Rookie to Disney

Third basemen past and present chat around the batting cage.

Off To Disney
Severino Gonzalez, a 22-year-old Panamanian right-handed pitcher, climbed aboard the Phillies 8 a.m. bus this morning.  Destination: Disney World.  No, he’s not going vacationing.  The Braves hold spring training there and Gonzalez is starting for the Phillies.  Aaron Harang, today’s scheduled starter, remained in Clearwater to get his work in a Class A minor league game at Carpenter Complex this afternoon. So, Gonzalez made the trip and will be pitching on ESPN TV.

On Friday, another pitcher from Carpenter Complex will be on the mound for the Phillies (the Yankees at Bright House Field).  Say hello to 21-year-old Aaron Nola, last year’s #1 selection in the draft.

A look to the future.

Five Phillies are out of options meaning they need to clear waivers before they can be sent back to the minors: Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Justin De Fratus, Andy Oliver and Phillippe Aumont.  Galvis and De Fratus are sure shots to make the club.  Oliver is a rule 5 selection.

Something like 135 players are out of options throughout baseball camps this spring.

My 2 Cents
Media opinions on trading Cole are all over the place.

We are wrong for not trading him earlier.  We should trade him now before he gets hurt.  We should wait until the trading deadline to deal him.  We should lower our demands. We should stick to our demands. We should pay a portion of his salary.

If a trade does happen, I suppose we will be wrong for not getting a better deal.

Spring Training Phun Fact
ICYMI: Molitor and Sandberg yesterday became the first Hall of Famers to manage against each other on the major league level.  They threw out the first ball in tandem. The ball from the first pitch of the game was signed by both and is on its way to Cooperstown.

Spring Training Memories
Scott Franzke (Broadcaster 2006-)
“My first spring training memory came during my junior year at SMU.  Two buddies and I decided to make spring training our spring break so we started driving from Dallas to Florida after the last class on Friday.  We were non-stop with three of us taking turns. We got to Winter Haven where the Red Sox trained. The game was sold out so we wound up buying standing room. We spent two-three days in Florida, staying in the cheapest motels we could find and then drove back to Dallas.

“As far as my first big league camp, 2002 with the Rangers, their last spring in Port Charlotte.  I did the pre- and post-game show on KRLD radio and was a fill-in play-by-play announcer.  My first broadcast ever was the Phillies and Rangers.  Vincente Padilla started for the Phillies.

“What do I like about spring training?  Since living in Philadelphia, the warm weather is definitely appealing.  What don’t I like? This may sound strange, Clearwater Beach traffic.”

100 Years Ago

Orange Grove Fun
Phillies players would often sneak away from spring training in Coffee Pot Park to the orange groves to supplement their meager lunches. Bert Adams, George Chalmers and Oscar Dugey are having fun in one of the groves. Photo: Bob Warrington collection.


Alumni Images

From the lens of Miles Kennedy, the Phillies talented photographer:

2015 st alumni day

Panoramic view of Saturday’s Alumni Day at Bright House Field.

2015 st daultonbowa

Daulton and Bowa hug, two greatest Phillies to wear #10.


“You’re outtta here!” Looks as if retired umpire Jerry Crawford has ejected Larry Andersen.

Oh, No
“The skipper wants to see you.”

That’s basically the message one of the Phillies coaches delivers to a player when cutting the camp squad.  C Tommy Joseph was the last player to get that message on Saturday, leaving the camp with 44 players.  Limit is 25 by opening day in two weeks.

Phil Ins
3B Maikel Franco had six singles before being optioned to Carpenter Complex on Friday.  He homered in his first game there on Saturday for AAA club.

SS J.P. Crawford hit his first homer yesterday for AA club.

Phillies face Braves in Disney World, 1 p.m. Tuesday, ESPN TV.  Busses at 8 a.m.

Young pitching prospects are being brought over from Carpenter Complex this week.  Severino Gonzalez will start Tuesday against the Braves and Aaron Nola, Friday vs. Yankees at Bright House Field.

