Phillies

Phillies make hires in front office, scouting

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Phillies make hires in front office, scouting

The Phillies announced a series of moves in their baseball operations department on Friday.

Bryan Minniti, formerly special assistant to the general manager, has been promoted to the role of assistant general manager, while Chris Cashman moves from advance scouting analyst to manager of player procurement. Minniti oversees two important areas: scouting and player development.

Former major-league pitcher Mike Koplove joins the staff as a special assignment scout. Koplove, a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware, most recently worked in scouting with the Anaheim Angels.

The Phils announced the hiring of Oneri Fleita to the international scouting staff. Fleita will supervise scouting in Mexico. He is a former vice president of player personnel for the Chicago Cubs. Meanwhile, Jesus Mendez and Carlos Salas were promoted to coordinator positions.

On the amateur scouting side, Greg Schilz, who joined the organization last year, was promoted to assistant director of amateur scouting.

Frank Coppenbarger, the team's longtime director of travel and clubhouse services, is also moving into a new role. He is now special assistant for ballpark projects. Coppenbarger was honored as the majors' top director of travel by his peers at the winter meetings last year.

Other moves
Mike Calitri was hired as manager for advance scouting. He will report directly to new manager Gabe Kapler.

Keith Rudolf was hired to the full-time position of team chef.

Dana Parks was hired as coordinator for player development.

Corinne Landrey was hired as an analyst in the baseball research and development department.

Erick Dalton was hired as a professional scout.

Todd Donovan was hired as a professional scout.

Brad Holland was promoted to Southwest regional supervisor in the amateur scouting department. 

Buddy Hernandez, Stewart Smothers, Jeff Zona Jr., Connor Betbeze, Chris Duffy and Kellan McKeon were hired on the amateur scouting staff.

Roberto Aquino, Juan Feliciano de Castro, Franklin Felida, Ubaldo Heredia, Andrés Hiraldo, Dargello Lodowica, William Mota, Isao O’Jimi, Romulo Oliveros, Bernardo Pérez, Ebert Velásquez and Derrick Chung all joined the international scouting staff.

The Phillies still have more offseason hires to make. They have yet to name a bench coach and a first-base coach on the big-league staff. Also, Dusty Wathan's promotion to the big-league staff has left an opening at Triple A manager.

Phillies add experienced candidate to their bullpen

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Phillies add experienced candidate to their bullpen

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies on Saturday added to their stock of reliever candidates with the signing of veteran left-hander Fernando Abad to a minor-league contract. Abad will report to big-league camp and compete for a job on the 25-man roster.

The Phillies are likely to have an eight-man bullpen. The addition of Abad gives the Phillies four left-handed relief candidates. Adam Morgan, Hoby Milner and Zac Curtis are all on the 40-man roster. 

Morgan and Milner both shined in the second half of 2017. Morgan recorded a 1.69 ERA in 21 games over the final two months. He pitched 26 2/3 innings over that span, allowed just 16 hits and five runs, struck out 33 and walked six. Milner gave up just two runs in 21 2/3 innings over his last 27 games. He struck out 15 and managed to pitch around 12 walks. He was tough on lefty hitters (.159), but struggled against righties (.377). Curtis was a late-season waiver claim from Seattle. He pitched in just three games with the Phillies. 

Abad, 32, is an eight-year major-league veteran who has made stops in Houston, Washington, Oakland, Minnesota and Boston. He had a 3.30 ERA in 48 games with the Red Sox last season and lefties hit .227 off him.

From the right side, the Phillies have some bullpen depth with closer Hector Neris, veteran setup men Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter, Luis Garcia and Edubray Ramos. Victor Arano, Ricardo Pinto, Yacksel Rios and Seranthony Dominquez are also on the 40-man roster. 

Dominguez hit 100 mph on the radar gun as a starter last season and is being converted to the bullpen. He is likely to open the season at Double A Reading, but “could be a quick mover,” general manager Matt Klentak said.

The list of bullpen candidates also includes two veterans on minor-league contracts: Pedro Beato and Francisco Rodriguez. The latter is a 16-year veteran who has racked up 437 saves – fourth-most all-time -- in his career. Rodriguez was released by the Tigers and Nationals last summer and is trying to make the Phillies as a nonroster invitee to big-league camp.

Phillies growing analytically, but that's not all

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Phillies growing analytically, but that's not all

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Phillies have become major participants in baseball’s analytics movement in recent years. Where once there were none, now there are 14 full-timers in the team’s research and development department, and three more full-timers who break down information and deliver it to players and on-field staff.

“But that is not, by any stretch, the only thing we’ve done,” club president Andy MacPhail said on Friday.

“In scouting, particularly in the world of international scouting, we’ve added 17 international scouts. Some of that was making part-time guys in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic full-time, but we also now have full-time scouts in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and Australia. So it’s not just getting on the cutting edge of analytics, it’s also about doing the traditional things well.”

The Phillies this winter hired Howie Norsetter, formerly the Minnesota Twins' international scouting coordinator, to cover Australia. Recently, Norsetter signed pitcher Kyle Glogoski, a 19-year-old right-hander from New Zealand. He is the first New Zealander signed by the Phillies. He will report to extended spring training in March.

The Phils have also signed an Australian lefty Josh Towls to a minor-league deal.

In a game where analytics continues to grow, “the eye test is obviously critically important or we wouldn’t have added the 17 international scouts,” MacPhail said.