Spring Training Notes: Hamels, MAG, Franco

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Sat, February 22, 2014 11:45 AM | Comments: 2
Spring Recap

Some positive news came out of Spring Training this morning, as Chris Branch reported the following:

Obviously, this doesn’t say a whole lot but it is much better than “Hamels sat out with discomfort” or “Hamels’ throwing timeline is unknown.”

A pitcher that hasn’t looked so hot, on the other hand, is Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. According to Branch, “on almost every pitch, hitters were ahead of Gonzalez’s throws”, while according to Jim Salisbury “Clearly, (manager Ryne) Sandberg has not been blown away by Gonzalez. No one in camp has. Gonzalez’s stuff doesn’t jump out at you. His control has been spotty.”

Both Branch and Salisbury quoted Sandberg as stating “Um, well, (Gonzalez’s) a guy that’s coming back from injury and hasn’t pitched competitively really for a couple of years. I know that we’re using a lot of patience with him.” In case you were wondering, the hitters Gonzalez faced were Domonic Brown, Marlon Byrd, and Tony Gwynn Jr. and for a video of Gonzalez throwing to, what looks like, Gwynn, click here.

Third baseman Maikel Franco has drawn extremely positive reviews. Branch says Sandberg has been playing Franco at both first and third and wants to get an extended look at Franco in the Spring. “I want to get a good look at him. Some of it’s organizational – what’s best for him, what’s best for the player. [In] a lot of ways it’s a bit of a unique situation with the type of year he had. We just want to see him in game situations,” quotes Branch while Salisbury reported the following from Sandberg “He’s getting some good rips at live pitching. I just like the way he uses the whole field. He’s not a one-way type of a hitter. He does the situational things very well. He has good basic mechanics and fundamentals that allow him to cover the whole plate and use the whole field.”

Finally, there are three names that have continued to pop up in Branch, Salisbury, and others columns as folks that are having impressive bullpen sessions. Those guys are RHP B.J. Rosenberg and Justin De Fratus and LHP Jake Diekman. Branch described the pop from the glove De Fratus and Diekman were getting as “(ringing) out” while Salisbury listed all three as having “thrown the ball well in workouts.”


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About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 851 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

  • Posts: 0 Ari Bluestein

    Does Asche have the starting 3B spot on lock down? Or can Franco sneak in there and grab the spot? If he is the better hitter by far and he can field the position, I’d rather have Franco starting. Asche is a poor man’s Utley at the plate

    • Posts: 442 Ian Riccaboni

      Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

      Ari – in Cody Asche’s words, he’s playing like he has to win the job. It is no guarantee that Asche is the starting third baseman on Opening Day but I believe he is the front-runner at this point. There are a few concerns with Franco, from both an organizational (not on the 40-man roster) and a development (struggles with off-speed pitches) standpoint. From that perspective, I believe Franco is a relative long-shot to start the year with the Phillies unless there is an injury to Howard or Asche.

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