In this week's Pork Barrel Blog, IronPigs media assistant Pat McCarthy takes a look at the Phillies' guest instructors who have been invited to Spring Training to work with the 2018 Phillies and IronPigs who will be in Clearwater.
With Spring Training rapidly approaching, the Phillies have announced their 2018 guest instructors. The role of these instructors is to work as extra coaches during the spring and help the full-time Phillies staff as they navigate the month of March.
The club has invited six former Phillies to join them at Spectrum Field. First-time instructor Bobby Arbeu will join Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, and Special Assistants to the GM Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel. Former Phillies closers Dan Plesac and Brad Lidge will also be in uniform working the pitchers and this young Phillies pitching staff that showed a lot of promise in the second half of the 2017 season.
Bobby Arbeu has not been in Phillies camp since 2014 when he was invited to camp as a non-roster player but did spend the majority of his playing years with the Phillies from 1998-2006. A career .291 hitter with 574 doubles, 288 home runs and 1,363 RBIs he ranks inside the franchise's top 10 in most offensive categories including average, RBIs, doubles and stolen bases. While with the Phillies, the Venezuela native was a two-time All-Star, Home Run Derby champion, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner.
Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who is in his fourth season in the television booth hosting "Weekends with Schmidt," has spent the last few years as a guest instructor during the spring. A 12-time All-Star and three-time MVP, Schimdt was a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1995 receiving 95 percent of votes. The Phillies all-time leader in home runs and member of the MLB All-Century Team has worked diligently with players like Freddy Galvis and Miakel Franco and is a vital resource for all Phillies players.
Charlie Manuel and Larry Bowa have both spent time as the skipper of the Phillies and now will assist new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler as he enters his first season at the helm. Bowa, who was most recently the Phillies bench coach under Pete Mackanin, and Manuel, who is the Phillies' winningest manager in history, are both Special Assistants to GM Matt Klentak.
Brad Lidge secured the final out in the 2008 World Series and now is grooming the next crop of Phillies. Lidge enters his third spring as a guest instructor after spending the 2008-2011 seasons in Philadelphia. Lidge officially retired as a Phillie in 2013 and hosts "Inside Pitch" on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.
Dan Plesac was last in camp back in 2015 and will be in his second season as a guest instructor. The MLB Network personality played the final two seasons of his career with the Phillies in 2002 and 2003. A three-time All-Star with the Brewers, Plesac was the last Phillie on the mound at Veterans Stadium when he struck out Ryan Langerhans of the Braves.
Other guest instructors that have made appearances in camp are current IronPigs coach Wes Helms, Larry Anderson, Gary Matthews, Chad Durbin, Dave Hollins, Aaron Rowand, Greg Luzinski, Darren Daulton and Roy Halladay.
Pitchers and Catchers report to Clearwater on Feb. 14 with the first full squad workout on Feb. 19. The Phillies will play their annual college scrimmage against the University of Tampa on Feb. 22 and open up the Major League Spring Training schedule against the Orioles on Feb. 24.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.