Two Phillies and Pirates Class A clubs will have games at 1 tomorrow afternoon at Carpenter Complex.  Free admission.  Aaron Harang will pitch one of the games.

Sunday’s Best Tweet @FranzkeLA
Franzke: “He speaks English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento.”
LA: “I get those in my olives.”

Spring Training Fun Fact
Pat Burrell had the last hit at Veterans Stadium and the last spring training hit at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium.

Spring Training Memories
Brandon Duckworth (RHP, 2001-2003)
“It would have been 1998 at Carpenter Field.  Stayed at the Hampton Inn and roomed with Ryan Branyan.  Have no idea what was my uniform number.  I was really excited that first day, knowing that pro ball had finally arrived.  I knew nobody but was looking forward to the challenge.  Always glad to get to spring training and get out of the cold weather.  Anxious to seeing teammates again and meeting new teammates.  What didn’t I like?  Well, in the big league camp, you were on the bottom of the totem pole as a rookie.  So, you got to take all the 3-hour bus rides.  Often, I never got in a game.”




Alumni Day


Alumni Day, a new idea in spring training a year ago, is back for a second run.  This Saturday many former Phillies players will be at Bright House Field, a 1:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, who just signed 38-year-old Randy Wolf.  No, Randy won’t be at Alumni Day.

Gates open at 10:30 a.m.  Some of the Alumni will swing into action at 11:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.  There will be multiple autograph stations and greeters at the west gate entrances.  Don’t be surprised if an Alumnus driving a golf cart shows up to pick up fans from the parking lot and drive them to the ballpark. That’s in the plans unless the Alumni driver gets lost.

At 12:45 p.m. over 40 Alumni will be introduced on the field, including those former players currently in uniform in the big league and minor league camps.  That group will not appear at autograph stations because of their daily workout schedule.

There’ll be a few more surprises before and during the game.

Please be aware the list of names is subject to change.

2015 Alumni Day Roster
Dallas Green, Charlie Manuel

Billy DeMars, Carlos Arroyo, Roly deArmas

Larry Andersen, Chris Brock, Don Carman, Brandon Duckworth, Scott Eyre, Paul Fletcher, Aaron Fultz, Tom Gordon, Dave LaPoint, Dickie Noles, Robert Person, Shane Rawley, Steve Schrenk, Rich Surhoff

Darren Daulton, Mike Compton, Bill Nahorodny

Larry Bowa, Dick Allen, Dave Cash, Juan Samuel, Ron Clark, Ivan DeJesus, Denny Doyle, Pedro Feliz, Greg Legg, Pete Mackanin, Mickey Morandini, Tomas Perez, Desi Relaford, Ryne Sandberg, Andy Tracy

Greg Luzinski, Rob Ducey, Tony Longmire, Gary Matthews, Jason Michaels, John Morris, Matt Stairs

Jerry Crawford, Philadelphia native who’s retired and living in St. Petersburg.

Bill Giles
Lee Thomas


Quiet Day


Phillies clubhouse at Bright House Field is quiet today as it is a day off.  Back in action 7 p.m. Thursday in Tampa (Yankees), a game on ESPN TV. Buses leave at 3 p.m. Friday a short trip south to Bradenton (Pirates, 9:30 a.m. buses) and back home on Saturday, Alumni Day against the Blue Jays. Gate opens at 10:30 a.m.

While the players are off, Ruben will be holding his weekly conference call from the third level conference room with his pro scouts in Clearwater and other camps in Florida and Arizona.

More details about Alumni Day on Thursday.

Flyers great goalie, Bernie Parent, attended Tuesday’s game at Bright House.

Darin Ruf spent Tuesday at Carpenter Complex hitting for two teams.  Was 3-8 with 2 RBI.  Idea was to get him some at-bats.

Four minor league teams played their first games on Tuesday.  Aaron Nola, 2 innings, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts. Tom Windle, 2 innings, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts.  Matt Imhof, 2 innings, 4 strikeouts.  They were the pitching stars.

