Spring Training at the Complex, Mar. 7, 2018

The Phillies were playing again today, so I arrived at the Complex early, around 8:30.  I spotted coaches Berrios and Bergesen and two other coaches working with four pitchers individually.  They were on the mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn Fields.  It looked like they were working on mechanics.  Coach Berrios is a proponent of using one’s hips. He was working with Adonis Medina, the only player I recognized.  Their gray T’s displayed “Take Nothing for Granted” in place of their names.

Apparently, Wednesday is meeting day.  Coach Kapler brings the entire squad over to the minor league building to meet in a conference room rather than in the Spectrum Field club house.  Speakers can include coaches and instructors from among the minor league staff.

I was unaware of this facet of camp.  When I saw Roman Quinn and Mitch Walding exit the building, my curiosity was piqued.  My first thought was that they had been sent down.  But almost immediately after, others exited – including Odubel Herrera, Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford, Carlos Santana, and a hooded Maikel Franco.

As Santana ran interference for the others by stopping to sign autographs, Johnny Almarez, Larry, Bowa, Charlie Manuel, Mike Schmidt, and Gabe Kapler slipped out of the building and took an unencumbered route back to Spectrum Field, although one fan was observant enough to get Kapler to sign a ball.

The Complex quieted down for a while as we waited for the day’s work out to begin.  It is easy to engage others in conversation about the Phillies.  I often use these opportunities to drum up additional readers for Phuture Phillies.  I also listen to see what information I can pick up from anyone who might know something that I don’t know yet.  I always talk to the guards and police officers.  Sometimes just being cordial pays off as you’ll see later.

Eventually, Roly de Armas began the procession over to DiMaggio Field.  Most of Groups Three and Four followed (I don’t think all of the pitchers are required to make the trip).  I use this time to greet the players as the head over.  I’m practicing for a job at Walmart when I’m too old to stalk the Complex.  I have found that almost all of the kids will respond in kind.  Even the newer Latin players who know very little English will respond.

Groups One and Two took assumed their work out positions on Roberts and Carlton Fields.  And, the Phillies not scheduled to play in the day’s game filed out for their work out.  I began trying to locate the players who had been sent down from the major league camp.  Finally, I spotted Edgar Cabral with Group One.  By the time they broke out into their throwing pairs, I had spotted Drew Anderson and J.D. Hammer with Group One, with the following caveat.

Hammer was one of several guys in red shirts throwing with the Group One pitchers. Coach Burris was observing.  In addition to Hammer, Jake Waguespack, Ben Brown, and Nick Fanti were also in red and throwing with the Group One pitchers.

It looks like Cabral’s arrival and assignment to Group One has pushed Wilson Garcia to Group Two.  He took BP and worked out at first base with the group.

The Phillies took BP on Ashburn, and their pitchers ran PFPs on Schmidt.  During BP, the infielders field ground balls.  The symmetry of drills like this always mesmerize me.  I can’t believe that no one ever seems to take a ball on the noggin.  After the position players finished, pitchers took BP.  I caught the tail end of this.  I would have loved to have watched this.  I believe that only probable/potential starters took BP as relievers wer taking PFP come backers on Schmidt.  The only pitchers who I can say for sure were taking BP were Eickhoff and Eshelman.

After stretching and tossing, Groups One and Two took BP.  I am guilty of watching Group Two again.  I also started talking to MiLB.com writer Sam Dykstra.  Sometimes I get a little star struck when talking to some of the writers I come across down here.  I told him I write about the Phillies’ prospects.  I think I told him the name of the site.  I know I forgot to mention my name.  Duh!  I did however introduce him to Scott Kingery’s dad.

During BP, some pitchers get their throwing in over on the Seven Mounds.  I think I saw Sixto throwing.  I know I saw Medina.  And Singer.  Oh, Tyler Hallead is in a red shirt with Group Two.  Pitchers not scheduled to throw, shagged.

Today, Austin Listi really muscled a few balls to left.  The lefties had a tough time hitting into a gale force breeze blowing in from right.  (That would have affected the righties in Group One on Roberts).

The early session ended around 11:15 and most of the players waited in the dugouts for the next round of drills to start.  I believe that this is an intended break for the players.  I noticed them snacking on bananas and such during the break.

They were scheduled to resume at 12:10, but the horn signalling the resumption of their work out blew at 11:45.

New twists to the drills are in bold text.

