Phils Pitchers Please Plesac


Dan Plesac is one of the most talented, engaging, and popular of all the ex-ballplayers employed as on-air analysts by the MLB Network. The retired big leaguer played in MLB for 18 seasons, the final two with the Phillies in 2002 and 2003, just as the club was emerging from years of losing to become a regular contender.

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This past week, Plesac has been in Clearwater, Florida for the opening sessions of Phillies spring training. In his role as a guest instructor, the former lefty reliever spent time with some of the team’s developing young arms, including former top draft pick Jesse Biddle, who is coming off a disastrous, injury-marred 2014 campaign.

Plesac liked what he saw of former top pick Jesse Biddle.

Plesac liked what he saw from a number of the youngsters, especially Biddle. As he told the Phils insider Todd Zolecki: “Really, really impressive…He had everything. Fastball command, great curveball, good slider, his changeup was good. He just really had a good side. Now what does that mean? I don’t know, but I know he is a young pitcher the Phillies have a lot of hopes for and I can see why now.”

Plesac also related to Zolecki that he was impressed with “the quality and quantity of arms” in the Phils camp. While most outside scouts and talent evaluators do not rank the system very highly, it is believed that there is talent to grow at the lower levels.

“…he is a young pitcher the Phillies have a lot of hopes for and I can see why now.” ~ Plesac on Jesse Biddle 

On his Twitter account (@Plesac19), he related that Cliff Lee was “razor sharp“, and Cole Hamels was “filthy” when he got to watch their throwing sessions. During the week, he posted a few pics with and gave props to a handful of Phillies behind-the-scenes types in Equipment Manager Dan O’Rourke, Home Clubhouse Director Phil Sheridan, and Media Director Greg Casterioto. 

In those 18 seasons in the major leagues, Plesac pitched from 1986-2003 for a half-dozen different organizations, including twice with the Blue Jays. He went 65-71 with a 3.64 career ERA, striking out 1,041 batters over 1,072 innings in which he allowed 977 hits.

The Milwaukee Brewers first round selection in the 1983 Draft, Plesac had a pair of 30+ Saves seasons with the Brewers in 1988-89. He served as Milwaukee’s closer for most of his first 5 seasons in MLB, was an AL All-Star from 1987-89, and even received AL MVP votes following the ’88 season.

Now it’s back to the studio and his TV duties as MLB Network begins to really gear up for the coming season with its various preview shows and spring training game broadcasts next week. Plesac told Zolecki that he got a real taste for being back on the field in uniform again: “If they want me back, I’ll crawl back. This has been a lot of fun.”