Phillies and Pirates will have two Class A games at Carpenter this afternoon.  AAA and AA are at the Pirates.  Thursday is a camp day. Friday, AAA and AA squads against the Blue Jays. 1 p.m.  Free admission.

Spring Training Phun Fact
The Yankees won the last spring training game in the history of Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, 2-0, on March 28, 2003.

Spring Training Memories

Denny Doyle (2B, 1970-1973)
“First year, 1967; stayed at a hotel near the complex but can’t remember the name.  Del Wilber Jr. was my roommate. Wore #51. Was excited and in awe of so many players. Didn’t know if I would make it. Had something like 37-38 errors (second base) at Spartanburg the year before.  The second day Paul Owens tossed a first baseman’s glove in my locker. ‘You have to learn to use leather if you want to make it’ he said. All spring he hit ground balls to me using that glove. It really helped me.

“Couple years later I was in the big league camp but I was late reporting because I was coaching a high school basketball team back home.  Walked on the field and Gene Mauch came up to me, ‘How did that bleeping basketball team do? Get out there (pointing to second base).’  He had me chasing ground balls all over the place.  Later, we were playing the Tigers and Mickey Lolich, a lefty, was pitching. Being a left-handed hitter, I figured I’m sitting today.  Mauch glared at me at the far end of the dugout, crossed Taylor’s name from the line-up card, walked toward me, ‘You’re in there.’ Lolich found my bat three times, two singles and a double. I wound being the last cut anyway, sent to AAA in Eugene, OR.   I always liked spring training, nothing I didn’t like.”







Down to 50


Seven players departed the big league camp before Monday’s game, LHP Jesse Biddle, RHP Ethan Martin, LHP Adam Morgan, OF Aaron Altherr were optioned to Carpenter Complex. Non-roster players, RHP Sean O’Sullivan and C John Hester, were reassigned to Carpenter. One was released, OF Xavier Paul.  After the game, RHPs Mike Nesseth and Seth Rosin were reassigned to Carpenter. And, Cliff Lee was placed on the 60-day disabled list.

That leaves 50 players still in camp, including 15 non-roster invitees.  Breakdown: 24 pitchers, 5 catchers, 12 infielders and 9 outfielders. 25-man opening day roster is due Sunday afternoon, April 5.

Major League Baseball Security met with the minor league camp at 7:45 this morning and then the big leaguers at 8:30.

Wednesday is a day off. Thursday is a 7:05 p.m. game against the Yankees in Tampa, ESPN TV.  Phillies radio with Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen. And, as always audio and TV can be found on

Carpenter Complex will feature two Class A games on Wednesday afternoon (1 o’clock) against the Pirates.  Camp day on Thursday, meaning just a workout.

When OF Brian Bogusevic hit two home runs Saturday in Lakeland, he became the first Phillies player to hit a pair in spring training since Chase Utley, March 23, 2013, against the Orioles in Sarasota.

This Date
March 17, 1915: Phillies beat the Havana Reds, 4-1, in an exhibition game in St. Petersburg, FL.  Havana’s roster consisted of stars from the Cuban League. In seven games against the Reds, the Phillies won six and tied once.

Spring Training Phun Fact
Chris Wheeler is in his 44th year of being the Phillies public address announcer in spring training.  He was an emergency fill-in when the PA announcer didn’t show way back in 1972 at Jack Russell Stadium. Wheels hasn’t missed a spring since.

Spring Training Memories
Rheal Cormier (LHP, 2001-2006)
“My first minor league camp was in 1989 with the Cardinals in St Petersburg. We stayed at the Rodeway Inn on 4th Street. My roommate was Bob Tewksbury. I didn’t know anybody in camp but Mike Fiore. He was on Team USA in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, while I was on Team Canada. I remember none of the Class A managers wanted me but Dave Bialis, St. Petersburg manager, took a chance on me. I enjoyed spring training and getting reacquainted with friends from the previous season, a chance to move up the ladder and leave the cold winters in New Brunswick, Canada. I felt spring training was too long.  Plus, it was kind of a disappointment seeking some guys out of shape. I never took anything for granted my whole career and always focused on being in the best shape possible every year.”

