Phillies fine-tune their skills in Clearwater, Florida

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Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Florida. Jeff Skversky reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on February 16, 2018. (WPVI)

Phillies continue to fine-tune their game while having fun in Clearwater, Florida. And their manager continues to rave over the players.

New Phillies first baseman Carlos Santana reported to camp Friday, and he's expected on the field tomorrow.

But he's not the only new face to show up today.
Out of the blue, the men in blue out here.

It's not a sight or sounds Phillies pitchers are used to until spring training games and the regular season starts.

But new Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is throwing a changeup today.

Umpires are out here calling balls and strikes for bullpen sessions, and it's something they have never done in the past.

"Having umpires out there is not the most important thing. It's just how can you find the last little detail that gets us a tiny bit better, and gets us one step forward where we're trying to win 90 plus games, but it is not going to be easy. It's going to take all of us coming together and thinking how we can sort of extract that bit of value," said Phillies Manager Gabe Kapler.

The value is immediate feedback.

For pictures who are working every inch of the strike zone.

And for catchers who are frame to frame pitchers behind the plate.

Kapler made this experiment optional but Phillies starters love it.

Phillies Pitcher Jerad Eickhoff said, "It was awesome. It's a feedback really early in the camp, but you want to see where you are, tighten up where you need to tighten up."

Phillies Pitcher Aaron Nola added, "It's definitely different, but best way can go on the bullpen, definitely first for me. It's going to help us out a lot..."

Kapler is going to continue to do this not only in bullpen sessions but during live batting practice.

The Phillies are looking for every small competitive advantage possible.

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