Phillies’ Rick Kranitz brings ‘Sensitive Bus’ to clubhouse

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia published a column on Wednesday detailing one of the ways the Phillies are trying to help build clubhouse camaraderie. At some point last season, head pitching coach Rick Kranitz brought the “Sensitive Bus” into the Phillies’ clubhouse and he has brought it back for the 2018 season.

The “Sensitive Bus” is a yellow toy school bus, adorned with a whining emoji, that gets placed in a player’s locker if he’s deemed to have been too sensitive.

Kranitz said, “You know, sometimes guys get a little sensitive about things. They start jabbing each other a little, getting under each others’ skin. It doesn’t even have to be about baseball. You have to have tough skin. The boys, they don’t ever want the bus in their locker.”

Kranitz added, “If somebody gets on somebody’s nerves and there’s some sensitivity, I’ll just go get it and put it in their locker. Hey, I might put it in my own locker.”

On the one hand, this type of team-building exercise is a step above some of the stunts used in the past, like making rookies dress up like women and wear pink backpacks.

On the other hand, this is still problematic because it teaches men — in the case of the Phillies’ clubhouse: young, impressionable men — that being sensitive is a bad thing. It’s not. If someone doesn’t like something that a fellow teammate said or did, his environment should make him feel comfortable enough to speak up and establish his own boundaries. Some teammates you can joke around with, some you can’t. Sometimes a player will have a bad day or a bad week and not be in the mood to joke around. That’s life; that’s people. Those that don’t enjoy silliness — whether in that moment or in general — shouldn’t have to silently suffer because Kranitz wants to promote toxic masculinity in Gabe Kapler’s clubhouse.

When Kapler got hired, the Phillies were essentially saying to fans that they were going to change up the way things had been done. The front office is now very analytically-oriented, for example. The Phillies are going to experiment with mid-inning outfield realignment. So, it’s surprising that someone as forward-thinking as Kapler would allow Kranitz to implement such a retrograde team-building exercise in his clubhouse.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.