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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

3/25/24 : Training Camp nears conclusion

We started on January 8th with High Performance (HP) Camp as over seventy minor league players were back to work at Carpenter Complex in Clearwater.  A concurrent camp opened at the Dominican Academy with over fifty players participating.  While HP camp was going on multiple major league players also arrived voluntarily to begin their training.  The Carpenter Complex HP camp concluded on 2/9/24 and ran into Spring Training “Pre-Mini Camp” for players who chose to stay in Clearwater till mini-camp began on 2/19/24.

On 2/11/24 we were there for our annual greeting of the major league equipment truck as it arrived from Philadelphia to be unloaded, we have even made friends with the driver over the years 🤓.  Valentines Day (2/14) marked the official beginning of Major League Spring Training with pitchers and catchers reporting albeit most had already been on the fields in Clearwater already.  On 2/19/24 the full squad reported and I estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 fans were at the complex to watch, that was an indicator as to the larger crowds we’d see at Grapefruit League games once they started.  Practices till games began generally drew similar gatherings.

We were in Dunedin for game one of the Grapefruit League on 2/24/24 as the Phillies defeated the Jays 14-13 with lefty Kolby Allard serving as the initial pitcher on the bump, center fielder Johan Rojas had two hits in the game including a triple.

Minor league Spring Training Camp opened in full form on 3/3/24 with 153 players officially reporting - the prior mini camp ran till then with a little over 90 players participating, many of which received daily call ups to serve as reserves for Grapefruit League games.

Grapefruit League games aren’t necessarily indicative of where roster spots are earned, every spring the buzz amongst the fan base is seemingly based on how players perform in these games.  As an annual observer now for the past nine seasons I can attest that’s far from true, the games are needed for evaluators to assess the progress being made by players as to what they’ve been asked to work on, more often than not that isn’t decided by the stats from the games but rather the daily interactions and reviews - when I coached I used the phrase “practices are for coaches, games are for players” meaning that the practices were how I evaluated - while Grapefruit League games are in essence practice they aren’t the tell all in regards to player evaluations during camp.  Every year I’ve been a full time observer that’s proven over and again.  That being said I enjoy watching the games as it’s a glimpse of what might be and it’s my only opportunity to watch all of the players on a daily basis in person. Just sayin.

Yesterday’s transactions gave a clearer vision to the Phillies major league opening day roster with a few fellas staying back for more work to recover from illness or injuries incurred during camp.  Minor league roster decisions are still in process of determination, at least in regards to public announcement.

Today is the last Grapefruit League game of 2024 - the AAA level Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Phillies head north this afternoon to prepare for their opening days later this week.  The remaining minor leaguers will stay in Clearwater till 3/30/24 when minor league ST camp officially ends.  There are three more days of ST contests against the Tigers and Jays (3/26 to 3/28) yet to play and a potential intra-squad on 3/29.

We’ve written a daily report of the three months of training since early January, it’s the busiest time of year at the complex and I try my best to do justice to all the goings on.  I have no media credentials therefore every thing I write is truly from a fan’s view as is the title of my blog - that meant long walks from the stadium to the complex on days where parking wasn’’t available and often obstructed views from the stands or sidelines of the action but we did our best. We buy our tickets to games just like every other fan. There’s no one who writes about the Phillies player development process on a daily basis from personal experiences and views other than me.  That’s soon to change as the club has hired a social media specialist - it’s great news as this person has social media skills that I don’t possess and will have inside access that I do not.  I encourage you all to follow the Phillies Player Development site going forward.  The past three months have been fun, I hope you have enjoyed the efforts to report on the activities - we will finish up with reports for the balance of the week until 2024 training camp concludes.  After that let’s just say we’ll see.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

Note : I've partnered  with Fanatics on Phillies Merchandise - if you would like to help support my website and articles here's a link to order merchandise - I get a small commission on any sales - thanks for the support.

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Brandie Hettiger
Brandie Hettiger
Mar 26

I wanted to personally thank you for all that you do! As a parent of a minor leaguer (Kehden Hettiger), everyday I looked forward to reading your write ups on all that is going on! Thank you so much for all your hard work and insight. :-) Kindly, Brandie Hettiger


Mar 25

Thanks for your coverage. Much appreciated.

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