First Day of Minor League Games

For those yearning for some minor league information coming out of Clearwater, it should now be easier to come by with the start of the Minor League portion of the Spring Training schedule.  Reporting on the AAA group, they beat the Blue Jays 6-5 at the Carpenter Complex on Monday.  1B Tagg Bozied paced the offense, going 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBI, while 2010 Lehigh Valley OF Rich Thompson was 1-3 with 2 RBI and 2 SB. 

On the hill, Drew Naylor got the start and gave up 2 runs in his 3 innings of work, yielding 4 hits.  He walked 1 and struck out three. The most impressive pitching performance was turned in by Michael Schwimer who pitched the final two innings with a perfect line, adding 4 strikeouts in earning the save.

Notables: Matt Rizzotti DH’d and was 1-3.  Harold Garcia started at 2B and went 1-4 with a  triple, run and an RBI, while committing an error. Sebastian Valle started at catcher (because most other catchers are still in major league camp) and was 1-2 with a double and a run scored.

A couple of notes courtesy of Tommy Viola, the Reading Phillies Director of Media Relations.  Trevor May, Josh Zeid and Justin Friend each threw two scoreless innings in the AA team’s 13-3 win. Joe Savery was 3-3 with 3 RBI’s.

52 thoughts on “First Day of Minor League Games

  1. Interesting that Altherr played CF today. Also, Mattair played SS with the “Reading” squad.

  2. Yeah so all 4 Phillies teams won:

    Clearwater won – Nick Hernandez pitched 2 shut out innings. Myers, Murphy, and Barnes had two hits (hr for Barnes). Cesar Hernandez played for Clw.

    Lakewood won – Biddle 2 ip 4ks and Garner pitched 2ip one unearned run. Santana went 2-4, Dugan 2 hits and 2rbi’s and a Collier sighting, 1-3.

  3. Was good to see May get off to a good start in his first game. The best thing was no walks and 4 K’s, but did give up two singles in his 2nd inning but then got a pop-up and a K to get out of the inning. On Sunday Colvin had a 1-2-3 1st inning then with 2 out gave up a double to Rivero and 2 walks but got a K to end the inning. He was pitching against several AA and AAA phillies(Garcia and Rizzotti) plus Valle.

  4. My sleeper pick, Mario Hollands, got off to a good start. 2IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 3k in the Clearwater game.

  5. One thing to keep in mind in terms of prospect placement is almost all of the guys on the lists right now will end up one level below where they’re playing in the spring groups. There are 20 excess players still in major league camps, and the groups are about 30-35 players each. Almost everyone will be pushed down (with some released). Therefore, Hollands pitching in the CLW game means he’s likely headed to Lakewood, and many of the guys in the highest group (Bozied, Garcia, and others) may well be headed to Reading, etc.

    But y’all probably knew that…

    Another great source of spring ST info in the Blueclaws blog. http://blog.blueclaws.com/

    1. While that is a good point, and surely true, on the other had must be some competition for a handful of players on the fence of being double jumped or not, of repeating a level, or not, or of being cut, or not, if not in spring training then in the first month or two or after some injuries or two.

  6. For those of us given to making large mounds out of grains of dirt, it is interesting that they are trying Mattair at SS and could be moving C. Hernandez up to Clwtr to play 2nd base…which would be a nice jump and giddy-up his move to fill that position post-Utley. With Mattair, it may be the thinking that he is a superior fielder at 3b but maybe unlikely to generate enough power for a corner infielder. Hope he can come back and be dedicated and show some more hitting skills well as have the range, arm, and glove for SS. THAT would be a gift.

    Mere speculation; the kind of things that happens every spring.

    1. Or it could just have been that Mattair volunteered to play SS since they’re shorthanded without Galvis or Bocock. No way to know unless we hear that he’s routinely working at SS which I doubt because he’s so big. It was interesting to read that he played SS though…

      1. Wasn’t he a high school shortstop? Agree that its temporary. No way a 6’5″ third baseman makes that transition. Heck, based on my Altherr research its unusual for a player of Mattair’s size even to stick at third.

        1. Yes, Moose did play shortstop some in high school. He played 3rd with the anticipation of him playing 3rd in the Pro’s. We had a couple of pretty decent shortstops who are also playing in the minor and college.

    2. Hard to follow all the action but thought I saw Korby Mintkin take over for Duran at SS and Mattair for Overbeck at third in that game. I have not seen Mattair take any infield other than at 3B. Mattair flied to left and struck out in his two plate appearances.

    1. Looks like Tyson Brummett came in and got a save in the Phillies 7-6 win over Houston yesterday. He came in in a one run game with the bases loaded and induced a game ending double play on the first pitch!

        1. Reading. This would be his fourth try there and he is now 26 years if age so it could be be his last chance. He was great in 15.1 innings at Clearwater last year, as hitters batted .130 against him and his ERA was miniscule (0.59) with a ground ball to fly ball ratio of 3.0., so he has nothing left to prove there. However, he wasn’t very good in 55.2 innings at Reading, with an ERA of 5.01 and opponent BA of .292. Nevertheless, it was better than his 2009 Reading performance and much better than his 2008. Overall, he seems to be progressing but at a very slow pace! It looks like he needs a ground ball to fly ball ration of around 2 or more to be consistently successful.

    2. Naughton appears to have hurt his left forearm and has not played. Kennelly came in for Carlos Rivero at third in yesterday’s AAA game. With Polanco’s injury at the ML level he might see more action.

