9/7/21 : Planning for the Fall - Minor Leagues
The 2021 regular season ends on September 19th for FCL, single A and double A baseball. The Dominican Summer League extends till 10/2. The triple A season extends till October 3rd.
We will be making a PA visit over the next few weeks, first time since 2019 … hopefully will get to an Iron Pigs game and perhaps an appearance or two at CBP as well 😎.
September is also the month when planning for both Fall Instructs and the Arizona Fall League occurs in earnest. Fall Instructs are slated for the end of September and will likely run four weeks while the Arizona Fall League ( AFL ) is set to kick off on October 13th. Each MLB organization is entitled to send seven players and a coach to the AFL, the Phillies in years past have been part of the Scottsdale Scorpions club sharing the roster with the Giants, Mets, Blue Jays and Braves … affiliations may change this year though.
Fall Instructs will be held at Carpenter Complex and will likely not be open to the public. MLB training protocols for COVID remain in place for events at least thru the end of the year. The Phillies organization is one of seven that did not meet the requirement of 85 % tier one vaccinations therefore their restrictions are tighter than clubs that have met the criteria.
Players selected for the Arizona Fall League generally have played during the season at the High A level or above … I’d think the Phillies 2021 contingent will likely conform to that guideline however there are no restrictions in choosing to send a player who played at a lower level. In my opinion Double A level position players who in years past might be slated to go to the AFL that have played the full 2021 season plus big league spring camp and have gotten a combined season’s worth of plate appearances are more likely this year to finish the 2021 season with a few weeks of AAA level play rather than spend 30 days in the AFL, since the AAA season is now an extended one. It would seem more prudent to introduce those players to a higher level of pitching to end the season with momentum built towards 2022 rather than splitting time on an AFL roster 🤔.
Position players who didn’t attend big league spring training and also saw limited action during the summer due to injury or other issues would seem more likely to be selected for the AFL experience. With the wrath of injuries multiple pitchers have incurred this summer it’s likely the same guideline is in play for many of the hurlers selected, those who had limited appearances this summer.
The Fall Instructs roster will most certainly include the 2021 draft selections and un-drafted free agents. Additionally the 2020 draft choices and UDFA’s are likely to appear. FCL roster players and many from the low A team usually return as well for instructs, games against opposing organizations will likely be limited once again with the emphasis on individual training and instruction instead. It’s the primary time of development where mechanical tweaks are worked upon, off season programs are planned and expectations are set for the 2022 spring training camp. I’d also expect 2022 ST to be staggered like this year was, big leaguers and the AAA contingent first with regular seasons opening in late March/early April and the AA and A squads a month later with late April/Early May opening dates followed by FCL players. It allows teams to utilize their training facilities more completely without jamming the clubhouses to capacity. COVID restrictions or not, I think it’s gonna be the new normal. Just my opinion.
In any regards the player development staff and management above them is certainly in the midst of planning for the fall season, that includes determining a new Player Development Director … the hopes are to have that person in place before Instructs begin.
Let the speculations begin 😎
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️
2021 Minor League Spring Training File Photo