Filer Enjoys Benefits Of Being In Reading

Tom Filer, the 48-year old pitching coach of the Reading Phillies has coached at every level of professional baseball after pitching parts of six seasons in the majors before injuries forced him into coaching. He joined the Phillies organization before the start of last season when he served as Lakewood's pitching coach. Filer is a native of Philadelphia who graduated from LaSalle University and still resides in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and family.

Filer's Reading staff has rebounded after posting an ERA near the bottom of the Eastern League in the early part of the season, to put themselves right near the center of the League at the season's halfway point. Their 3.83 standard ranks them seventh in the twelve team Eastern League, one hundredth of a point behind Trenton for sixth. Filer expected his staff to make a resurgence in the ERA category even when they were struggling early on.

"I think that's (our team ERA) a little misleading. We're throwing the ball well. We'll put a couple good outings together and then have a 13-run blowout and those games just kill an ERA," said Filer at the time.

The jump from low-A to Double A is much tougher for a player, than it is a coach and Filer has made the transition seamlessly. The biggest difference is the experience level of the pitching staff he works with, day in and day out. While Filer was coaching in Lakewood last year, Dan Radison, a former coach of the Yankees Double-A affiliate based in Trenton, gushed about Filer's ability as a pitching from their time together in Norwich.

"Tommy's the kind of guy who knows how to put the polish on guys and he would be a great guy to have in the upper minor leagues." said Radison.

Even though Filer is the top notch pitching coach Radison says he is, he enjoyed his experience helping the young Lakewood staff mature and develop last year as he stressed the very basics of pitching.

"I really enjoyed last year because when you have a younger pitcher they're all ears. Another thing with such young pitchers is that you're stressing the very basics of pitching, things like fastball command ,and they're like a sponge. They try to soak up as much as they can." said Filer.

As for what he thinks of the difference between levels, Filer enjoyed both levels he has experienced in the Phillies organization and reiterated that experience is really the levels chief difference.

"When you move up the levels, guys understand what's going on. They know what's involved and what they need to do to get better. I have an experienced staff here this year so we try to work on the subtle aspects of the game and talk a lot about situational pitching. I enjoy this level because the players are very hungry. They start to realize just how close they are to pitching in the big leagues." said Filer.

Filer's staff need not look very far for proof of their pitching coach's words. Current Phillies phenom Robinson Tejeda spent last season right where they are now at Double-A Reading. Experience doesn't exempt Filer's pupils from a refresher course in the basics of pitching though as even the brightest phenom still needs to have fastball command if he hopes to be successful, said the coach.

Filer's move to the Phillies organization prior to last season allows him to spend more time with his family in the Philadelphia suburbs during the season. Filer enjoys the time he gets to spend with his family, even if isn't the kind of quality time he would like to spend with them.

"My time at home is limited. It's not like it's quality time, but any time is good now that I'm there. Even if its just to say ‘Hello' or ‘Good-Bye' it makes my day." said Filer.

His family feels the same way about his presence around the house. His 21-year old son, T.C. enjoys having his dad at home because it allows him to spend more time with him.

"I get to do things with him that I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I used to never see him during baseball season so it's been nice to spend time with him and do things with him when otherwise I wouldn't be able to." said T.C.

The elder Filer is both a baseball man and a family man. The R-Phils pitching staff will benefit from his store chest of expertise and his family will benefit from the time he gets to spend with them during the grind of a 142-game season. He is one of the many good guys in the game and hopefully one day he will get a chance to coach at the game's highest level.

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