Knapp drawing praise for improvements behind the plate

Phillies Andrew Knapp improved behind the plate
Andrew Knapp arrived in Clearwater last month understanding his future with the Phillies was in question, so he's done quite a bit this spring in an attempt to elevate his worth in an effort to break camp with the big league club.

Knapp impressed again on Monday, throwing out a pair of potential base stealers in a 4-3 victory over the Twins in a Grapefruit League game at Spectrum Field.

"I've worked on my footwork," Knapp said. "In the past, I've kind of stepped backward a little bit with my throw and I can't get as much on it. Now I'm trying to gain a little ground through the ball. It's nice to see a little bit of improvement there."

Knapp threw out 20 percent of base stealers last season. It was an area he knew he needed to improve, compounded by manager Gabe Kapler's interest in controlling the running game from behind the plate. He's also improved his framing of pitches, another area of interest for Kapler.

"We've seen improvement in Andrew's all-around game," Kapler said. "I think what stands out the most is how he's able to keep pitches in the zone right now. He's done a tremendous job of working on his framing. He's stayed very consistent in the bullpen with focusing on every pitch. We've seen notable improvements at the bottom of the zone with Knapp. He's actually a really good receiver. We're just seeing him continue to improve, which is good news for our pitching staff."

Knapp has yet to get things going with the bat this spring with one hit (though a home run) in 10 at-bats. Even so, he appears to have an inside track over Cameron Rupp to secure the backup catcher slot on the opening day roster.

Roster Moves
The Phillies optioned right-hander Drew Anderson to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday. He allowed one earned run in four innings this spring. The club also reassigned catcher Edgar Cabral and right-hander J.D. Hammer to Minor League camp.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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