Ballpark Scene
When the Bright House Field gates are opened at 10:30 a.m., fans can find the starting lineups posted behind home plate.

5 lineups


Green Tomorrow

After a W and L on Sunday, one of those split-squad days, it is back to one game Monday and Tuesday and the lone day off of spring training on Wednesday.  Pirates in town today, Rays tomorrow. Cole is pitching today bringing out a flock of scouts.

Continuing a tradition started in the late 1970s by the late Tug McGraw, Phillies will wear green jerseys on Tuesday, St. Patrick’s Day.

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144 minor league players are now playing four games a day, two every day at Carpenter Complex.  Wednesday is a camp day so there won’t be any Phillies games that day at all.  But, fans can still watch the workouts that start at 10 in the morning.

115 Fans had brunch this morning at Bright House Field as part of Spring Training USA. Scott Palmer was the MC.

Wes Whittington, a Phillies game-day employee for 50 years back in Philly, will be honored pre-game today.

Susan Ingersoll-Papaneri (Director, Baseball Administration) met with minor league players early this morning to review their medical insurance programs.

Alumni Notes
Larry Christenson and Rex Hudler were camp visitors on Sunday.  LC is in Tampa for business. Rex is a TV commentator for the Royals in Arizona but they do only two spring training telecasts so he came east with two of his sons.

Still awaiting more RSVP’s for Saturday’s Alumni Day.  Gates open at 10:30.  Several Alumni will sign autographs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  All Alums will be introduced on the field starting a 12:45 p.m.  Blue Jays are at Bright House Field that day.

Birthdays today: INF Abraham Nunez (39) and RHP Charles Hudson (56).

100 Years Ago
A rookie manager named Pat Moran led the Phillies to their first pennant.  You can read all about Moran at

Phun Fact
Dick Allen set a Phillies spring training record with 9 home runs in 1964.  Ryan Howard broke the record in 2006 with 11.

Spring Training Memories
Doug Clemens (OF, 1966-1968)
“Having signed with the Cardinals in August 1960 and going to the big leagues the next month, my first spring training actually started at the major league level for a few weeks the following spring in St. Petersburg. I was starry-eyed being on the same field with the likes of Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Kenny Boyer, Bill White, Curt Flood.  Stayed at a motel and roomed with Tim McCarver.  I was sent down to the Cardinals’ minor league camp in Homestead, FL, after two-three weeks.

“My first day memory was just seeing this amazing sight of ball fields littered with what seemed like hundreds of players. A sight I’ll never forget!  There were instructors and coaches with megaphones, yelling and screaming as we were assembled on different fields by team.  What I didn’t like about spring training was that regardless of how hard you tried to be in good condition for spring training, it didn’t seem to work. Working indoors in the north could not match the outdoor surroundings and physical activities presented at spring training. Getting in shape that first spring resulted in numerous aches and pains along the way.”

Ballpark Scene
Yep, Bull’s BBQ has made it south from Citizens Bank Park to Bright House Field. Menu here is a bit more limited.  Unlike Philly, Bull is not there to sign autographs although he will be among the Alumni signing on Saturday.

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Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Ethan Martin, John Hester, Sean O’Sullivan and Aaron Altherr were assigned to Carpenter Complex this morning. OF Xavier Paul was released.

100 Years

The City of Clearwater is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.  A centennial patch is being worn on the Phillies uniform this spring to commemorate the anniversary.  The Rays are wearing the patch for their game in Clearwater this afternoon.

This year the Phillies are celebrating the 100th anniversary of their first pennant-winners. The team trained in nearby St. Petersburg in 1915.  Following a sixth-place finish, a roster of 23 players and a rookie manager named Pat Moran won the pennant. That club began the season 8-0.  No Phillies team has matched that start.  Hard to believe.

