Here are some of the best stories around Clearwater during the most recent week. Enjoy.
In the Inquirer, Matt Gelb on Sebastian Valle, who is getting a taste of big league camp.
“Can I say something to him? It doesn’t mean anything,” Ruiz said. “You need to watch the game. That’s what I learned from Jamie Moyer when he was here. I can say 100 things and it won’t work. If you watch the game, you’ll learn something.”
Ruiz, defensively, was once the same way. He’s a converted second baseman, and the appreciation for calling a game didn’t come until later in his career. So while watching is important, Ruiz can bestow some of his lessons to Valle.
“Some guys have instincts,” Billmeyer said. “It can be taught. Chooch came a long way.”
Making it easier is that Valle speaks enough English to form relationships with the pitchers he’s catching.
“Chooch didn’t speak any English,” Billmeyer said. “There was a language barrier right away. That took a while.”
Matt Gelb on Vance Worley, who is preparing for his second season:
Fan mail comes in larger quantities now, just one adjustment for the 24-year-old righthander now firmly a member of the Phillies rotation. Last spring, Worley was sent to minor-league camp almost two weeks before opening day. By summer, a city was captivated by the bespectacled pitcher who hopped off the mound every time he recorded a strikeout.
Wolever led the drafts that landed Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick, among others. He also helped rebuild the farm system after the current crop of stars landed in the big leagues, putting together a robust talent base that enabled the Phillies to land Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence, among others.
In this Daily News notebook, Rich Dubee talks about former BlueClaws LHP Jake Diekman:
Pitching coach Rich Dubee clearly likes Diekman. He views him as having the potential to become a late-innings reliever, much the same as lefty Antonio Bastardo do last year. Diekman’s delivery makes him more deceptive than the average reliever.
“He’s a little tougher from where his arm slot is, but he’s got some thunder, too,” Dubee said. “That’s a nice combination.”
In Phillies Zone blog post, note that new farm director Joe Jordan was the first to draft Cliff Lee, when he worked for the Expos. They also work in a reference to an obscure 2002 BlueClaw (not Ryan Howard or Gavin Floyd).
Phillies Insider takes you behind the scenes, with some of the extra stuff the players have to take care of outside the diamond.