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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

3/8/23 : Today in Spring Training

Major League Camp :  Scheduled Off Day

Minor League Spring Training :

A full day of activities including mental skills work, weight training and multiple on field drills. Select pitchers threw side bullpens on the seven mounds in front of the David Montgomery Training Center, others threw live bullpen sessions on Carlton & Roberts Fields.

Catcher’s Guidance  :

The catching position plays a vital role in baseball, it’s especially notable at the professional level.  Watching the Phillies player development process each day allows me to observe the interactions between the coaches and players - especially during bullpen sessions.  Coaches Ray Ricker & John Ryan Murphy have a great rapport with the catchers in camp whether it be chatting about things like the types of music they listen to, leading them to the correct fields for practice sessions or instructing them on catching techniques.  It’s a daily grind of drills and bullpens - they bring personality along with guidance to the process, from my perspective it’s what makes learning more intuitive through mutual respect.

Every bullpen session the coaches are close to the catchers, they stand directly to the side of them pointing out things such as glove angles, body positioning, blocking technique for pitches in the dirt or pitch framing - there’s encouragement when things are done well along with corrective instruction when needed.   Often times it’s about how to anticipate the movement of the pitch based upon what is called as well as learning each pitchers repertoire and delivery style.  There are even weighted catchers mitts that are used in practice to help the players adjust to catching the ball at the proper angle and glove position. Jersey Shore Manager Greg Brodzinski also spends a good amount of time working with the catching group - the staff has multiple coaches who’ve played the position - good stuff !

Side Bullpens :

Fourteen pitchers threw morning bullpen sessions on the seven mounds in front of the David Montgomery Training Center, some performed their work on the new state of the art pitching lab mound inside the training center, pitchers who threw today - Zach Linginfelter, Sam Aldegheri, Konnor Ash, Gabriel Cotto, Fernando Lozano, Yoniel Ramirez, Malik Binns, Matt Osterberg, Ty Collins, Enrique Segura, Blake Brown, Alex McKenney, Drew Garrett & Jace Vines

My observations :

Was good to see both Jace Vines ( signed as a minor league free agent ) & Drew Garrett ( 2022 19th round draft selection - Missouri ) on the hill as they both continue their rehab progression - brief stints today with heaters only at dialed down speed but steps forward for each.   RH Yoniel Ramirez ( 2022 minor league rule 5 selection from Giants ) continues to catch my eye - like the arm slot he delivers from and the action on his pitches.

Live Bullpens :

Eight pitchers threw afternoon live bullpen sessions on Roberts and Carlton fields - Brian Marconi, Taylor Lehman, Mavis Graves, Zach Warren, Danny Wilkinson, Jonh Henriquez, Jose Peña & Nicoly Pina

My observations :

Left hander Taylor Lehman ( signed as an un-drafted free agent in 2018 from Penn State ) has a classic delivery - simple and effective, ball comes out of same slot consistently, he had a good session today.  RHP Jose Pena ( 2021 6th round draft selection - Tampa Prep, Tampa, FL ) again showed that he has the tools to excel - good movement on his fastball and crazy spin  on the curveball - also throws a splitter that dives - when he’s in the strike zone it’s tough to square him up, has to harness his control and command but is just 19 years old ( won’t be 20 till July ) - there’s a lot to work with and time to hone it all in, watch out when that happens!

Top - Jose Peña - Middle - Yoniel Ramirez - Bottom - Taylor Lehman

Back at em tomorrow - Happy Day, Happy Baseball  ⚾️

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