  1. The outdoor batting cages along the drive way – BP off a pitching machine.
  2. Ashburn – bunting off a pitching machine.  They continued with yesterday’s wrinkle where the batter had to bunt balls in succession –  one, then two in quick succession, then three, then four, and finally five.  Today, they had a competition to see who could reach the highest number.  A miss is a foul, a pop up that could have been caught, or an outright whiff.  In the group I watched , Kevin Markham bunted 10 successfully.  One ball rolled slowly across the foul line during his set of eleven. I complimented him later at another station.  He appreciated that I noticed and acknowledged his feat.
  3. Carlton – a.) flyballs off a machine for outfielders.  Today, they stodd in two lines 40-50 feet apart in center field.  The coached aimed a fly ball from the right field foul line between the lines. The first player in each line broke for the ball, and one would call the other off.  Calls of “I got it” rained down from the outfield.  b.) PFPs for pitchers and infielders.  Mostly balls between the mound and first base  for the pitchers, first basemen, and second basemen to drill this particular play.  The result was different each ball in play as the coach would randomize which fielder he wanted to field the ball.  c.) the return of the “firing squad” for pitchers in foul territory down the right field line.  The other day, coach hit mostly hard line drives back at the pitchers.  Today, I saw some one hoppers.  But, I don’t know if that was intentional.  He also hit a few off the barn above the fence behind the pitchers.
  4. Roberts – a.) pickoff moves from the mound with runners stacked at first base.  The first runner had to break or return depending on whether the pitcher threw (motion, no ball) to home or first.  The runners stacked behind the leasd runner always broke for second.  b.) Pitchers practiced their pickoff turn out in CF.  c.) catchers practiced taking throws from a machine set up at short and applying a tag on the line.
  5. Schmidt – Infield drills.  More of a standard session, they didn’t use multiple coaches hitting balls as much as on earlier days.
  6. Seven Mounds – pitchers soft-tossing to each other.
  7. The mound between Carlton and Roberts – catchers received balls from a pitching machine, low target, framing.
  8. Some players peeled off to eat lunch.
  9. Others went to the indoor cages.
  10. And pitchers who completed their work began doing their running.

When the position players finally broke for lunch, so did we.

Once again, no group assignments available.  So, this is what we have to go by.  I added the changes I mentioned above in bold text.  I’m now pretty sure that I saw Mark Laird the other day.  Still don’t  know what is up with Gabriel Lino, Josh Tols, and Adron Chambers.

  1. Group 1 – (with the Reading staff)
    CatchersBossart, Grullon, Cabral
    Infielders – Cumana, Jose Gomez, Martin, Joey  Meneses, Stankiewicz , Tomscha, Canelo, Green, Emmanuel Marrero
    Outfield – Haseley, Jan Hernandez, Sandberg, Tromp, Randolph, Coppola
    Pitchers – Arauz, Bergjans, Tim Berry, Casimiro, Cleavinger, Davis, DeNato , Parker Frazier, Elniery Garcia, Gilbert, Leftwich, McGarry, Rivero, Romero, Singer, Tirado, Viza, Watson, Windle, Waguespack, Anderson, Hammer
  2. Group 2 – (with the Clearwater staff)
    CatchersW. Garcia, Rivero, Fitch, Lartigue
    Infielders – Antequera, Brito, Gamboa, Hall, Listi, Rivas, Scheiner, Williams
    Outfielders – Alastre, Martinelli, Pujols, Matos, Moniak
    Pitchers – Alcantara, Aaron Brown, Casey Brown, Cabrera, Ryan Etsell, Falter, Fanti, Edgar Garcia, Hallead, Hibbs, Kelzer, Llovera, Medina, Mills, Paulino, Blake Quinn, Requena, Russ, Sixto Sanchez, Hennigan, Bettencourt
  3. Group 3 – (with the Lakewood staff)
    Catchers – Duran, Marchan, Nerluis Martinez
    Infielders – Azuaje, Buhner, Guthrie, Maton, Mims, Nieporte, Austin O’Brien, Pickett, Stobbe, Zoellner
    Outfielders – Gurrola, Markham, Mayer, Muzziotti, Jhailyn Ortiz,
    Pitchers – Armas, Brogdon, Andrew Brown, Carrasco, Dohy, Julian Garcia, Hernandez, Howard, Jones, Marcelino, Melendez, Nunez, Parkinson, Ramirez, Rosario, Rosso, Seabold, Sobil, Stewart, Warren, Young,
  4. Group 4 – (with the Williamsport and GCL staffs)
    Catchers – Aparicio, Gutierrez, Lenin Rodriguez
    Infielders – Encarnacion, Luis Garcia, Gonzalez, Guzman, Henriquez, Holmes, Rodriguez, Rojas, Stewart, Torres
    Outfielders – Bocio, De La Cruz, Pelletier, Stephen
    Pitchers – Leonel Aponte, Carlos Bettencourt, Ben Brown, Carvajal, Conopoima, Cummings, Cummings, Juan Escorcia, Alex Garcia, Jimenez, Kuznetsov, Lindow, Denny Martinez, Robinson Martinez, Mezquita, Miller, Morales, Alfonzo Puello, Santa Cruz, Juan Santos, Silva, Vargas

These four guys are on rehab – Mario Sanchez, Grant Dyer, Sutter McLoughlin, and Kevin Gowdy.  

