Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Sports

Two ex-Phillies turn focus to coaching minor leaguers

CLEARWATER

When the playing days of Rob Ducey and Steve Schrenk ended, neither wanted to give up the game that they loved.

With their physical ability diminished, the logical next step was to continue their careers on the coaching side of baseball.

"This is what I've done my whole life ever since I was 5, was baseball, so it was part of my life," Schrenk said. "I just want to continue it, work with kids, get them better."

Now the former Phillies teammates are teaching the game that they love with Philadelphia's Advanced-A affiliate— Schrenk as the Clearwater Threshers' pitching coach and Ducey as the hitting coach.

Once his career came to a close, Clearwater was Schrenk's first coaching job, while Ducey has had stops in the player development departments of Montreal, New York, Toronto, Tampa Bay and Arizona.

For both, the most challenging aspect of the adjustment from playing to coaching was learning to focus on their group of players instead of their own individual roles.

"I think that's the biggest thing probably, learning how to teach in different ways and what works for each guy individually," Schrenk said. "In essence, when you're playing, you worry about yourself and your team and you kind of worry about what you're doing. Now you're in charge of taking care of everybody."

And at times, "everybody" can be a lot of people.

During spring training, Ducey and Schrenk, along with five other pitching and hitting coaches in the Philadelphia organization, are responsible for 180 players. And the coaching staff still is expected to maintain an individual relationship with each player.

"The organization builds a database as far as player movement from city to city, and the notes that are carried on from the hitting coaches and managers and pitching coaches that have had the player in the past," Ducey said. "There's constant communication between the levels … making sure that we as a staff know the individual player that's coming in."

That knowledge will include more than just the players' certain skill set. Ducey and Schrenk try to know each of the Threshers' on a more personal level.

"We have to teach them not only how to be accountable on the field, but off the field," Schrenk said.

But that comes in addition to the extensive amount of time Schrenk and Ducey spend working with players on the fundamentals of the game.

Ducey's day begins in the cages doing individual work with players looking to make adjustments. Once that ends, it's time for stretching and batting practice on the field where Ducey leads players through fielding and base-running drills as well.

Schrenk's pitchers start each game day by throwing bullpen sessions. After helping shag balls during batting practice, Schrenk schools his staff on the mental side of the game.

"There's probably some mental stuff for us as far as the pitching, getting ready, mentally learning how to pitch guys and what we might do with sequences and stuff like that," Schrenk said.

When players learn from these teaching moments and move on to the organization's next level, it gives Ducey and Schrenk their greatest feeling of accomplishment.

"That's why we're here," Ducey said. "They assign these players that have very good physical ability and it's our job to teach them how to be major-league players."

Comments
USF football midseason review: Jury still out on unbeaten Bulls

USF football midseason review: Jury still out on unbeaten Bulls

TAMPA — Here we stand at the halfway point of USF's season, with nary half a clue of where the Bulls appear destined.Peach Bowl or a pedestrian one? At this juncture, who can say? The No. 21  Bulls may be unbeaten (6-0) but they're ha...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Casey Levy adds an edge to Clearwater Central Catholicís ground game

Casey Levy adds an edge to Clearwater Central Catholicís ground game

CLEARWATER — Casey Levy can absorb pain. Two years ago, he was helping a friend chop down a tree with an axe. Suddenly, the steel blade flew off the wooden handle, striking Levy in the knee.The cut required about 10 stitches."I'm not allow...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Letís Take It Outside: A hiking trip on Ďanother planetí

Letís Take It Outside: A hiking trip on Ďanother planetí

New Mexico is full of history, culture and amazing outdoor adventures. My Farmington, N.M., adventure started with hiking in the 45,000-acre Bisti Wilderness featuring rolling badlands.Itís like being transported to another planet. To cool off, try h...
Published: 10/17/18
Bucs new girls flag football program could add to county's high school success

Bucs new girls flag football program could add to county's high school success

Jen Welter, NFL's first female coach, helps introduce program with special clinic
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Tyler Johnson hat trick sends Lightning past Hurricanes

Tyler Johnson hat trick sends Lightning past Hurricanes

TAMPA — Fans who attended Tuesday's Lightning-Hurricanes game heard more than their fair share of Chuck Berry's song Johnny B. Goode.Center Tyler Johnson's goal song, with its signature line Go go, go Johnny go, blared over the loudspeakers not...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How the Lightning beat the Hurricanes 4-2

How the Lightning beat the Hurricanes 4-2

Louis Domingue couldn't turn his head well, but he wasn't going to let that keep him from his first start in 19 days.The Lightning goalie tweaked his neck playing basketball, warming up before the game, and still couldn't turn his head after the game...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Beloved wife of Tarpon Springs football coach dies

Beloved wife of Tarpon Springs football coach dies

Artemis Kotis, the widely admired wife of Tarpon Springs High football coach George Kotis, died after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 49."She is a much bigger name than me in this community," George Kotis said of his wife. "She helped ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
District volleyball: Holy Names moves on, Berkeley Prep bows out

District volleyball: Holy Names moves on, Berkeley Prep bows out

CLEARWATER — Academy of the Holy Names advanced to the Class 5A, District 9 final after a thrilling 25-17, 15-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11 win over No. 2 seed Clearwater Central Catholic on Tuesday night. The win guarantees the Jaguars (18-8) a regi...
Updated: 12 hours ago

District volleyball: No easy path to final for Sunlake, Mitchell

LAND O' LAKES — Regarded all season as possibly the most competitive volleyball district in Tampa Bay, the 7A-8 semifinals promised to be pretty dramatic. And although the top two seeds eventually prevailed, did they ever have to sweat it out.T...
Updated: 12 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Tuesday, October 16

Tuesdayís scoreboardBoys swimmingShorecrest 177, Northside Chr. 127Girls swimmingShorecrest 188, Northside Chr. 110
Updated: 12 hours ago