Top prospects honored; Neris talks warmup

September 15th, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard are arguably the Phillies’ two most exciting prospects in the farm system.

Both could be in the big leagues next season.

Not as many fans know about left-hander Ethan Lindow. But the Phillies named Bohm and Lindow the Paul Owens Award winners as the organization’s Minor League player and pitcher of the year, respectively.

Bohm, 23, batted .305 with 30 doubles, four triples, 21 home runs, 80 RBIs and an .896 OPS with Class A Lakewood, Class A Clearwater and Double-A Reading. Lindow, 20, went 5-4 with a 2.52 ERA, 1.01 WHIP in 26 games (16 starts) for Lakewood and Clearwater.

They were honored before Saturday night’s game against the Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.

“He's a special pitcher,” Phillies farm director Josh Bonifay said about Lindow, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 MLB Draft. “He attacks the zone. He mixes all pitches in the zone. He limits hard contact. That's hard to do at a young age. He's able to spin the fastball where it gets above the barrels. He's able to put hitters away with his offspeed pitches.”

Lindow throws a fastball, changeup, cutter and curveball. His command of those pitches has impressed.

“I really pride myself on going out and being able to attack the zone and being able to throw all my pitches for strikes,” Lindow said.

Lindow grew up outside of Atlanta. He played travel ball with Tom Glavine’s son. The Hall of Fame left-hander and Lindow have talked a few times.

“I was a little bit of a similar pitcher to him, so he kind of related to me, I think, or I related to him,” he said. “He just worked with me -- ‘Go out there, don’t worry about trying to throw so hard, hit your spots, work off of [your] movement' -- and he tweaked a little with mechanics. Besides that, he was just a confidence booster and sharing some knowledge with me.

“It’s funny, my first tournament, first time I met him, he was in the dugout on the side. He was dressed as a normal guy, not like a Hall of Famer, like you’d expect. So I asked his son, actually, I was like, 'Who’s this guy sitting in the dugout?' He’s like, ‘It’s my dad,’ and I’m like, ‘Really, Tom Glavine.’ That’s been a joke with everybody since then.”

Bohm and Howard will play in the Arizona Fall League. It would not be a surprise to see both in big league camp next spring.

Is Neris’ new ritual no more?

either does or does not have a new ritual or routine when he warms up in the bullpen.

Neris twice took so long to warm up in the bullpen in the past week that umpires walked to the bullpen to get him. Braves manager Brian Snitker said Thursday the league needed to investigate.

“I can tell you this,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “Hector and I talked at length about it yesterday. We chatted on the phone about it. He’s got a really hard job. He’s got to come in and get some of the best hitters out in some of the toughest spots. I don’t see a repeat happening here, in part because we’ve talked about it on several occasions now. And at this point, I think it’s worth focusing on the good work that he’s done. This is just not an issue.”

In Thursday’s victory over the Braves, Kapler asked catcher J.T. Realmuto to walk to the mound to buy Neris more time to prepare. Kapler then made a double switch. Neris kept throwing even though he had ample time to be ready.

“What we really want is for Hector to walk out on the mound as the most confident version of himself,” Kapler said. “He has a ritual and a routine that he likes to perform to get ready for that big moment. In his mind, these are huge outs for him, and he wants to be just right when he comes into the game. So we wanted to make sure that he got to do everything that he wanted to do before he came out to face [Dansby] Swanson.”

Interestingly, Neris said he is doing nothing differently than he has in the past.

“I’ve been the same guy,” he insisted. “I’m just trying to get everything ready to go into the game. I’m just preparing my body.”

Dickerson could play Sunday

Phillies left fielder Corey Dickerson did not start Saturday because of a sore left foot. He fouled a pitch off his foot more than a week ago in Cincinnati. The injury forced him to leave two games since. Kapler said Dickerson has improved, but they wanted to keep him off his foot an extra day with the idea he could start Sunday.