Playing the Boston Red Sox in their first World Series, the Phillies won the first game before losing four straight one-run decisions.  Now, 100 years later, thanks to interleague play, the Phillies open the season by hosting the Red Sox, April 6, 8 and 9.

Yesterday, the Phillies announced they will salute their first champions on Thursday, April 9.  Both teams will wear 1915-styled caps. A 1915 pennant will fly on a pole next to the American flag that night.  A brief video tribute will run on Phanavision pre-game. Other events will also take place on the 9th. For more information, check out the press release on

Throughout the season, stories and vintage photos about the 1915 team will be posted on If you haven’t seen it, there’s a terrific story about spring training 100 years ago on that section right now.

On Monday and Tuesday at Bright House Field there will be a display commemorating the 1915 Phillies.  Bob Warrington, a Philadelphia native, avid baseball historian and author of the city’s baseball teams, is bringing his personal collection to Clearwater. Among the artifacts is a bat used by first baseman Fred Luderus, Phillies captain 100 years ago. The Phillies host the Orioles on Monday and Rays on Tuesday.  Gates open at 10:30 a.m.

Phun Fact
Three members of the 1915 Phillies wound up enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, pitchers Grover Cleveland Alexander and Eppa Rixey and shortstop Dave Bancroft.

A year ago, Mike Schmidt joined the TV crew for Sunday home games.  He was a huge hit.  He’ll expand to include Saturday home games this season.

Greg, the Bull, Luzinski is now a guest instructor for the next week.

Alumni birthdays today: infielders Mariano Duncan (52) and Luis Aguayo (56).

Game next Thursday night (7:05) in Tampa (Yankees) will be televised by ESPN. Next Wednesday is a day off.



3 Days, 4 Games


Lakeland this afternoon, Clearwater tomorrow afternoon, Lakeland again Saturday afternoon, then at Tampa and at Clearwater on Sunday afternoon, one of those split squad days.  That’s the next four days for the Phillies.  A lot of pitchers will be needed. Come sunset Sunday, 17 more Florida games remain.

Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen will broadcast today’s game on  TV on Saturday and Sunday from Bright House Field.

Every Pitch
“I’m not sure I really want to know,” Kevin Camiscioli laughed when asked how many pitches he sees in a season. Kevin is the Phillies Manager, Video Coaching System.  You see, he sits at a keyboard and monitor and watches every pitch of every game. Home or road during the regular season, every pitch. He charts the type of pitch, location, velocity, result.  It is all part of a video coaching system called BATS that is used by the manager, coaches, pitchers and hitters.

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In-season, his workplace is a room about 20 feet behind the first base dugout at Citizens Bank Park.  Not every ballpark has a separate room for the visiting team’s video program, so he sets up camp in the middle of the clubhouse.

In spring training, the video room is located just down the hallway from the trainer’s room at Bright House Field.  Kevin gets there around 7:30 a.m. daily and leaves 30-40 minutes after the last out.  He has frequent visitors who pop in and pull up a chair to a laptop.  They’re not playing games on the monitor but looking at baseball games.

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More photo shoots are planned for four days (starting tomorrow) for the new Phillies Cookbook.

Major League Baseball Players Association will have a meeting tomorrow morning starting at 8 o’clock.  The Association visits every camp.

Hispanic minor league players will begin English speaking lessons tomorrow at Carpenter Complex after their workout.

Alumni Birthday Today
OF Dale Murphy, 59.  “Murph” is in camp as a guest instructor with the Braves.

Phun Fact
March 12, 1915, the Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics played a nine-inning, 5-5 draw at Coffee Pot Park in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It was the first meeting of the two teams during spring training.  They were scheduled to play again at Coffee Pot Park the next day, but the game was rained out.

