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).
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.
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.
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.