Think Spring

Pitchers and catchers report to Bright House Field on February 18 with the rest of the squad five days later….14 weeks and two days from now.

It will mark the Phillies 70th year of holding Spring Training in Clearwater.

Pete Mackanin organized the daily spring training workout schedule the previous two years for Ryne Sandberg. As a manager in spring training for the first time, Pete can run the camp as he sees fit.  It’ll also be the first camp for Matt Klentak, the new GM, and Andy MacPhail, the new president.

The schedule not only includes Grapefruit League games in Florida but three games up north.  For the first time there will be a two-game series, Phillies Futures Games. Phillies of tomorrow will play alongside the Phillies of today in intra-squad games.  The first will be March 21 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading and the second, April 2, at Citizens Bank Park.

An On-Deck Series game with the Orioles will also take place at Citizens Bank Park on April 1. Check out the complete spring training schedule at

Top 10
Baseball America has listed their top 10 prospects for each of the 30 big league clubs.  The publication began with the teams in the National League East.

The Phillies top 10:
SS J. P. Crawford
CF Nick Williams
RHS Jake Thompson
C Andrew Knapp
C Jorge Alfaro
OF Cornelius Randolph
RHS Franklyn Kilome
CF Ramon Quinn
RHS Adonis Medina
CF Carlos Tocci

Winter Ball
RHP Ranfi Casimiro (Dominican Republic) and 3B Jan Hernandez (Puerto Rico) are now participating in their native winter leagues . . . 20-year-old RHP Victor Arano is lights out pitching in his native country (Mexico). In 12 appearances, he is 3-0, 0.66 ERA; opponents are hitting .184.  He was one of two prospects acquired from the Dodgers in 2014 for RHP Roberto Hernandez.

Sneak Peek
The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits
is the title of my new book which will be available starting next May in book stores and on-line. Larry Andersen wrote a hilarious foreword. Publisher again is Triumph Books

One chapter deals with the history of the Wall of Fame which was started at Veterans Stadium in 1978 and included both the Phillies legends and those of the Philadelphia Athletics. With the opening of Citizens Bank Park, the Wall was located in the Toyota Memory Lane area of Ashburn Alley.   In addition to the verbiage of each plaque there’s additional personal information on each Wall of Famer.  Can you name the Phillies legend who attended Michigan State on a basketball scholarship?

What’s happening?
Plenty of going on at the Phillies home during the offseason: Mike Boekholder (Director, Field Operations) and his crew have completed re-soding the infield . . . On Wednesday evening, Phantasy Campers will take batting practice in the Phillies’ and visiting team’s indoor batting cages . . . All day Saturday some 8,000 participants will compete in the Spartan Race . . . That evening the Goldberg Bar Mitzvah (Diamond Club) and Sunday afternoon, the Sands Bar Mitzvah (Phillies clubhouse).




Robin Roberts went to Michigan State on a basketball scholarship.

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