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Interview Excerpts: Morandini on position players pitching, Reading clubhouse

Morandini, image- Jay Floyd
During the Double-A Reading Fightins' road series at Trenton last week, former Phillies All-Star second baseman and current minor league coach Mickey Morandini sat down for the Phillies Nation TV cameras.  During the interview, he spoke on various topics including Reading's recent home stand in which they played three consecutive extra inning games and were forced to use position players to pitch.  Morandini, who was part of the famed 1993 Phillies, also spoke of what type of clubhouse the Fightins have this season.  Read ahead for those interview excerpts. 

-On his club tallying 45 innings over a three-game stretch including an 18-inning affair against Altoona on June 11th in which first baseman Brock Stassi played 15 innings on defense, collected four hits and threw three scoreless innings to earn the win...

It's tough.  We played a stretch there where we went 18, 13 and 15 (innings) and the 18 inning game was long enough where we had to bring somebody in.  Brock pitched and got the win.  He went three innings, so we just didn't have anybody left to pitch.  All the relievers had been used either the day before or that game and we're not doing the developing when we have to bring a position player in.  We, as coaches, are always talking about it and we'd like to see some cap put on it.  Maybe like a 12 inning cap in a minor league game just to keep the development going where you don't have to use position players to pitch or you don't have to throw a reliever three days in a row or whatever it may be.

-Speaking about how it's fun for the players, but sort of a head ache for the coaches to have position players pitching...

It is fun for the kids to get into game.  I know Brock pitched in college and he was pretty successful.  So, when he got on the mound, he had an idea of what to do.  But, I think in those three games, six or seven position players had to pitch on both teams and that's not something you want to do.  You don't want one of your position players go in and try to overdo it and come up with some sort of arm problems or something like that, so I think the minor league brass, who ever's responsible for the rules and things, needs to really take a hard look at that and possibly cap games and have a certain innings limit. 

-Expanding on if the appropriate decision makers have considered an innings limit on minor league games...

I honestly don't know the answer to that question.  I hope it's been thrown around a little bit.  I hope when they see that- "Oh my God!  This team played 45 innings in three days and had to use three position players to pitch," that at least it's being talked about.  I don't see a reason why there can't be a tie in the minor leagues.  They're really not going to affect anything really.  So, I hope it's being talked about a little bit.  I hope it doesn't come down to position players start getting hurt before they start making decisions and changing their minds and coming up with something to alleviate having to throw position players in a game.

-Sharing thoughts on what the Reading clubhouse is like and who stands out as having potential to be a leader at higher levels...

This clubhouse...I've been in the minor leagues, this is my fifth year, and this is the most tight clubhouse that I've been a part of.  I mean, they really get along real well.  They pull for each other.  (Cam) Perkins is great in the clubhouse.  Stassi is great in the clubhouse.  I think J.P. (Crawford) is learning to be good in the clubhouse.  But, obviously, he's young and has only been in the system for a (couple) years.  But those three stand out to be from the position player standpoint.  And they're all good.  They really are.  They pull for each other.  They're tight knit.  They don't point fingers and things like that.  So, it's been a real good and fun group to work with.  They come to work, they get their business done and they play hard every day. 

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