Gillies Ready For A Fresh Start
Outfielder puts troubled 2010 season behind him
CLEARWATER, Fla.—Tyson Gillies is trying to put 2010 behind him.
"It was a very troubling year for me," the 22-year-old outfielder said. "I'm ready to move forward, personally and professionally. I just want to play baseball."
Gillies ran into trouble on the field last May, when he injured his left hamstring while playing for Double-A Reading. He ran into trouble off the field last June, when he was arrested by Clearwater police and charged with cocaine possession after a night out with friends.
All charges were dropped in October and Gillies has petitioned to have the incident expunged from his record.
Gillies declined to discuss specifics of the incident when he met with reporters before the start of minor league camp.
"It was a devastating thing for me and my family," Gillies said. "Most upsetting was that people even had a chance to question my character, which I value so much. People who know me know I'm one of the most hard-working and hungry people they'll ever meet. To have people doubt me—it's their decision, but I'm still the same person I've always been . . . This was the first time I've ever gotten in trouble, and I've learned about keeping myself out of harmful situations and watching my surroundings from now on."
Gillies thanked the Phillies and Dickie Noles, the team's employee assistance specialist, for sticking by him.
"Tyson shot straight with us from the start," assistant general manager Chuck LaMar said. "He's followed the letter of the law and done everything we've asked. He's one of the finest athletes in our system. We've never wavered one iota from a baseball standpoint of what kind of prospect he is."
Gillies was acquired from the Mariners in the Cliff Lee deal in December 2009. He hit .341/.430/.486 in 498 at-bats with high Class A High Desert in 2009 and led the California League with 44 steals. He finished third in the minors in batting average and fifth in on-base percentage.
He played in just 28 games and hit .243/.302/.336 last season. The Phillies plan to send Gillies back to Reading to start this season.
• Top prospect Domonic Brown underwent surgery to repair a fractured hand on March 8. Officials say he could recover in four to six weeks.
• Righthander Andrew Carpenter remained in big league camp as a non-roster invitee after clearing waivers and being outrighted to Triple-A.