Prior to the 2015 season, we learned that IronPigs bench coach Mickey Morandini would be temporarily assigned to the Reading team to fill in for hitting coach Frank Cacciatore, who had to attend to “a personal matter.” It seemed like a reasonable choice, given Morandini’s experience, and that the IronPigs hadn’t normally had a fourth coach on staff anyway until last season. We weren’t told any kind of time frame for Mr. Cacciatore’s absence and we weren’t want to speculate on the nature of the absence.
Yesterday, while in Reading for JP Crawford’s AA debut and Aaron Nola’s start, I noted Mr. Cacciatore in the dugout. I saw Morandini there, too, but thought little of it. Today, we learned through photographer Cheryl Pursell that Morandini will remain in Reading for the foreseeable future to “work with the prospects.” Asked how he felt about the assignment, he replied that it was good, and “closer to my house.”
While we hope that everything is still OK with Frank Cacciatore, it does make sense with the hitting prospects in Reading that extra help and a spare pair of eyes would be advantageous. We can probably extrapolate that position player prospects might not be promoted to the IronPigs as quickly as we might like–guys like JP Crawford and Roman Quinn among others will likely remain in Reading to work with Cacciatore and Morandini. It will be interesting to see what happens with the outfield guys coming up: Aaron Altherr has been playing well, Cameron Perkins already has AAA experience and has been hitting better of late, and the oft-injured Kelly Dugan may be ready for a regular season assignment as early as Wednesday, by some internet reports–he’s been playing in the extended spring training (XST) games this past week.
To further fuel speculation, I’ll note that the IronPigs roster is currently one short, at 24, due to the promotion of Cody Asche this past week. The IronPigs return home on Tuesday, for a six-game home stand, while Reading leaves for Erie following an AM start tomorrow. Most folks I talk to do not expect to see Grady Sizemore in an IronPigs uniform again, but none had any solid information to share. The Phillies are off tomorrow–as are the ‘Pigs–and will be home for Cincinnati on Tuesday as the ‘Pigs prepare to host Rochester.
Stay tuned, for As The Roster Turns,
And I’ll see you at the park,