Phillies

Phillies official calls Tom Glavine protege Ethan Lindow 'a special pitcher'

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NBC Sports Philadelphia

Phillies official calls Tom Glavine protege Ethan Lindow 'a special pitcher'

Ethan Lindow will be rooting for the Phillies when they open a three-game series in Atlanta against the Braves on Tuesday night.

A few years ago, he would have been pulling for the Braves. He might even have done the tomahawk chop. Why not? He grew up in the Atlanta area.

“I am a Braves fan, yeah,” Lindow said during a visit to Citizens Bank Park over the weekend.

He caught himself.

“I was a Braves fan,” he said with a laugh.

Lindow changed his allegiance to the Phillies after being selected by the club in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Locust Grove High School in the Atlanta area. He passed on a chance to pitch for the University of Alabama-Birmingham and does not regret the decision. In two years, he has become one of the Phillies’ most intriguing pitching prospects.

“He’s a special pitcher,” said Josh Bonifay, the Phillies director of player development.

How so?

“He attacks the strike zone. He mixes all his pitches in the zone. He limits hard contact. That's hard to do at a young age,” Bonifay said. “He's able to spin the fastball where it gets above the barrels. He's able to put hitters away with his off-speed pitches.”

Lindow, a 6-foot-3 lefty, pitched at two levels of Single A ball this season and recorded a 2.52 ERA in 110 2/3 innings. He was in Philadelphia over the weekend to pick up the Paul Owens Award as top pitcher in the Phillies minor league system.

“It’s a great honor,” the 20-year-old Georgian and former Braves fan said.

Lindow spent the majority of the season in the South Atlantic League, where he recorded a 2.66 ERA in 94 2/3 innings for Lakewood. He finished the season in the Florida State League and shined for Clearwater. He made three starts and gave up just three earned runs in 16 innings. He struck out 16 and walked just two over that span.

For the season, Lindow struck out 9.7 batters per nine innings and walked just 1.8 per nine.

“Definitely my command,” he said when asked about his biggest improvement since the time he was drafted. “Being able to go out there and throw strikes. I really pride myself on going out and being able to attack the zone and being able to throw all my pitches for strikes.”

He throws a fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball. His fastball has touched 94 mph and there might be more in there as he gets what they call his “man strength.”

“He was able to command all of his pitches really well,” Bonifay said. “Once he got to Clearwater, I think he got a boost of energy from being called up to another level. He continued to pitch extremely well there and his strike percentage stayed the same.

“When you're at that age, the ability to command is very difficult. His ability to command all of his pitches is special at that age.”

As a teen, Lindow got some mentoring on the importance of command from one of the best command artists ever — Braves Hall of Famer Tom Glavine. Lindow played travel ball with Glavine’s son, Peyton.

Lindow has never lived down his first meeting with the elder Glavine.

“We were at a tournament,” Lindow recalled. “He was in the dugout. He was dressed as a normal guy, not like a Hall of Famer like you’d expect. So I’m asking, I asked his son, actually, I was like, ‘Who’s this guy sitting in the dugout?’ He’s like, ‘It’s my dad,’ and I’m like, ‘Really, Tom Glavine?’

“That’s been a joke with everybody since then. I did not realize it was him.”

Tom Glavine took a liking to Lindow — those lefty command guys stick together — and became a bit of a mentor.

Lindow recalled Glavine telling him: “Go out there, don’t worry about trying to throw so hard, hit your spots, work off of your movement.”

Of course, Glavine offered some pointers on throwing the changeup.

“He tweaked the fingers on my grip a little bit, trying to figure out what was best for me and it clicked,” Lindow said. “Besides that, I just picked his brain on what his game plan was going into games, stuff like that, and I think that helped a lot from a mental standpoint of pitching. Him sharing knowledge with me was a confidence booster.”

As a youngster, Lindow attended Braves games at Turner Field and SunTrust Park, the Braves’ shiny new home. He was a big fan of Greg Maddux, Chipper Jones and, of course, Glavine, who was easier to recognize with a tomahawk on his chest than he was in street clothes.

Lindow still has miles to go in his development. He projects to be back at Clearwater at the start of next season. But if all goes well on the development trail, he could find himself pitching for the Phillies against the Braves in Atlanta in coming seasons, and that …

“Would be a dream come true,” Ethan Lindow said.

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Nationals poised for trip to World Series ... so fans are celebrating Bryce Harper's absence?

Nationals poised for trip to World Series ... so fans are celebrating Bryce Harper's absence?

The Washington Nationals are now one win away from a trip to the World Series thanks in large part to Stephen Strasburg's admittedly amazing performance on Monday night over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Nationals fans should be stoked about their team. And it's likely, in some ways, that they are. But it's also somewhat bizarre what some Nats fans have chosen to celebrate.

This photo and tweet have been making the rounds this morning and caused a bit of a buzz in Philadelphia.

Tickets - $35, Beer - $10, Bryce Harper watching from home - Priceless

Let's just ignore the fact you can get into a NLCS game for $35 in DC for a second.

Your team is poised to celebrate a league title and you're celebrating the fact that a guy who used to be on your team is... no longer on your team? Okay.

The person in the replies who said it's like going to your own wedding and being most excited about the fact that your ex wasn't invited to the party makes a solid point. It's weird.

I suppose it's worth cutting Nationals fans some slack in this situation because they don't know what it's like to actually make it to the World Series and you've got to learn how to react to things by actually experiencing them.

So, if they end up making it to and losing in the World Series to the New York Yankees or Houston Astros, Nats fans will know how to react to that. They're used to losing in the playoffs.

I wonder what they'll celebrate then?

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Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

Philadelphia native Mike Koplove emerges as strong candidate for Phillies' scouting director job

The Phillies have two huge job openings to fill in their baseball operations department.

Obviously, they are looking for a new manager, and that process ramped up on Monday.

The team also needs to fill the important scouting director’s role. That job opened when Johnny Almarez stepped down in September.

The search for a new scouting boss is being led by assistant general manager Bryan Minniti and it is apparently well underway.

According to multiple major league sources, the Phillies have conducted a number of recent interviews for the position. Among those to interview are in-house candidates Greg Schilz, Mike Koplove and Darrell Conner.

Outside candidates, according to sources, include David Crowson of the Miami Marlins, Sam Hughes of the Chicago Cubs, Brian Barber of the New York Yankees, Dan Ontiveros of the Kansas City Royals and Scott Meaney of the Cleveland Indians. All have high-ranking scouting positions with their organizations.

It’s possible that there are other candidates or more will emerge. But these are the names being talked about in baseball circles at the moment.

Schilz ranked No. 2 in the Phillies’ amateur scouting staff behind Almaraz. He joined the club in the fall of 2016 after 12 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was elevated to assistant scouting director in the fall of 2017.

Koplove is an interesting candidate. He is a Philadelphia native who pitched at Chestnut Hill Academy and the University of Delaware before spending parts of seven seasons in the majors with Arizona and Cleveland. He earned a World Series ring with the Diamondbacks in 2001.

Koplove spent six seasons on the scouting staff of the Anaheim Angels before joining his hometown team as a special assignment scout prior to the 2018 season.

Conner is a longtime Phillies scout who has risen to the role of national scouting coordinator. He was influential in identifying Cole Hamels as having first-round potential and staying on the pitcher after he broke his left arm the summer after his sophomore year.

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