I wasn’t sure that I was gong to post this today.  I think that it gets pretty repetitive from day to day.  But the readers I meet here tell me they really appreciate this kind of detail when they read from home.  The mystery reader I alluded to a couple days ago was Scott Kingery’s father.  He told me how much he as a parent appreciates these reports.  And finally, I read an e-mail today from the father of another of our prospects.  He voiced a similar sentiment to Mr. Kingery’s.  He was “turned onto” the site by the parent of another prospect.  So, when the drudgery of writing gets to me, I’ll remember that not only do you guys appreciate this site, but that our prospects family members are reading too.

And finally, the guard I mentioned earlier told me that there is likely to be a scrimmage in Spectrum Field against a team from Villanova.  It will start around 1:00 PM and will be open to the public.  It was vague who would represent the Phillies.  I would hope that it would be a team of minor leaguers.  But it could just as easily be the guys from Phillies spring training who don’t make the bus trip to Tampa.  Hopefully not.  That would likely be an unfair line up.

And let me conclude by acknowledging the Phillies’ three game winning streak.

#Phly Phillies Phly


28 thoughts on “Spring Training at the Complex, Mar. 7, 2018

    1. Love your work jim. thank you. I am trying to get romus to give you his new Cadillac .for all your great work

  1. Jim, your attention to detail and thoughtful insights are much appreciated. What might seem mundane and unimportant are enjoyed daily from afar. Thank you.

  2. You can add me to that list of appreciative parents!! This is my #1 go to in the morning for all things happening in camp. Thanks for the effort! Tom

  3. Another appreciative parent here Jim! Great to read all the details you provide. I’ll be there in a couple of weeks, so hope to have the chance to meet you then.

  4. Thanks as always, Jim. I’m no one’s parent but it’s cool that your work means so much to the families of the players. How else, I guess, would they get to find out what their children are up to!

  5. If anyone is there, say hello to Grandma Eflin for me. I was there two years ago and she was as nice as could be (she asked me if I had a son there – as if it were normal to have a child who could play in the major leagues) and we became e-mail buddies. She e-mailed me within 15 minutes of Zach being called up, which was super cool. I’ll probably send her another e-mail to catch up, but enjoy everyone.

  6. nice inputs. Any info on one of my sleepers of the year…Waguespack. Why the red shirt. i think has a real chance.

    1. Speculation is that
      1.) they just want to monitor the pitches of some of the guys who were down here in January, or
      2.) that some are suffering non-baseball issues (like the aftermath of the flu).
      I’m always concerned when I see players in red, but the fact that some are running through the drills and throwing on the side is encouraging. And, I know for certain that at least one of them was laid up with the flu.

  7. Jim,

    I think the value of this site and the work you do is of importance beyond we readers, players and family. I think it is important to the Phillies organization as you become a connection for family and players, an important contribution especially being a disinterested third party.

    And, of course, the informed commentary on this site is surely monitored each day by the club.

  8. This must be the all-time best moment to be the parents of a Phillies minor leaguer and to be following minor league ST. There is so much talent in the system, so many young players with a realistic shot to play in MLB, whether for the Phillies or for another team. I’ve been following the Phillies and their farm since 1960 and can’t remember this time when there was anywhere near this deep a pool of farm talent. There also is a lot of opportunity on the big team within the next several seasons, especially for the young pitchers.

  9. This is the first sight I come to everyday to see what is gong on. I really don’t know what other sights there are to get this info. As everyone else said this is the most insightful info to get about minor-league ball players, good or bad . I appreciate all the work you do Jim. Your passion for the game is our reward. I’ll be down the 17th to 24th. Looking forward to seeing you, my son and the complex again. Thank you

  10. I’m a happy family member from Nebraska that appreciates what you do! This website is the closest thing to being there. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you. Your son (or brother, cousin, nephew, …) is one of my favorites and has been since he was drafted. We say “hi” to each other almost daily and often manage to have short conversations.

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