Every morning, no matter if the Phillies are home on the road, there’s batting practice at Bright House Field.
Ruf and Rupp each hit two home runs Wednesday as the Phillies won two games, vs. Baltimore in Clearwater and vs. Minnesota in Ft. Myers. Wonder if that has ever happened, two different players hitting two home runs in a split squad day.
Cameron Rupp posted a clever tweet: “4 homers on the day for Cameron Ruf.”
Wheels’ Clearwater Report
Losing Altherr is a big blow. He’s an athletic, an outstanding defensive outfielder with a good arm and power potential. Plus he’s a right-handed bat something we need. Goeddel is an intriguing young prospect. He, too, is very athletic. As a hitter, very aggressive. As a Rule 5 pick, he was going to get playing time. Now, even more.
What a great arm Velasquez has. He lights it up in the middle of the 90s consistently. Can see why we wanted him in the Giles deal. He likes to pitch and is working on his off-speed stuff.
Howard, who’s been sick, got to take live BP Wednesday. Standing behind the cage were Luzinski and Schmidt. Thought hit me, those three hit a ton of Phillies home runs. Our greatest eras were represented. Now, we’re trying to build another core for another championship run.
As we get to the middle of March, more and more Phillies fans are coming down here. In talking with them, they are enjoying seeing the outstanding young players and they understand the direction the organization is taking. They really know a lot about our young prospects, are very interested in judging their talent and following their careers.
I continue to be amazed with the atmosphere at Bright House Field. There’s no better ballpark in Florida. Fans just continue to enjoy being here. It’s been like that from day one 12 years ago.
Birthdays today: OF Cedric Hunter (28) and broadcaster Ben Davis (39) . . . Hispanic Phillies minor leaguers will have English speaking lessons starting Friday morning at the Complex . . . While this is the Phillies 70th spring training in Clearwater, it’s also the 50th anniversary of Carpenter Complex. Learn about the history of the Complex visit http://www.phillies.com/alumni.
Spring Training Memories
Ben Davis, Phillies broadcaster
“I guess you could say my first spring training was in February 1996, in Peoria, AZ. I was out there the previous year for a week in extended spring after I got drafted by the Padres. But that first, full spring training was in 1996. My roommate was a pitcher and fellow Pennsylvanian named Todd Erdos. I can’t remember the name of the hotel we stayed in, nor do I want to. It was a cockroach-infested hole. One memory I can recall is thinking to myself, ‘How many more bullpens are there to catch?’
“The things I liked most was getting in the hot weather, hitting on an actual field (as opposed to a cage in some cold warehouse back home), being back with my teammates, NCAA March Madness brackets, and preparing myself every day for the long season coming up.
“I didn’t like getting up early every day. I didn’t like the minor league chow line. I didn’t like the endless bullpens to catch. I didn’t like my farmer’s tan! I didn’t like that it was 6 weeks long…we, as players, thought we were ready to go a lot sooner than that.”
I’m scheduled to sign my new book, The Fightin’ Phillies: 100 Years of Philadelphia Baseball from the Whiz Kids to the Misfits, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday, March 18, at Bright House Field. First opportunity to buy the book.