The guys here for Instructs are continuing to perform the drills I wrote about in an earlier report. They ended today’s work outs with a couple more contests. Apparently they have been divided into teams and are keeping score. I have no idea how that works. But, there is some partisan cheering during the events. And some question as to the judges partiality.
They played games Monday at Dunedin and Tuesday at Spectrum Field. I was unable to make it to the Dunedin game but heard that they turned away spectators. Continue reading 2019 Instructs, Second Week, Jay’s Game and a Camp Day
The guys here for Instructs are continuing to perform the drills I wrote about in an earlier report. They ended Saturday’s work outs with bunting and fielding contests. They played intrasquad games both days at Spectrum Field. I love watching a game when both teams wear the exact same uniform (Not!). Continue reading 2019 Instructs, First Week’s Intrasquad Games
Players arrived Sunday for Instucts and Strength and Conditioning. Monday, they began. And, so did we. My friend Steve Potter and I arrived around 9:00 AM and waited until the players came out to take part in exercises and baseball drills at 11:00 AM. They were divided up into groups, and progressed from one activity to another in those groups. Players were on the field for about 2.5 hours. Here’s who and what what we saw these first few days. Continue reading 2019 Instructs, First Week
If you are in the Clearwater during the summer, here are the schedules for the two Phillies squads in the Gulf Coast League.
Start times are subject to change but generally Saturday games are at 10:00 AM and games on all other days are at noon. No games on Sundays.
Games and parking are free. Security will check bags and wand individuals. No baseball bats permitted beyond the security check point. Continue reading 2019 Gulf Coast Phillies Schedule, East and West
Gulf Coast Phillies West
In their initial season, the GCL Phillies West posted a 30-24 record and finished second in the Northwest division, seven-and-half games back under manager Nelson Prada. They remained in contact with first place Tigers West as they steadily increased their lead and weren’t officially eliminated until the day after beating the Tigers and pulling within five games with five games left in the season. Their highlight may have been their 5-2 record against Phillies East which included a 19-1 drubbing in the last game between the two teams. West flirted with batting over .300 as a team for a good part of the season. In addition to Prada, the staff included hitting coach Chris Heintz and pitching coach Matt Hockenberry. Continue reading 2018 Gulf Coast Phillies Recap, Part Two (West)
The Gulf Coast League is a rookie level league in central and southern Florida. It is comprised of 18 teams in 4 divisions and represents 15 organizations – Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Houston, Miami, Minnesota, New York (AL), New York (NL), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto, and Washington. In recent years, the GCL Phillies have done very well. The 2016 Phillies posted a league best 43-15 record, finished first in the Northwest Division, won a one-game semifinal playoff game, and lost the championship series two games to one. The 2017 Phillies again posted a league best 36-22 record, finished first in the Northwest Division, and dropped the one-game semifinal game to the eventual league champion. Continue reading 2018 Gulf Coast Phillies Recap, Part One (East)
The Clearwater Threshers are the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate in the Florida State League. They are the High-A level in the Phillies minor league system. To some,they represent the halfway point in player development with AA Reading and AAA Lehigh Valley above and full-season A and the short season/rookie leagues below.
The Florida State League is located in central and southern Florida. It is comprised of 12 teams in 2 divisions and includes representatives from 12 major league organizations.
North Division – Atlanta (Florida Fire Frogs), Cincinnati (Daytona Tortugas), Detroit (Lakeland Flying Tigers), Philadelphia (Clearwater Threshers), New York Yankees (Tampa Tarpons), and Toronto (Dunedin Blue Jays).
South Division – Miami (Jupiter Hammerheads), Minnesota (Fort Myers Miracle), New York Mets (St. Lucie Mets), Pittsburgh (Bradenton Marauders), St. Louis (Palm Beach Cardinals), and Tampa Bay (Charlotte Stone Crabs).
The Threshers are led by second-year manager, Shawn Williams. His staff includes hitting coach John Mizerock, first base coach Ruben Gotay, and pitching coach Aaron Fultz, who is also serving in the same capacity in the Arizona Fall League. Continue reading 2018 Clearwater Threshers’ Season Recap
The Instructional League began in earnest today when the Phillies faced off against the Toronto Blue Jays at Spectrum Field. In addition to the 15 or so fans and one baseball reporter (me), there were about 30 scouts and a couple dozen Phillies front office and support personnel in the stands, Notables included Jorge Velandia, Dana Parks, a guy who looked like Bryan Minniti, and Oneri Fleita. Fleita was hired last off season to supervise scouting in Mexico. After the 2015 season, he had been signed by the Tigers as an international crosschecker. But, prior to that he had spent 25 years in the Cubs organization – notably as the director of the Cubs’ Latin American operations from 1997-2008, Director of Player Development from 2000-2008, and Vice President, Player Personnel from 2011 until his firing when Theo Epstein took over as GM. Continue reading Florida Instructs; September 24, 2018
Saturday, the coaches held an intrasquad game among the Instructs participants. They started a five inning game at 10:00 AM. Ten pitchers got work, but there were few if any substitutions among the position players. The most exciting news was that Sixto Sanchez was pitching in the first inning. Continue reading Florida Instructs; September 22, 2018
Wednesday I turned the calendar on another year, taking the day off from the heat and humidity at the Carpenter Complex. I returned Thursday to observe similar exercises and drills as the previous couple days.
The format remained the same with the players coming out around 10:00 AM for stretching exercises, conditioning drills, and long toss. These were followed the various fielding drills for each group – infielders, outfielders, catchers, and pitchers. Continue reading Florida Instructs; September 20, 2018