Whither radar man: Phils scout has new gig

Longtime advance scout stationed behind home plate from 2008-15

Whither radar man: Phils scout has new gig

PHILADELPHIA -- There have been a handful of hot topics for Phillies fans the first couple weeks of the season.

There is Vince Velasquez, the corner outfielders, the closer, the leadoff hitter and that guy behind home plate with the radar gun.

Yeah, what happened to that guy?

That guy is Phillies' advance scouting analyst Chris Cashman, and observant Phillies fans have noticed his absence this season and wondered why he is no longer sitting behind home plate at Citizens Bank Park. From 2008-15, Cashman sat behind home plate and used a radar gun and walkie talkie to relay pitch velocity and pitch types to the folks running Phanavision. They put his report on the scoreboard in right field, so fans could see how many times Ken Giles threw his fastball 100 mph.

"A lot of people have been asking me where I went," Cashman said before Monday night's game against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, "but more people have been asking my family members. People my dad used to work with. My sister's friends and parents. It's pretty crazy how many people are concerned."

Cashman, 30, is doing just fine. The Phillies simply figured Cashman could make better use of his time. Besides, everything is automated these days.

"It was a good experience," Cashman said. "I read the scouting reports on the pitchers we were about to face, and then going down there and seeing them I formed my own opinions, but I also saw what the scouts were seeing. It definitely helped me learn the game and understand pitchers."

The Phillies no longer employ an advance scout, but Cashman does the work of one. He puts together advance scouting reports based on video, subscription services and other in-house data. He spent Monday working on reports about the Brewers, who play the Phillies in a three-game series beginning Friday in Milwaukee.

Cashman now spends his time during games at Citizens Bank Park sitting with the rest of the scouts a few rows further back.

He said he still gets recognized from regulars in the Diamond Club and no wonder. From the time Cashman, an Archbishop Carroll and St. Joseph's grad, became a full-time Phillies employee in 2010, he said he missed just five games in six seasons.

"I think I served my time down there," Cashman said with a laugh.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.