WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 20, 2019
Great day!! It was in the mid 70’s and sunny when the practice started. By mid-afternoon it was in the mid 80’s. The players started to come out at about 10:45 and when they eventually got organized, they began to do their stretching exercises. It was near 11:30 when they finished the warm ups. Charlie was there. I keep wonder what he is thinking about this team taking so long to set up simple drills. His players used to run from field, not walk leisurely. The crowd was much smaller today than other days, mostly retirees.
They mostly only use two diamonds for the drills. For one thing, this is a rather small spring training roster. There were only 60 players on the roster. Usually the spring training roster is in the low to mid 70’s. The first game starts on Friday and in the next 32 days, they will play 33 games with only 2 days off. The trick is to finish the spring ready to start the season, but not worn out. Sometimes if they want to rest some players, they will call down to the minor league complex and have them send up a few players that they probably wanted to see in a big league setting.
The skills drills started with a base running drill around the entire diamond. That was followed with a relay drill. A full 9 was out there and the coaches would throw a ball to a vacant spot in the outfield and then the outfielder would then throw to the cutoff man and the cutoff man to home. On the other diamond, they hit grounders to the infielders and threw to different bases.
When they finished the drills, they set up the diamond for live batting practice. This is a drill where they take the batting cages away and one of the pitchers uses his full repertoire and speed to throw batting practice to the hitters. Actual umpires call balls and strikes. They only used 3 of the diamonds today. The first three were Zach Eflin, J.J. Romero and Adam Morgan. These three were followed by Jose Alvarez, Seranthony Dominguez, Edubray Ramos, Yacksel Rios, and Tyler Gilbert. To call this a batting practice is something of a stretch. There were very few hits. While this was going on, the left over pitchers were running around the perimeter of the outfield.
This year I did not buy season tickets. All in all, going to all of the home games in spring training cost me about $1,000 a year. It’s hard to justify this when all of the Phillies home games are televised and available over the internet. I do however have access to some freebies and will be attending some games. I always welcome meeting the fellow posters. If anyone is coming down and want to get together let me know and I will meet them at Frenchy’s Tiki Bar. I will be wearing a Greek fisherman’s cap.
See you tomorrow. That will be the last practice before the games begin.