01/17/23 : Today at the Complex
Updated: Jan 18
No need to bore you with the details - so here’s a summary of what we saw today - pitchers fielding practice, batting practice and bullpens - that’s it - back at em tomorrow …
Ya know I can’t leave it at just that 😂
Eight pitchers threw bullpen sessions on the side mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn fields - Andrew Baker, Billy Sullivan, Nate Karaffa, Orion Kerkering, Tristan Garnett, Jose Peña Jr, Chase Antle & Danny Wilkinson.
Right handers Andrew Baker & Billy Sullivan started off the sessions - both are big arm relievers who rely on power. I believe it was the second bullpen for each ( threw first ones last week ). Sullivan has a unique delivery - hides the ball with a tuck behind his body and then boom, he delivers it with a rush - over the past couple years he’s gotten a longer arm extension than when we first saw him - ball arrives abruptly - little above a side arm slot. Baker is a bit shorter thru his motion and gets late life on the heater - there’s a normal drop off in velo of any pitcher’s toss from the time it leaves the hand till it arrives at the plate but Andrew’s ball seems to rise back up as it gets closer to the catcher’s mitt - I know it’s an optical illusion but it’s what I see each time I watch him pitch - maybe I’m just bonkers 😳🥴.
RH Orion Kerkering threw a couple sliders that were sharp and quick - they dipped but also had biting horizontal movement - one absolutely ate up his catcher and bounced away - catchers work hard in the bullpen sessions on blocking low pitches - they also practice framing diligently each day receiving pitches from a pitching machine - it’s gotta have big time break to get away from one of those fellas 😎. Kerkering also threw the fastball - hot, with rising life. Impressive - first time we’ve seen him throw live.
Tristan Garnett ( LH ) has a high release point and at 6’6” really needs to pull thru the ball to get it into the zone - I told him after his session that velo seemed higher than I remember from last season - was popping today - he threw a couple on the corners which would be in the “un-hit able” category - others sailed on him - it’s January and initial sessions - encouraging stuff but also always room to improve.
It’s the first time I’ve seen Nate Karaffa & Danny Wilkinson throw - both signed last summer but began their careers on the IL - Nate had a bit of a cross fire delivery working - Danny uses a classic windup - ball comes out a tilt above three quarter slot. Chase Antle ( RH ) threw his first bullpen of the year - he’s battled back from multiple surgeries - was good to see him on the mound again - chatted afterwards and he feels that he’s on track to get back into game action.
Simon Muzziotti took BP today, first time we’ve seen him. The speedy center fielder seems to have bulked up during the off season. Gabriel Rincones Jr also took BP today and fly balls in the outfield afterwards. We didn’t get to watch much of the BP sessions today as many were concurrent to the pitcher’s bullpens however we did see the first group - catchers Angel Mata, Jordan Dissin & Gus Sosa all had a good round - Dissin’s swing reminds me alot of Logan O’Hoppe - powerful upward drive thru the baseball. Sosa is strongly built and incorporates his legs well into his offensive approach.
As we left today noticed Jose Alvarado, JT Realmuto & Aaron Nola in the outfield of Ashburn Field having catch.
Phantasy campers arrive tomorrow for hotel check ins - some of the former Phillies who serve as coaches during the camp were at the complex today - namely Larry Bowa, Tommy Greene & Dickie Noles. It’s an annual reunion that the former Phillies thoroughly enjoy - I participated in the camp on five different occasions but am still in awe of the legends of prior years - they are good dudes but I can’t bring myself to even say hello sometimes - maybe I am indeed bonkers 🤣.
Back at em tomorrow - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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Billy Sullivan delivers a pitch to Jordan Dissin
Tristan Garnett delivers a pitch to Jordan Dissin