2/13/23 : Today at the Complex
Updated: Feb 13
It was an optional attendance day for the minor leaguers with mini camp slated to begin on Wednesday - a good day to chat with fellas as they weren’t in a rush to get to field assignments.
There were multiple pitchers from upcoming big league camp who threw bullpens on the seven mounds area in front of the David Montgomery Training Center, I didn’t have a good sight line so couldn’t identify them. I can attest however that Seranthony Dominguez, Matt Strahm & Francisco Morales have arrived and were on Schmidt Field having catches today.
A bunch of big league camp hitters took batting practice on Ashburn Field as well - we noted that Bryson Stott, Rafael Marchan and I believe John Hicks and Kody Clemens were in the hitting groups. Dalton Guthrie worked in center field with coach Paco Figueroa on fly balls and getting outfield instruction. They joined Alec Bohm, Simon Muzziotti, JT Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber & Rhys Hoskins.
Rafael Marchan had a good round from both sides of the plate - he’s coming off a strong showing in the Venezuelan Winter League. Alec Bohm looks to have added about 15 pounds of muscle - he consistently drove baseballs over the left center and left field fences in BP - high, long taters at that. Kyle Schwarber hit the right field scoreboard with one of his drives and JT Realmuto launched three in row over the left center field fence high into the sky after hitting coach Kevin Long jokingly chided him about hitting the weight room when a liner to left field hit off the fence before that - the fellas are already loose and having fun - right where they left off 🤓. By the way I really like Rhys Hoskin’s swing - no wasted motion, quick and thru the baseball - same as I remember him back in 2015 minor league spring camp when I first heard the ball crack off his bat with that special sound. Good stuff.
Infielders took ground balls on the Bowa half field as well - notably I could see Bohm, Stott & Hoskins from afar - I didn’t walk up there from the complex - will go up one day this week to get a closer look.
Fan Chatter :
I met a couple of interesting fans ( Mr & Mrs John Burns ) on my way out of the complex whom are here on vacation from Wilmington, Delaware. We reminisced about the Wilmington Semi-Pro League which I pitched in many years ago - I told him my story about how I struck out former Phillie Johny Briggs in a game to only have Dave May hit one to the moon against me as the next batter 🤓. Had a few good games and more pleasant memories than the May dinger at the league’s primary venue - Brandywine Field on 18th and Van Buren. John told me he is in law enforcement and relayed a funny story about how he was able to be on the field and in the locker room the night the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. Always cool to chat baseball with Phillies fans from all over - never know when ya are gonna make a new friend at the complex. 👏👍
The Need for Speed
On a somewhat related note - back in my day pitchers who threw their fastballs in the near to mid nineties were the exception and considered “big arms”. That’s long since changed with it seemingly now being the exception to not have a fastball near to mid nineties with multiple hurlers even regularly posting above that range - some even sitting consistently in the 95 plus velocity realm - in particular relievers.
The Phillies have no shortage of the 95 plus club of “big arms” - by my count there are ten pitchers on the current 40 man roster who qualify in that space - Jose Alvarado, Connor Brogdon, Seranthony Dominguez, Craig Kimbrel, Yunior Marte, James McArthur, Luis Ortiz, Christopher Sanchez, Gregory Soto & Zack Wheeler.
Again by my count there are currently another 52 members of the 95 plus club in the Phillies minor leagues that I’m aware of -
Those that flash 95 or a bit higher but generally sit a tad lower : Adam Leverett, Albertus Barber, Andrew Walling, Braden Zarbnisky, Brett Schultz, Carlos Francisco, Cristian Hernandez, Daniel Harper, Enriquez Segura, Erubiel Armenta, Gunner Mayer, Jon Duplantier, Jordi Martinez, Jake Jewell, Jose Peña, Malik Binns, Mark Appel, Matt Russell, Mike Adams, Noah Skirrow, Orion Kerkering, Rodolfo Sanchez, Starlyn Castillo, Taylor Lehman & Tyler McKay
Those that generally fire in the 95 plus range every outing : Alex Garbrick, Alex McFarlane, Andrew Baker ( can sit 97 to 101 range ), Andrew Painter ( can sit 97 to 101 range ), Andrew Schultz ( can sit 95 to 100 range ),Billy Sullivan ( can sit 96 to 98 range ), Blake Brown ( can sit 97 to 99 range ), Cam Wynne, Chase Antle, Christian McGowan, Dominic Pipkin, Drew Garrett, Eduar Segovia, Francisco Morales, Griff McGarry ( can sit 96 to 100 range ),Jake McKenna, Jaydenn Estanista, Jesus Cruz, Jonh Henriquez ( can sit 96 to 98 range ), Maikel Garrido, Max Kuhns, McKinley Moore, Mick Abel ( can sit 96 to 98 range ),Nicoly Pina, Pan Wen-Hui, Tommy McCollum, Yoniel Ramirez & Zach Lingenfelter.
Rule News :
MLB’s Joint Competition Committee has voted unanimously to make the extra inning rule permanent for all regular season games moving forward. (2023 and beyond). A runner will be placed at second base at the start of every extra inning. - Jesse Rogers - ESPN
Back at em tomorrow - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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Alec Bohm BP against coach Joe Thurston