Yes, it has been one of the longest weeks ever as Philly Phans suffer through the “bye week” as that other outdoor team on Pattison avenue prepares for the “Big Game”, but there is some Phillies news to fill in the time. Below we touch on a mix of Once and Future Phillies players.

More Phillies Spring Training News:

On Tuesday the Phillies announced that they have invited six alumnae to be guest instructors at S.T. In alphabetical order those ex-players are Bobby Abreu, Larry Bowa, Brad Lidge, Charlie Manuel, Dan Plesac and Mike Schmidt.

Not an ex-Phillie, but as first reported by MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, which the team confirmed on twitter on Sunday, six-time All-Star RHP Francisco Rodriguez has been signed to a MiLB deal worth $2.5 M including bonus incentives that could up that to $3.75 million.

Rodriguez, 36, was released by the Detroit Tigers last June after posting a 7.82 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, and 26 saves, in 28 appearances. He never made it back to the majors, after being picked up by the Washington Nationals on an Milb deal, but released after the all star break.

The man often called “K-Rod” is fourth on the all-time saves list with 437, and he has recorded 30-plus saves in eight seasons, including an MLB-record 62 saves for the LA Angels in 2008. Overall he also has a  2.86 ERA in 948 career games.

Rodriguez told Heyman in a recent interview that he was not ready to retire yet:

“I still have plenty left. I am hoping to get an opportunity to help a team win a championship. I’m physically way better than I was last year. I’m ready. If I didn’t have it, I’d say it. I’m a straight shooter, my own worst critic.”

It certainly be something to watch in a few weeks, as he pushes Hector Neris for the closer spot.

Jim Thome Gets The Call To The Hall:

Getting back to ex-Phillie news, on Wednesday it was announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America, that Jim Thome was a first-ballot selection for the MLB Hall Of Fame.

Thome, 47, had a career 23rd all-time .5541 career slugging percentage, while blasting 612 HRs, eighth most all-time, on the way making five All-Star teams.

While only a Phillie for four seasons, he amassed 101 HRs, and finished fourth in the National League MVP voting in 2003, his first season here, which was also the last year at Veterans StadiumThe most memorable bomb for Philly phans, with the help of Harry Kalas, may be #400.

..and yes to make us feel older, that baby in his wife’s arms is the young woman in the first video.

Another heart warming moment was Jim informing his long time mentor Charlie Manuel, of his election:

“I couldn’t be happier for Jim, who is like a son to me,” Manuel said. “This is totally deserving and, for me, ranks up there with anything I’ve ever seen happen in the game of baseball.

“For someone that I met as a 19-year-old and saw improve as much as anyone over time, it makes me smile to think that all that hard work, all those swings in the batting cage, paid off for him.

“I started thinking this was possible after he hit his 500th home run and for the day to finally be here — it’s like winning the World Series all over again.”

Also selected by the BBWAA include two of my favorite Non-Phillie players Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero as well as Trevor Hoffman.

Phillies place Six in MLB Pipeline Top 100 Prospects:

In another measure of how far the Phillies farm system has come the last few years is their fourth best placing of players in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list.

The six in order of ranking are RHP Sixto Sanchez (No. 26), 2B Scott Kingery (No. 35), SS J.P. Crawford (No. 37), RHP Adonis Medina (No. 86), and OFs Mickey Moniak (No. 88) and Adam Haseley (No. 95).

Of these six, Crawford obviously will lose his prospect status, as with the trade of Freddy Garcia in the off-season, he will most likely be the Phils starting SS in 2018. As I have said in past posts, Kingery may be the next one up. Because of service time issues it most likely will not be to start the season, unless he has some kind of amazing ST.

We will have more on most of these guys as ST unfolds starting 2/14.

What’s Next:

My guess is that there will not be much happening in Phillies land the next few weeks. As all Philly Phans have their attention on Minneapolis this week, and personally I am having computer issues which I need some time to fix, except for some quick blasts on twitter, the full PhilliesICYMIMonday will take the next three weeks off. We will return 2/19/18 with the start of Spring Training news and beginning the look at non-roster invitees.

Meanwhile, one last time I leave you with:

#FlyEaglesFly  E-A-G-L-E-S-EAGLES!

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