I’m in Tempe for fall instructional league, also known as “The Instructs” or “Fall Ball.”
Fall ball is fun for people like me who are constantly trying to learn the nuances of the game, because the emphasis isn’t on winning and losing so much as teaching minor leaguers.
In fact, during today’s game against the Cubs camp, the scoreboard wasn’t even turned on. Yesterday, when we played at their place (Fitch Park in Mesa), we played the bottom of the 9th although we’d already lost 3-2. The Cubs have employed 10-man lineups with two DHs — one catches the first part of the game, then becomes the DH while the other becomes the catcher.
Yes, that’s not how the DH is supposed to work. Like I said, these games are for instruction.
Here are some photos from the first couple days. I’m working on video clips, some of which are already on www.futureangels.com.
|Anel de los Santos successfully blocks the plate as Cubs center fielder Brandon Guyer tries to score in yesterday’s game at Fitch Park.|
|Roberto Lopez, the Pioneer League MVP this year with the Orem Owlz, played the outfield, third base and first base. The Angels may be thinking about adding catcher to his resume, as he caught a little bullpen today.|
|Cubs catcher Robinson Chirinos blocks the plate as Angels center fielder Clay Fuller dives head-first trying to score. Fuller was called out.|
|Cubs center fielder Tony Campana and right fielder Brandon Guyer collided in the first inning of today’s game at Tempe Diablo. Both called for the ball and then collided. Angels field coordinator Bruce Hines and trainer Mike Metcalfe were on the scene before the Cubs staff arrived.|
The Angels have a full complement of veteran coaches and instructors directing the daily program. Seen in this photo are Arkansas hitting coach Eric Owens, field coordinator Bruce Hines, catching instructor Tom Gregorio and pitching instructor Kernan Ronan.