Another Spring Training Update, Big Names, 2/3/2020

Since my last update on January 28th, more players have arrived and some of the individual preparation has intensified.

Some of the recent arrivals include – Aaron Nola, Seranthony Dominguez, Spencer Howard, Enyel De Los Santos, Nick Fanti, Nicoly Pina, J.T, Realmuto, Didi Gregorius, Luis Garcia, and coaches Rob Thompson, Marty Malloy, and Larry Bowa.

That brings the early reports in Clearwater up to 49 players, and includes –

  • 35 Pitchers – Brandon Ramey, Tyler McKay, Spencer Van Scoyoc, Jaylen Smith, Jake Kinney, Ethan Lindow, Jose Alvarez, Mauricio Llovera,  Connor Seabold, Bailey Falter, Eudiver Avendano, Luke Leftwich, Kyle Young, Tyler Hallead, Ben Brown, Lizardo Herrera, Sandro Rosario, Trevor Bettencourt, Brian Auerbach, Carlos Francisco (WPT), Josh Tols, Robinson Martinez, Victor Arano, J.D. Hammer, Adam Morgan, Cole Irvin, Zach Warren, Jose Jimenez, Aaron Nola, Seranthony Dominguez, Spencer Howard, Enyel De Los Santos, Nick Fanti, Nicoly Pina, Dave Robertson
  • 7 Catchers – Colby Fitch, Edgar Cabral, Rodolfo Duran, Jack Conley, Nick Matera, Herbert Iser, J.T, Realmuto,
  • 4 Infielders – Alec Bohm, Jamari Baylor, Didi Gregorius, Luis Garcia
  • 3 Outfielders – Carlos De La Cruz, Jose Pujols, Andrew McCutchen,
  • 9 Coaches – Roly de Armas, Shawn Williams, Carlos Arroyo, Ray Burris, Greg Brodzinski, Chris Heintz, Marty Malloy, Rob Thompson, Larry Bowa

The 49 players are essentially in two groups non-rehabbers and rehabbers.

I reported that 13 pitchers took part in the bullpens last week.  A smaller group threw pens on Friday.  Another round is scheduled for Tuesday.

Robertson is throwing off flat ground with the other rehabbers.  It is notable that he is throwing pretty hard.  Suggestions that he may return by August don’t seem so out of the question.

Monday, a third group of hitters took part in BP – Realmuto, McCutchen, and Gregorius.  Didi also took some ground balls off the bat of Bowa.

The last couple weeks, Bohm and Baylor have gone through a lot of drills and taken a lot of ground balls under the scrutiny and tutelage of the coaches.  Baylor in particular received personalized instruction as the coaches transform from a prep shortstop to a pro shortstop.  They spent some time on back handing balls, but more time on shortening his throw and release.  He seems to thrive on the attention.

Friday, coaches worked on pitching mechanics for certain pitchers.  For example, they worked on getting Lizardo Herrera to rotate his hips to a consistent position.  They worked on how far pitchers brought back their front foot.  Today they had a different group working on extending their stride.  All these were undertaken without the ball in the pitchers’ hands.

I like watching the coaches give this kind of instruction where they will stop a drill and speak with the player.  And, I like seeing that the players are receptive to the personal instruction.

I think Baylor is the baseball version of basketball’s “gym rat”.  I get the impression that he would stay on the field all day and the coaches would have to “order” him off the field.  I’ve seen him run after balls while shagging.  Yeah, run.

23 thoughts on “Another Spring Training Update, Big Names, 2/3/2020

  1. Jim, thank you so much for the report on David Robertson – that is incredible insight. Wow, that is encouraging! I look forward to any further reports on Robertson.

    1. I know I’m in the minority, but if he’s healthy and can maintain his velocity, I think Arietta could have a big bounce-back year and, if so, they will have three solid arms at the top of the rotation. I’d be thrilled if he pitched like a #3 this year and so, I assume, would everyone else.

      1. He’s on a contract year. That’s lots of motivation. He needs his ball to move to be successful. Health is a big part of that. Fingers crossed!

      2. I agree. As much as I’m not an Arrieta fan, his motivation and health are major X factors in 2020. His personal pride alone may make the difference between an ERA of 4.50 vs 3.75, which would make him a solid #3.

        1. I think he just didn’t hit his spots in the first year and last year he was hurt. His stuff, when healthy, however, was pretty good – much better than the peripherals would suggest which I blame, in part, on coaching and who knows what else. But I think he really could pitch well this year.

          1. In 2017, his last season with the Cubs, Arrieta posted a 2.0 WAR. He was 2.9 in 2018 and 0.9 last season. If we can get 2.0 WAR out of him and 170 IP, I think that would be a reasonable expectation. BB9, K9, and WHIP similar to ’17 and ’18 would be nice, too.

            (BTW, he has performed as I had anticipated when I railed against signing him as a free agent back during the 2017 off season. So, I can’t say I’m disappointed in performance that I expected. But, we can be glad it was just a 3-year contract and happy with the veteran leadership he provides.)

  2. This question keeps disappearing so I’ll try again here, have the Phillies posted a list of non-40 man roster invitees to ST yet?

  3. Glad to see Nick Fanti is there and maybe will stay healthy this year.
    The three Long Island young pitchers …Young, Fanti and Brown…need to regain their health.

  4. Man, that is such good news on Baylor. His athleticism is said to be through the roof, so if he’s got a work ethic to match, he could excel in the near future. In that vein, while I’ve been down on a number of things with the team over the last year or so, I was not down on last year’s draft which, I thought was very well orchestrated and departed almost completely from the Almaraz draft pick model (moderate velocity pitchers with good control and hitters picked largely on perceived hit tool), which is not surprising given that, at the time of the draft, they likely mentally moved on from him. They got a solid college middle infielder with a good bat in the first round, a really nice young athletic player with Baylor, and they got a bunch of really solid college arms with lots of velocity and upside. Given that they didn’t have a second round pick, I thought they did exceptionally well.

  5. This Lizardo Herrera dude is an interesting project. Big 20 yo RHP — he’s actually bigger than Kilome. Herrera hasn’t pitched yet for the Phillies so he can be one of the prospects to put an eye on since Herrera has the frame that prospect projectors love.

  6. Jim, thanks for the update. Really like the gym rat opinion on Baylor. If he teams up with Kingery we might have a gym rat double play combination.

    How would an infield of 1B Hoskins (or Bohm), 2B Kingery, SS Baylor and 3B Stott sound?

    1. I like that projection, Frank. Perhaps in 4-5 years it becomes a premier infield. High character/good work ethic talent goes farther than the ones who mail in their time on the practice field.

      1. 8mark, Agree. Plus they’re a lot more fun to root for.

        If DH comes to National League, we can play both Hoskins and Bohm at 1B/DH with that infield.

    2. I’m excited about Stott and Baylor, but both are a bit too far away from the big leagues for projections just yet. It will be fun to follow them this year, however, and add to those names Kendall Simmons, who has a huge upside if he makes more frequent contact.

  7. Ya I get excited every year about a couple of our young unproven prospects but in the 9 years(2012) I have been coming to our site and projecting, how many have actually been developed by the Phils and established in MLB as the top 10 at their position?

    Nola came ready made so not sure we had much to do with his development so past him…

    1st – Hoskins – not sure if he is considered in top 10?
    2nd – Hernandez – again not sure top 10
    SS – ?

    I’m sure you guys have discussed this to death but really mainly visit this site from Dec – Feb when we are all jones’n for some baseball and doing the top 30.
    Here’s to another spring of hope!!!!

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