2/19/23 : Today at the Complex
Major League Camp Activity :
The major league team reported at 8:30, on field activities began at 10 and practice finished at around 12:30. There were twelve pitchers who threw live bullpen sessions ( six on Ashburn and six on Roberts ). Andrew Painter, Mark Appel & Griff McGarry each threw their second side bullpen of the camp ( on the seven mounds in front of the Montgomery Building ).
Major League Camp Pitchers who threw live bullpens :
Nick Nelson, Christopher Sanchez, James McArthur, Erich Uelmen, Louis Head, Yunior Marte, Ben Bowden, Luis Ortiz, Jake Jewell, Jeremy Walker, Andrew Baker & Francisco Morales
My Observations :
Typically pitchers are ahead of hitters in early live BP’s and today was no exception. While officially it’s just pitchers and catchers required to be in camp at this point there are multiple position players who have reported early - mostly all of them participated in the live BP sessions this morning as hitters - a great sign as to the interest and desire of the players to continue what they started last season.
I tried to watch bits of each hurler’s sessions but unfortunately missed a few - they run concurrently on two opposite sides of the central building at the complex ( Ashburn & Roberts Fields ). For those I did see here are my impressions - RH James McArthur may be the best kept secret on the 40 man roster, he is a 26 year old who spent most of last season at the Complex rehabbing an elbow issue - he’s healthy now - the 6’7” hurler threw with ease - very lively fastball and solid secondaries - cruised thru his session against very good hitters including Kyle Schwarber.
RH Louis Head ( 32 years old - signed as a minor league free agent ) showed a very good slurve - good bite that locked hitters. RH Yunior Marte ( 28 years old - traded from Giants for LHP Erik Miller ) has electric stuff, JT Realmuto caught him and frequently gave him the attaboy signal after pitches - Marte has an elongated slow delivery however - may be one to struggle with the pitch clock, it was in use during every session this morning - Yunior pushed it to the limit on most every delivery. Luis Ortiz ( 27 years old - waiver claim from Giants ) is another big arm - command has been a prior issue but from what we’ve seen this week the stuff can certainly play.
RH Francisco Morales sported a new blue glove as well as a couple new pitches - the cutter seems to be a pitch that multiple pitchers are developing, add Francisco to the cutter arsenal group - the 23 year old has a plus, plus slider which we saw again today produce multiple swing and misses, he’s previously struggled commanding his four seam fastball so the thought is to add a cutter and two seam sinker to the mix and spot the four seamer - it’s never been a question on stuff but rather command/control - at 23 years of age he’s far too young to discount - is a big league arm that when it clicks with the new mix might be akin to how Andrew Bellatti performed last season - featured slider with secondaries being the other pitches - stay tuned.
Last session of the day was Andrew Baker ( 22 years old ) on Ashburn Field - he’s got high velo heat ( upper nineties to triple digits ) but also a put away slider - produced two strikeouts today with the slider, both against lefties - one swinging and one looking that froze the hitter. Andrew is also incorporating a cutter. Skipper Rob Thomson was amongst those watching Baker today - from my view Andrew didn’t disappoint - good stuff 💪⚾️.
Andrew Baker delivers pitch to catcher Jack Conley - Darick Hall is the batter - Rob Thomson & Caleb Cotham looking on
Other Notes :
Baseball Hall of Famer Pat Gillick and Phillies Wall of Famer Manny Trillo were sitting in the stands watching the action on Roberts Field - I introduced myself to them both and thanked them on behalf of all Phillies fans for the championships they brought to us - it’s not everyday you get to meet such baseball royalty - honored.
Minor League Mini Camp :
A day off for the minor league players today.
Photos from today
Back at em tomorrow - Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
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