2/8/23 : Today at the Complex
A lighter day of practice this morning - one bullpen session, BP on Ashburn Field and fielding drills on Schmidt Field.
RHP Tom Sutera, ( 25 year old - signed as an un-drafted free agent 7/27/18 - Sienna ), threw an up-down session mimicking two innings of work on the mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn fields. He recently arrived in camp joining the rehab group working his way back from Tommy John surgery on March 2nd of last season. He’s made great progress - today he threw fastball, slider, change up and a pitch that had little to no spin which had the movement and look of a knuckle ball. I asked him afterwards and he said it’s a fork ball which he grips between the index and middle finger akin to a splitter but deeper to the webbing of the hand - that chokes the pitch on release and produces the knuckling action. It had a lot of tumble to it - looks like an effective pitch to produce swing and miss chases. Good stuff.
I was focused on watching the bullpen session so didn’t really get a good take on the BP going on concurrently on Ashburn Field but was told that Jordan Viars ( 19 year old outfielder - 2021 3rd round draft choice - Reedy HS, Frisco, TX ) smoked a ball on a line over the right field fence - the ball was hit so hard that it carried on close towards the street entrance to the parking Iot once it hit the ground - that’s impressive. Jordan is a very strong young man 💪👏👀.
Tomorrow practice shifts to the afternoon as organizational meetings will be held in the morning in preparation for both minor league mini camp and the beginning of big league spring training next week. There are quite a few live bullpens on the docket for tomorrow so should be a fun day of spectating.
We got the chance to speak to big league manager Rob Thomson today, he told me that he enjoys reading my emails ( I send baseball ops folks many of the same articles I post on the website ) and we got to chat about a few baseball things. Yesterday I got to chat with FCL Manager Shawn Williams who managed at Reading the past few seasons. It’s cool to talk baseball with Phillies managers, coaches, players and administrators and I’m humbled they take time to interact with me in that accord. It’s yet another reason for me that every day is a Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
Till tomorrow 🤓
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Tom Sutera delivers pitch to Leonardo Rondon - notice how the ball isn't spinning