Every year, Phillies legends and fan favorites are invited by the team to Clearwater to work as coaches and instructors, and this year will be no different.
Larry Bowa and Charlie Manuel are still employed by the team in front office roles, while Mike Schmidt remains a member of the Phils TV broadcast crew. All three have had significant roles with the team during prior spring trainings.
As the team celebrates the 10th anniversary of their 2008 World Series title, the closer for that historic season, Brad Lidge, will be in camp, too. Lidge had a 1.95 ERA in 2008, where he made the All Star Team, finished No. 4 in the Cy Young voting and was 8th in MVP voting. He saved all 41 regular season opportunities and then another 7 in the postseason, a perfect 48-for-48 season. He signed a three-year extension with the team during that summer and had an awful 2009 (7.21 ERA), but posted an ERA of 2.96 and 1.40 in 75 games the following two seasons.
Bobby Abreu will also be a guest instructor. Many Phillies fans don’t remember his time in Philadelphia fondly, but make no mistake, he was a great player. He was a career .291/.395/.475 hitter, and finished just 12 home runs shy of the 300 HR/400 SB club.
Since I'm on this now, Abreu ranks among RFs (min 6000 PA)— Jeff Israel (@JPhils90) January 23, 2018
21st in WAR
7th in BB%
9th in SB
10th in OBP
34th in wRC+
23rd in OPS
4th in 2B https://t.co/nqyrEgpPx0
This website was founded upon the belief that the Abreu hate in the city was unjustified, and his career numbers back that up.
That’s not to say the decision to go with Shane Victorino over Abreu wasn’t a benefit to that particular group in 2006. Victorino’s play on the field and frenetic clubhouse presence seemed to mesh better with where the Phillies were in their cycle, but make no mistake, Abreu was a damn good baseball player.
Now, he will be in Clearwater teaching Phils players the benefits of having patience at the plate.