Good morning. Let’s talk baseball.
- As reported yesterday, the Phillies made a number of hires and promotions, including in the minor league coaching ranks, the international operations department and even the top of the front office.
Bryan Minniti, who will be a special assistant to general manager Matt Klentak, is a shrewd hire. He has copious experience at the executive level.
And I love the idea of a mental-skills coach. Ballplayers spend two-thirds of their lives focused intently on their game. They’re not around their families often. They travel all the time. Life can be an upheaval and the only salvation can sometimes be if the swing or the pitch is going well. Geoff Miller, the new mental-skills coach, will be a huge benefit to these players by giving them coping mechanisms and drills designed to clear their thoughts before playing ball.
- Speaking of Klentak, the hoss spoke with the media Monday at the annual general manager meetings. He said the Phils won’t force any free agent signings. He also said they’ll need to trim more space on the 40-man roster. Finally, he said J.P. Crawford will have to wait; he wants him to continue to work at triple-A in 2017. If he gets hot, then they assess.
All makes sense. The most interesting thing is the roster space, which means don’t rule out trades involving young value. I could see the Phils making a run at outfielder J.D. Martinez on the trade market, if they think someone like Michael Saunders is too pricey. As for Crawford, we knew that score. He’ll hopefully have a hot streak to open 2017, spurring his promotion around May or June.