Another beautiful Monday morning in Clearwater. I got to the Complex early again. My friend Steve met the Phillies’ truck Sunday morning and was interviewed by a local television station. We found out this morning why the players go to the weight room before practice starts – to stretch before exercising. Lots of people on the fields today – coaches, trainers, and some baseball operations people. The major league coaches are in uniform, so they stood out from the players, who were wearing a variety of workout apparel. Thirteen players made their first appearance today.
Pitchers and catchers will undergo physicals on Tuesday. Their first workout will be on Wednesday, February 14th. The first full team workout is still on the 19th.
Today’s new faces included – Aaron Altherr, Seranthony Dominguez, Franklyn Kilome, Ricardo Pinto, Edubray Ramos, Yacksel Rios, Jose Taveras, Scott Kingery, Adam Rosales, Tyler Viza, Enyel De Los Santos, Nick Fanti, and Cole Stobbe. My final pre-report day count is 61.
Ps and Cs noticeably not early (not that there’s anything wrong with that, some of the Dominican players could have been working out at the Dominican Academy) – Victor Arano, Zac Curtis, Pat Neshek, and Ranger Suarez from the 40-man roster; and Cole Irvin and Francisco Rodriguez from the NRIs. With Eric Fryer’s retirement, the Phillies are one catcher short for the start of camp.
Position players not early include – Cameron Rupp, Eliezer Alvarez, Maikel Franco, Carlos Santana, and Jesse Valentin from the 40-man; and Ryan Flaherty, Heiker Meneses,, and Danny Ortiz from the NRIs. I know that Franco and Santana are working out together at the Dominican Academy. Maybe some of these others are also. Valentin just finished the Caribbean Series. He earned a rest.
After running through their exercises on Roberts Field, the position players stayed to long toss. The pitchers went to Schmidt Field and held a lengthy meeting in left field.
After long toss, the pitchers went to Carlton Field for PFPs. The position players split into two groups and took BP on Roberts and Schmidt. I detected that several pitchers were missing at PFPs. Found them on the mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn – Velasquez, Leiter, Garcia, and Garcia.
The infield drills were held with Will Middlebrooks and Cole Stobbe at third base, Adam Rosales and Drew Stankiewicz at shortstop, and Pedro Florimon and Scott Kingery at second base.
Alfaro and Knapp were catching the pitchers. The remaining catchers and position players were taking fly balls in Roberts’ right field.
Batting practice was held on Roberts and Schmidt. I believe this was done to save a few balls. Friday, they lost an easy two dozen with just 15 guys hitting on Ashburn. They had them hitting into a wind today, and could only lose balls to Roberts’ left field. The ball hawk only got about ten today.
Altherr and Alfaro looked good over on Roberts.
Did a lot of walking trying to keep track of all fields. Things should be easier once they settle into their predictable training schedule Wednesday.
A lot more fans are starting to show up at the Complex. Many showed up after practice was over. Haha, if they followed us here, they would have known.
I’m going to miss this familiarity when even more fans show up. But, I did have nice conversations with Charlie and Greg Legg.
Charley loves to talk about hitting. He told us “A day without hitting is a day without sunshine”. He attended an autograph session Saturday night with Dick Allen. He said that Allen told him that he never felt the need for BP. Charlie opined that not taking BP shortened Allen’s career. Charlie also remembered how players would avoid BP with him back with the Indians, but as soon as they had problems, they came looking for Charlie.