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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

3/17/24 : Just Sayin - Spring Breakout

I think that the initial Phillies minor league spring breakout game yesterday was successful.  It was really cool how prepared both Scott Franzke and Kevin Stocker were in calling the game in Lakeland.  I hope that many Phillies fans got to hear the broadcast - in particular the interviews as I mentioned in my recap of the game.  The passion and dedication of each player development person who spoke on the broadcast shined thru, I know how much they care as I see it on a daily basis but it was great to hear them voice it on the broadcast.  Assistant GM Preston Mattingly made the point about being present each day for the players, that he’s out on the field and available to interact or is doing so.  That’s well founded, I often get comments and feedback from players about how much that’s appreciated.  His enthusiasm for the development process is self driven as he lived it as a player also, I often observe how amped he gets when a player or coach does well - he lets them know immediately - the positive reinforcement is well received and from my view goes a long way in making all feel part of the equation.

Hitting Coordinator Luke Murton stated that no player is “forced” to do something they aren’t comfortable with, that is also something I’ve seen - he and the hitting coaches make practices fun and engaging while teaching - those who think the PD group has a “cookie cutter” approach are very much wrong.  The clips from Marty Malloy talking about players were evident as to why he’s such a popular manager, players know the man has their back but is also truthful and honest in his approach.

When Pitching Coordinator Travis Hergert spoke about how Griff McGarry has transcended himself and progressed from a very dark day last summer in Lehigh Valley when he was completely lost on the mound till now with a re-invented delivery it was evident by the emotion and sincerity in Coach Hergert’s voice how much he puts into the job and how he truly cares about the players.  When talking about his travel schedule (player development is basically a year round process short the recently imposed November to December dark-out period) he told how Assistant GM Jorge Velandia often reminds him to get home to see the family often as well.  The Coordinators spend a great deal of time either at the affiliates or at the two complexes (DR and Clearwater) but family life is very important - Jorge is good people (as I also know by interacting with him) to remind him of that - btw Travis is a great dad and husband - I’ve seen that interaction with his wife and children.  His boys adore him. 👍

Just cool to me as an outside observer who doesn’t miss much when I’m at the complex to see what I know have a wider forum shared with fellow fans. To me that’s why the initial spring breakout game was most successful. The “Protect the Standard” Phillies Player Development mantra isn’t just about baseball - it’s very much about heart and love of the game - this group displays that every day.  I witness it from the sidelines and in the background and marvel at the camaraderie - good stuff!

It’s now time for minor league spring training games to begin in earnest. An off day today and practice tomorrow with games starting on Tuesday.

Minor League Spring Training games will begin on 3/19/24 - here’s the Phillies schedule.  All contests start at 1 PM unless notated - all games are played at the complexes

3/19 : Tigers - AA/AAA @ Lakeland, A/High A @ Clearwater

3/20 : Yankees - AA/AAA @ Clearwater, A/High A @ Tampa

3/21 : Blue Jays -  AA/AAA @ Clearwater, A/High A @ Dunedin

3/22 : Tigers -  AA/AAA @ Lakeland, A/High A @ Clearwater

3/23 : Blue Jays - 11 AM - AA/AAA @ Dunedin, A/High A @ Clearwater

3/24 : Blue Jays  - AA/AAA @ Clearwater , A/High A @ Dunedin

3/25 : Camp Day

3/26 : Tigers - AA @ Clearwater,  A/High A @ Lakeland

3/27 : Blue Jays - AA @ Dunedin, A/High A @ Clearwater

3/28 : Tigers - AA @ Clearwater, A/High A @ Lakeland

3/29 : Camp Day

3/30 : Camp Break

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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