Yesterday, we watched the long ball over at Bright House as Jeff Francoeur, Darin Ruf and even Oduble Herrera all went deep in BP as Mike Schmidt and Charlie Manuel looked on from behind the batting cage. Today, after some quick BP at Bright House for those players who did not get the day off and even quicker infield drills on the half field, it was on to bunting practice four four players at Ashburn Field.
There, bunting took place off a pitch machine under the watchful eyes of General Manager Pat Gillick and General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Can’t remember the last time in spring training the top brass of the Phillies Front Office were at the batting cage for 25 minutes watching bunting drills. Only Freddy Galvis, Oduble Herrera, Andres Blanco and Darin Mastroianni participated but it was clear the Phillies Front Office wanted these guys to hone their bunting skills.
It’s clear the Phillies Front Office believes that they will need to manufacture runs by moving runners in to scoring position with the bunt rather than rely all the time on the long ball to score runs.
Under bunting coach Jorge Velandia, Galvis, Blanco and Mastroianni went through the drills but Velandia was especially working overtime on bunting with Rule Five pick Herrera. Odubel has been impressive so far and is an odds on favorite to make the Phillies opening day 25 man roster. He is just too talented to be offered back to the Texas Rangers.
Spring training is only in its early stages. The young minor league guys who are in camp got the rest of the day off after under going morning physicals. Catchers and pitchers continued to work on the ever exciting PFP drills. Cole Hamels was swarmed by autograph seekers in front of the Paul Owens statue at the Complex as he tried to go from Ashburn to Carlton Fields for drills.
But it was clear today that the Phillies will be focusing on fundamental baseball more this spring than in any of the other previous spring camps I have been at.
Below are photos of the Phillies hard at work honing their bunting skills in Sunday noon camp action: