We are back once again with the 97.3 ESPN Phillies Mailbag.  Each week we take your questions and answer them on the air on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill.  Tune in Tuesday afternoons to hear your questions answered on the air.

Will the fans give the city connect a chance after seeing it in person? Honestly looks a lot better in person.

Well, speaking for myself with my albeit unpopular opinion: I actually like them overall.  I had always wondered why no Philadelphia sports team had the City of Philadelphia flag colors.  Then the Union adopted them.  And here, the Phillies put them to use for the City Connect jerseys.  Even if the whole package is underwhelming there is much to like.

The City of Philadelphia flag has a lighter blue.  I thought that they did a good job mixing in the navy blue to give it a more grounded image overall. I think that the hats independently of the uniform are a nice addition, anchored in that blue.  And the hoodies and polo shirts released I think are pretty neat.

There's also the Love Park tribute on the patch.

Do you remember the Frankford Yellowjackets jerseys the Eagles wore a while back?  I still see some Javon Kearse jerseys around at times, along with Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins.  Those were more reflective of the Philadelphia flag colors.

So this is a nice change of pace.  And it only cost them the red Spring Training jersey tops.

By the way - give Todd Zolecki's piece about the jerseys a read.  The leaked jerseys came only because someone stole one from a shipping container and posted it on eBay.  It helped the players work on getting some matching shoes.

When do the Phillies move on from Kevin Long?

Phillies hitting coach Kevin Long is one of the more-respected hitting coaches in the game.  He began coaching in the Kansas City Royals system and cracked the big leagues in 2007, becoming the New York Yankees hitting coach.  After the 2014 he was let go by the Yankees and was hired by the New York Mets.

He remained with the Mets until after the 2014 season.  After being turned down for the managerial post, he joined the Washington Nationals.  He found a good deal of success there.  But left to join the Phillies beginning in 2022, despite an offer to remain with the Nationals.

Long signed a two-year extension after the 2022 season.  Those seasons are this season and next season. I am not sure of the numbers today, but I believe he is one of the better-paid hitting coaches in baseball.

His resume is long and filled with successes.  He worked with the Phillies team that got to the World Series in 2022 and deep into the playoffs in 2023.  The Phillies are off to a slower start.  But it's April 15.  There are high-paid veterans who did not just forget how to hit once working with Long.  They will need to (and I believe will) earn their salaries this season.

I think for the Phillies to move on from Long, the Phillies would have to miss the playoffs and be struggling along during next season.

I just don't see that happening.

Hey hey.  So how about this George Klassen?

The Phillies drafted a right-handed pitcher in July of 2023 named George Klassen.  Klassen was drafted after three years at the University of Minnesota.  He was injured during year one and pitched scarcely in year two and some more to mixed results in year three.  The Phillies used their sixth-round pick to draft Klassen.

Klassen opened 2024 at Low Class-A Clearwater. So far he has looked really good.

In both starts, Klassen went five innings.  He has not allowed a run during those 10 innings.  He has combined for just three hits and two walks during his first two starts, for a WHIP of 0.50.

Klassen was often projected as a second round pick.  He instead went during the sixth round.  A Tommy John surgery perhaps left teams a little tentative.

But Klassen is a power arm who can pitch 100 miles per hour.  He is 22 years old, which could help him move quickly through the Phillies system.  Those facing Klassen at Low Class-A might not do much with that fastball.

It's still very early in his career, but it's certainly encouraging to see.  Many talent evaluators thought he would grow into something; the Phillies were lucky to have him available that late in the draft.  Klassen is most certainly worth keeping an eye on.

More From 97.3 ESPN