The Phillies spring training staff will include three members of the 2008 World Championship team, and a Hall of Famer
Pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater, Florida on February 13th as the unofficial kickoff to the 2017 baseball season. Position players will arrive three days after with a veteran staff to help push the youth in the right direction.
On Tuesday the Phillies announced the six guest instructors who will join the club in Clearwater for spring training. This years staff includes former manager Charlie Manuel, Brad Lidge, Wes Helms, Chad Durbin, Larry Anderson, and the Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt.
Manuel, Anderson, Schmidt, and Lidge have previously worked the Phils spring training workouts, while Durbin and Helms are newcomers.
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Helms, who retired in 2011, played just one year in Philadelphia and was a member of the 2007 National League East championship team that began the greatest era in Philadelphia baseball history. A career .256 hitter, Helms will undoubtedly be tied to the hip of third baseman Maikel Franco for the next three months.
Durbin and Lidge will serve as important pieces for a club sending a young bullpen into the fire. While Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit will be the veteran voice throughout the season, Durbin and Lidge will certainly be helpful voices through the process.
I would expect Lidge to focus on mentoring Jeanmar Gomez, Hector Neris, and Edubray Ramos as they battle for the long-term closer job.
Manuel, the beloved manager of the 2008 championship team, will have an opportunity to work with the young hitters and be a key voice in their development. Nick Williams, Tommy Joseph, Maikel Franco, and J.P. Crawford could each be special projects for Manuel this spring.