a couple of hard throws.

Mark Appel long tossing

When they were done, his group went to the Seven Mounds to throw.  I positioned myself as best as I could and got video of four pitches.  Fortunately, Appel is the only pitcher wearing traditional pants exposing red stockings.  The pitchers in the video from left to right are #79 Victor Arano, #55 Cesar Ramos, #54 Pedro Beato, #66 Appel, #? I dunno (third base!), and #71 Elniery Garcia.  (Found out later “I dunno” is #86 Drew Anderson)

Another pitcher who has drawn interest is Jake Thompson.  Well, the bandage is off his wrist.  (I heard he sprained it, but that should be considered hearsay until I get a second source. Later confirmed in Pete Mackanin interview)  He took part in drills but did not long toss.  These two videos show him fielding a slow roller back to the mound and tossing underhand to first and third.  All other pitchers received equally slow tosses (simulating bunts), but Thompson was the only one tossing underhand.


After PFPs (pitchers fielding practice), catchers took their batting practice on Ashburn Field.  Cameron Rupp, Ryan Hanigan, and Bryan Holiday were in the first group.  Now, keep in mind this is BP off a coach (Bob Stumpo today).  Rupp was crushing balls.  Several bounced off the Bright House/Spectrum Field wall.  Prodigious.  Homeric.

The second group included Jorge Alfaro, Andrew Knapp, Logan Moore, and Chace Numata.  All made nice contact.  Knapp stood out.

They finally changed some signage at the stadium, on the back of the scoreboard and inside.  Most of the stadium signage still says Bright House.

People on Route 19 can see this name change as they exit for the Complex

Brad Lidge is here.  He looks like he could still play.  He was standing next to a coach during PFPs and I thought he was one of the players.

It’s great to see all the friends from previous springs as they arrive for spring training – Steve, Barb, Vivian Harriett, Ozzie, Frank, Richard, Gary, John, John, Don, Dan, Mark, Ron, Jim, Stick, Steve, and Gail.  Geary (you know him as Gkita who posts video of ST) hasn’t arrived yet, hope to see him later this week.

If you come to the Complex, stop me and say “hi!”.   I wear a straw hat with wide brims that has a Threshers logo on the front.  I usually have a red and black back pack on my shoulder and a clipboard in my hand.  On cloudy days, I may wear a red Wawa cap.  I’m sporting a mostly gray goatee right now, but when my wife tires of it, it’s gone.

A little numerology.  The Phillies issue 88 numbers from 2 thru 99 to 94 players coaches and spring instructors and guest instructors.

  • Players and coaches get numbers from 2-86, and 94 (Hinojosa)
  • Spring instructors get 87-99, skipping 94.
  • Guest instructors are former Phillies and they wear their old numbers even though they may be issued to current players except for Mike Schmidt’s #20 (a lot of coaches and instructors wear wind breakers that hide their numbers).
  • Unissued numbers include –
    • #1 – Ashburn (# retired)
    • #6 – last worn by Ryan Howard
    • #11 – last worn by Jimmy Rollins
    • #14 – Bunning (# retired)
    • #20 – Schmidt (# retired, although he wears his as a guest instructor)
    • #26 – last worn by Chase Utley
    • #32 – Carlton (# retired)
    • #35 – last worn by Cole Hamels
    • #36 – Roberts (# retired)
    • #41 – Charlie Manuel
    • #42 – Jackie Robinson (# retired league-wide)
    • #43 – last worn by Philip Klein
    • #51 – last worn by Carlos Ruiz
    • #52 – last worn by Severino Gonzalez
    • #69 – never assigned

In the afternoon session, the minor leaguers who are early reports worked out.  Cord Sandberg, Mitch Walding, Austin Bossart, and Caleb Eldridge took batting practice. Pitchers threw out of sight.



23 thoughts on “2017 Spring Training, Pitchers and Catchers Report

  1. Thanks. Smiling when I saw you refer to the Costello “who’s on first”…by “I dunno (third base).” I believe that there are hundreds of we Phillies Phans who’d love to trade locations with you for 6 weeks. Envy. Looking forward to more “reports from the actions.”

  2. Is it possible for you to check out 4 players whose need for weight gain is known: Tocci, Young, Goedell and Crawford. Have any of them done that…from your eyes?

    1. Kyle Young took part in the Phillies 5 week weight and conditioning program this past autumn with about a dozen other prospects. He looks the same to me but the goal isn’t necessarily to put on weight but to add muscle. That can be achieved without gaining weight. I’ll ask him when I see him.

      The program is all about weight and conditioning. They do absolutely no baseball related workouts during the 5 week period.

      I don’t think Tocci is here yet, but Crawford and Goeddel should be available over in the stadium during BP. I won’t get close enough to ask, but I should be able to see/photo them when I attend BP either today or tomorrow.

  3. They started at 10:00 Tuesday, and I expect the same today. I would assume the same start time on Saturday and maybe a little earlier on Sunday. I’ll check with the security guards, they seem to know since their schedules are predicated on when the players are at the Complex. I’ll get back to you. Note: with the WBC interference this spring, I don’t anticipate any off days for the players.

      1. The guard at the Complex door has a list of players and numbers. He’ll be glad to give you one. I could reproduce it here, but it’s on legal size paper and the print is small. Better to get a copy at the Complex.

    1. That sucks, could be TJ and a lost season. If true that would be a shame because he had a shot at getting called up sometime this year.

        1. … and in between came Tim McCarver John Bateman, McCarver again, Jim Essian, Johnny Oates, Ted Sizemore, Dave Rader, Keith Moreland, Bo Diaz, Alan Knicely, John Russell, Dwayne Murphy, Sil Campusano, Wally Backman, Todd Pratt, Gene Schall, Scott Rolen, Schall again, Doug Glanville, Jimmy Rollins, and Glanville again

            1. Yeah, but I’m old enough that I think of Callison as #6. And Gene Mauch as #4, Bobby Wine #7, Tony Taylor #8, Richie Allen (not Dick) #15, Don Money #16 (and Cookie Rojas), Danny Cater #10 (yeah, really), and #9 brings back memories of Gus Triandos. Over fifty years later, and that’s who I still associate with those numbers. Funny how the mind works. And #14 will always be Bunning to me even though Pete wore it too.

            2. It will be interesting to see what they do with the numbers of Rollins, Utley, and Howard. The five numbers that were retired are also in the HOF. Hall of Famer Chuck Klein wore 7 different numbers with the Phillies. Five other players who went into the HOF as Phillies played in the “no numbers” era – Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ed Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Dave Bancroft, and Sam Thompson.

  4. Jim….how does big strong Oklahoma kid Caleb Eldridge look to you?
    Him and Darick Hall are both big first baseman drafted last year, in the mold of Kyle Martin from a few years ago.
    Phillies do have their share of ‘football linebacking’ looking first baseman in the system

    1. Without getting carried away over batting practice off a catcher (Greg Brodzinski), Eldridge is making decent contact. A friend who writes his own blog was getting carried away keeping track of home runs on Tuesday between Eldridge and Bossart. I think he had Eldridge leading 8-2. I teased him that Eldridge would be his next “sure thing” prospect headed for the majors. I don’t think he noted my sarcasm. I’m guessing that he did write the story, and you read it? Yes, Eldridge has a nice looking swing so far and looks like he can field the position. BUT, he wasn’t hitting well in the GCL before he got hurt, and my blog buddy wasn’t coming to the Complex to see him in those games last year.

      1. Thanks Jim.
        And yes your friend does seem to go ‘over-the-top’ at times with enthusiasm for his prospects. I just needed to hear a more objective analysis.

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