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How spring training and his off-season are different now that he has a year in the system (Jordan came to the Phillies from the Orioles following the 2011 season)…I talk about it all the time. It’s going to be a lot different and more enjoyable. I don’t have 170 players or a complete staff to get to know. I want to go down and concentrate on the job and the players. It’s going to make all the difference in the world for me. I can give my staff more of what they need and not trying to learn everyone’s name.
On Jesse Biddle - No one had a better year, developmentally, than him. At the end of the year he’s throwing four pitches at Hi-A as a young pitcher. His command was good and no one had a better year. But when you get to know him and see him work, there are reasons why he’s successful. He has as much pride as anyone. It’s very important for him to one day pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies, we all know that. As far as this year is concerned, he’s scheduled to go to Reading and I’m excited to see how he handles the challenge.
Do you agree that the jump from Hi-A to AA, which Biddle will make this year, is the biggest in Minor League Baseball? I do agree with that. The strike zone is smaller and the hitters are more patient. For me it’s definitely the first real separator they run into.
On Jonathan Pettibone (2010 BlueClaw) and the strides he made in 2012 – Last winter at this time, he was the player that was as accurately described to me by the staff as anyone. He was a pitcher. He doesn’t throw the ball 95 mph but he was going to throw it where he wanted to and use his change-up. He was exactly as they said. I love his consistency, and that’s going to allow him to be a good major league pitcher. His year was phenomenal. When he went to AAA he didn’t miss a step.
There’s a lot more below the fold, including on some potential 2013 BlueClaws.
On the strong second halves of 2012 BlueClaws Maikel Franco and Kelly Dugan - You know both guys were going to a full season for the first time. The game was a little fast for a while. There were reasons for both of their slow starts. For Franco, a 19 year old to go for 2 ½ months and have the numbers that he had and the toughness and fortitude to resurrect his season was phenomenal. That’s a terrific sign for an organization. Same thing for Dugan – for both guys, the game slowed down. If they’re going to struggle, struggle early, make the adjustments, and finish strong. That was ideal, really.
On potential 2013 BlueClaws Roman Quinn and Larry Greene - I’m really glad I didn’t draft either one of them over there [with Baltimore]. That way I get to work with them now. Sky’s the limit. Both kids are good workers, their make-up is good. They both have a chance to be really good players. They both have a lot of work to do and they’re ready to do it.
Moving Quinn to SS and teaching him to switch-hit in the same season - It speaks to the character and toughness and the ability of the player. Those are major things. What he was able to do left-handed is amazing. How much progress he made there – he made that or more progress at shortstop. We’ll see how it goes, but he’s heading in the right direction.
Other players that caught his eye at Williamsport - Chris Serritella at first base really swing the bat well, and Cameron Perkins also, who plays 3b, 1b, and the OF. We liked him in the OF and we may do more of that this year. I like both of those guys chances to come here and contribute right away here. I like the group we’re going to send here and how we think it’ll work out well.