Book Signings
**Friday (March 13), I’ll be signing my book, If These Walls Could Talk; 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
**March 21, Dallas Green, The Mouth That Roared; 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Bright House Field, Main Concourse, Section 120.




Cole On Mound Today


Cole is on the mound vs. the Pirates this afternoon at Bright House Field. Sure the scout section behind home plate will be full.

On the road Thursday, Tigers in Lakeland.  Busses depart at 8:45 a.m. for the 54-mile trip east.  Evening return will need to go through Tampa’s rush-hour traffic which is not a picnic. Game will be broadcast on

Today’s Alumni Birthdays
OF Bobby Abreu (41), OF Phil Bradley (56), LHP Jack Spring (82). A year ago, Abreu was in camp as a non-roster player.

Spring Training Memories
Don Carman (LHP 1983-1990)
“My first spring training was in 1979, I think….close enough. Clearwater, Carpenter Field and Jack Russell Stadium.  Stayed at the Days Inn in Pinellas Park. My roommate was Mark Davis. The first day of spring training was a big moment in my life. I will never forget, we were at Carpenter Complex; Dallas Green was the director of the minor leagues. He stood in front of the crowd of athletes and with his booming voice and larger than life personality announced himself. He went on to introduce each of the coaches. I was very impressed. Following the introductions, Dallas was silent. He took a breath and said, ‘There are 176 players in this room, you will be lucky if 10 of you make it to the big leagues.’ There was silence in the room, you could have heard a pin drop. I looked around at the other players thinking, ‘I’m one, I wonder who the other 9 are.’”

Phun Fact
Carpenter Field, a new training facility for the Phillies minor leaguers, was opened on March 14, 1967.
Book Signings
**Friday (March 13), I’ll be signing my book, If These Walls Could Talk; 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
**March 21, Dallas Green, The Mouth That Roared; 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Bright House Field, Main Concourse, Section 120.

Ballpark Scene

5 bp

Best place to get a baseball during batting practice is the outfield berm, especially right field.





Alumni Day Soon


Nearly 40 former Phillies will be introduced pre-game on Saturday, March 21, the second annual Alumni Day at Bright House Field. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.  Game time, 1 p.m.

Among the Alumni scheduled to attend are Dick Allen, Don Carman, Dave Cash, Darren Daulton, Ivan DeJesus, Scott Eyre, Pedro Feliz, Jason Michaels, Robert Person and Shane Rawley.  Numerous Alumni are also in camp, Ryne Sandberg, Larry Bowa, Pete Mackanin, Mickey Morandini and broadcasters Larry Andersen and Matt Stairs.

Selected Alumni will be signing autographs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Stations will be located throughout the concourse.  Some Alumni will surprise fans with interaction, pre-game and in-game.  Dallas Green will be signing his book from 11:30 to 12:15.

Don’t forget Alumni features and photos can be found at

Tomorrow: media training for big league players at 8, minor leaguers at 2:30 . . . Sirius XM Radio and ESPN Desportes Radio will be in camp.

Thursday: WPHT’s Chris Stigall will do his radio show live from the ballpark, 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.  He gets to see the sun rise.

Today’s Alumni Birthdays
RHP Mike Timlin (49), OF John Briggs (71) and LHP Tom Hilgendorf (73).

Phun Fact
Phillies defeated the Detroit Tigers, 4-2, in first game played at Jack Russell Stadium, March 10, 1955. RHP Robin Roberts was the winning pitcher.

Spring Training Memories
Pat Burrell (OF, 2000-2008)
“My first spring training was 1999 and I was invited to the big league camp.  Lived on the beach in Sand Key and roomed with Thomas Jacquez.  Wore #76 and I was a first baseman while working in the outfield. I learned quickly that John Vukovich ran spring training at every level and it was well organized.  Also learned quickly how well Vuk was respected by everyone.”

Book Signings
**Friday (March 13), I’ll be signing my book, If These Walls Could Talk; 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
**March 21, Dallas Green, The Mouth That Roared; 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Bright House Field, Main Concourse, Section 120.








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