Monday, February 23, 2015

Welcome to Spring Training: Updates from Camp

Well, Spring Training is finally here. So, that means talking baseball, right? WRONG! Trade rumors continue:
  • Cliff Lee, with the assistance of an 8-ball, says he doesn't know whether or not he'll be traded between mid-Spring & late July and will compete for the Phillies in the meantime. He is also healthy and throwing his bullpen sessions every three days as opposed to every other day, which is only a precautionary measure.
  • Papelbon says he'll continue to be himself: close games, mentor the younger guys, speak his mind. He also says that the Phillies could end up with a near-winning record. At least one thing is clear: he will be the closer if he performs well per Ruben Amaro, Jr.
  • Cole Hamels harshly criticized the Phillies in a short Q & A with Bob Nightengale of, saying he can't win here and wants a trade. In his presser, he rephrased that, saying he wouldn't mind a trade if it helps the Phillies, but will continue to do his best to help the Phillies win.
  • Howard: Ruben apologized to Howard for making their "better off without you" conversation public. Reiterates that they will work around him. Ryne said he will keep Howard in the line-up most days.
  • Galvis is ready to take control of the SS position, says he "will play his game" and not Rollins'. While he must perform, it is imperative we are not too harsh: he hasn't gotten consistent playing time in about three years. Let's sit back & see what he can do with regular playing time, shall we?
  • Many of the Phillies players, especially the "future core players", reported to camp early: many of the hitters reported on Thursday with the pitchers and catchers. Asche seems to be the winner, taking fly balls in the OF for most of Feb. Revere added that some are aiming to be player-leaders, which happens over time.
  • Ryne calls this a "transition year" while many fans compare this team to the Sixers - calling this a "tanking year". I feel the phrases "transition year" or "rebuild" are more accurate descriptions of the 2015 Phillies than "tanking": This team is capable of winning 66-78 games this year. Reviewing Ryne's comments a few months ago, his goals this year include improving communication with his players along with being amenable to playing the younger guys in other positions.
  • Reported this morning, the Red Sox likely get Cuban IF prospect Moncada, 19 Y.O., for a $30MM bonus, which would likely cost them an additional $30MM payment to MLB. The Phillies had interest, but I think the bigger failure is not taking Y. Tomas, 23 Y.O.
  • Injury: Phillies OF prospect Kelly Dugan is out for at least two weeks with a stress fracture in his right foot.
  • And last, but not least, I give you the new hitting program assignments, plus a note about broadcasters:
    • Hitting Coach Henderson: In-charge - will rove between the groups.
    • Former Manager C. Manuel: Howard, Ruiz, Franco, Francoeur, & Sizemore
    • Former 3B/ HoF M. Schmidt: Brown, Asche, Ruf, & Galvis
      • Schmidt will reportedly add home-game Saturdays to his broadcasting schedule this year. Ben Davis takes over for Jaimie Moyer, who left to be with his family.
    • Assist. Hitting Coach Mizerock: Utley, Revere & Hernandez
    • Minor League Hitting Coaches Rende, Tracy & Brundage will work with the rest of the hitters.
Ok, I admit that there is baseball talk, but there is also a lot of discussion on how the players are handling trade rumors - perhaps too much.

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