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Phillies hire Ettedgui as Spanish translator

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred visited every team in baseball last spring and noticed something.

His words were lost to many of the Spanish-speaking players in camp.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Commissioner Rob Manfred visited every team in baseball last spring and noticed something.

His words were lost to many of the Spanish-speaking players in camp.

"I noticed a problem in terms of language," Manfred said. "I had a lot of senior people in the organization with me on those visits and they noticed a problem. I think it pushed forward an issue that had been sort of on the table for a long time to make sure that we did the very best job we could allowing our players to communicate as effectively as possible with the press."

It is why every team is required to have a Spanish-speaking translator on staff. The Phillies recently just hired their translator: 28-year-old Diego Ettedgui, who is from Venezuela.

"I think it's going to help," Phillies third-base coach Juan Samuel said. "Sometimes it takes us from what we need to do as a coach, even though we welcome the idea of helping these guys. A lot of times you have to juggle coaching with personal stuff, and maybe sometimes this guy feels more comfortable talking personally about something strictly to a translator."

Last season, Samuel and veteran utility infielder Andres Blanco translated for players uncomfortable speaking to reporters.

"It will be more comfortable for everybody," Blanco said. "Everybody will have their own space. Spring Training is Spring Training, but during the season it's a little bit different. People feel tension. They get mad, frustrated. It's good to have better communication."

But Samuel and Blanco both hope it does not stop players from improving their English.

"Now you have a tendency of seeing all the Spanish guys being together because, 'I only have to speak Spanish,'" Samuel said. "Then you have the rest of the team over there. If they learn the language it'll bring the team even closer together off the field. You don't see the Latinos out, going shopping with Cody Asche. They go with Cesar [Hernandez] or Blanco."

Cordero is getting close

Hard-throwing right-hander Jimmy Cordero has not thrown a bullpen session this spring because of soreness in his right biceps, but he said he could throw off a mound as early as Monday or Tuesday.

Cordero said he does not consider the injury serious and expects to make up for lost time.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies