Setting the Tone
Phillies photographer Miles Kennedy captured Chase Utley’s first World Series at-bat, a first-inning home run in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Bay Rays on October 22, 2008. Chase was the 34th player in World Series history to go deep on his first at-bat. The Phillies went on to win the game.
Three days later Citizens Bank Park hosted its first World Series game.
ICYMI Rick Kranitz (bullpen) and John McLaren (catching) have been added to Pete Mackanin’s coaching staff. To say they have experience is putting it mildly.
The 57-year-old Kranitz was the Milwaukee pitching coach for the last five seasons. A fourth-round selection as a pitcher by the Brewers in 1979, Kranitz pitched in the minors but never made it to the big leagues. He’s been in the game ever since as a minor league pitching coach, pitching coordinator (two organizations), manager and big league bullpen coach and pitching coach (Marlins and Orioles in addition to the Brewers).
McLaren, 64, has been in pro ball since being drafted as a catcher in the seventh round by Houston in 1970. He’s been a minor league manager, big league coach for five different teams and manager twice. He’s also been a scout for two teams and most recently was a pro scout for Oakland (2012-15).
Combined, that’s 81 years in the pro game.
Phillies have over a dozen scouts at a big high school showcase in Florida this week. With college baseball programs soon shutting down their fall schedules, Phillies amateur scouts will be idle for a while.
OF Cornelius Randolph, OF Greg Pickett and INF Lucas Williams will join the Phillies’ Dominican Instructional League starting November 1 for three weeks.
Eight minor leaguers will participate in a strength and conditioning program, October 29 through December 19, at Carpenter Complex: SS Malquin Canelo, OF Carlos Duran, RHP Ricardo Pinto, OF Jose Pujols, RHP Franklyn Kilome, 1B Luis Encarnacion, SS Arquismedez Gamboa and C Deivy Grullon.
Cesar Hernandez is rehabbing his injured thumb in Clearwater as are C Jorge Alfaro (hamstring) and LHP Mario Hollands (Tommy John surgery).
In sweeping the Cubs in four straight games, the Mets never trailed in any game. Amazing.
During the regular season, the Mets were last in the league with 51 stolen bases. In nine postseason games, they have nine, most among any team. They also have the most strikeouts, 94. Amazing.
Mets’ Daniel Murphy has hit seven home runs in nine postseason games. During 130 regular season games, he hit a career-high 14. Can he match that total in the postseason?
His hot October plus the NLCS MVP trophy certainly has increased his value as a free agent.
Kyle Schwarber’s swing reminds me of John Kruk’s. But Kruk could only dream of having Kyle’s power. Schwarber hit a monster postseason home run that landed on top of the Budweiser sign at Wrigley Field. Kruk would be inside the sign guzzling a Bud.
Schwarber and the Mets’ Mike Comforto played in the Future’s Game in July. Three months later, they were in the postseason.
Behind the Scenes
A Villanova baseball product and first baseman with 12 years of pro experience, Gene Schall turned to scouting for the Phillies in 2008. Learn all about his career change and the life of an amateur scout at http://www.phillies.com/alumni.