      1. Ricky Branch are you going to still be in Clearwater next week? I am Roy Dabbs, I will be there Sunday through Sat.

      1. Earlier this year the organization was talking of trying him at 3rd. But that hasnt been brought up in a while.

  7. imagine if we had used the 6 million we’re dumping on Baez and invested in international prospects and the draft.

    1. We might have a bunch of players that won’t get past Single A? Even high paid prospects have a high bust rate.

    2. Baez didn’t get 6 million. He got 4.7 million, and it doesn’t matter anyway. They missed on that signing, but made up for it by getting Contreras for 1 million, who was worth his and Baez’s salary combined.
      In free agency, you win some and lose some. Just like you win some and lose some in the draft.

        1. Fuzzy in what sense? Sure, he fills a roster spot. But you can make that argument about ANY signing.

          Look, there is an argument that the Phillies are a little overly reliant on veteran talent versus playing more young, cost controlled players – especially for bench positions and the bullpen. But:

          (1) There are down side risks in either approach,
          (2) Like if or not, reliance on veteran players is the conventional wisdom for teams like the Phillies who are serious contenders, and, crucially,
          (3) You can’t evaluate the strategy by just focusing on failed signings. That’s why Mike’s comment about Contreras is not fuzzy, but right on point.

  8. Anthony Gose (remember him?) appears to be having a good Spring for Toronto and just tripled in two runs off J.C. Romero (to give Toronto the lead in the seventh inning. Good job by the left-handed hitting Gose against a tough left handed pitcher.

    1. I suggest that last phrase be amended to read “hopefully still-tough lefthanded pitcher.” [Takes deep breath, mutters, plugs phrase “biceps tendinitis” into google.]

  9. Bob I Wonder why the phillies dont spend more in the international market. Can’t figure out why they spend so low. is it the fact they dont trust there scouts there? or too many high paid signee fail. or just feel it isnt good way to spend money. Would love to have someone from the team explain it to us.

    1. Most likely a value per dollar equation. We like the mid-priced market (probably the equivalent of 3rd-5th round draft choices talent-wise). We have had some success developing these players signed in the $100K-$500K range. I don’t think the team believes that the million plus top tier of talent is a great value for their money. They would prefer to spend that in the draft, though the last two years they have been lacking there.

      The team certainly is serious about Latin America and probably should spend money. But they have had some bad experiences at the top end (remember CRod) and even in the middle end (the 2 signings this year). With their mid-priced philosophy I think an extra million would go a long way, especially spending on a top price SS since that is now a position of weakness in the system.

      1. Yeah signing a Latin SS is just the ticket to fix up the organizational lack of depth at the position. That way he will be ready in 2017. Brilliant!!!!

    2. It used to be that heavily scouting latin America provided results as you could buy in bulk and get players relatively cheaply. Now that players are routinely getting six figure bonuses, I don’t know that it is worth it. Every one of these kids is getting signed at high school age, and often even younger than that. Signing a 16 year old kid carries an incredible amount of risk. You probably get better value giving modest bonuses to guys like Gauntlett Eldemire.

      1. That’s a damned good point. They need to be wise about these things, although I think we all agree that investing good money wisely in draft picks and signings is, perhaps, one of the best things they can do to keep the team viable in the long run. But to be great, they probably should take some chances and give the “special case” player the extra money.

        Competence is having a good plan and sticking with it. Brilliance is knowing precisely when to depart from that plan. I’d like to see them act brilliantly when it comes to drafting and signing players.

      2. Or a player like Aaron Altherr or Jonathan Singleton.

        Since we have had great success is developing mid-round higher bonus high school players I am not sure the Phillies are wrong to stay away from the million dollar Latin American signings. I do think the middle round talent pool where we play is a little more expensive, however, and an extra million would let us get 2 or 3 more mid-priced talents, especially projectible pitchers.

        One can criticize the Phillies’ overall spending levels (both draft and International) the last couple of years. They are low partially because of lower draft position and maybe some bad luck (Frazier), but in each of the last two years they could have chosen to spend more. Hopefully this will not come back to haunt them in five years as we are now seeing the fruit of an incredibly productive draft where we spent money on guys like Cosart (even blowing top picks like Hewitt it was still a great draft).

  10. Anyone happen to be at the Carpenter Complex? Wondering what the lineup for both games there are?

  11. Too crowded on the Halladay side to pay much attention but I did see after Roy left that game Tim Kennelly going deep for a long home run to left and later driving in a run on a sac fly. Today they had Tim coming off the bench to play left field. Looks like he is going to have to make a roster as a utility guy at AA or AAA.

    On the AA side the starter JC Ramirez was hit hard in his three innings of work but the rest of the staff shut down the Pirates the rest of the way. Aumont was impressive throwing 17 pitches in the 7th inning. He froze two Pirate farmhands on curve balls to pick up a couple of strike outs. His fastballs were at the knees forcing the Pirates to hit his pitches into the ground when they made contact . The only hit they got off him was a slow roller to third that Mattair barehanded but threw late to first. Aumont seemed to have a more compact delivery and release than when I saw him last season. DeFratus looked sharp coming on in the last two innings of the game mixing in his fastball with his slider to set down the Pirates. Not much offense but Overbeck hit a couple of long balls out and Dabbs had a single and double late in the game. Mattair hit a liner to right for his first hit of the spring and Savery went 0 for 3 but did pull a ground ball out to first.

    The starting lineup was 1. Mintkin 2b, 2. Diaz C, 3.Overbeck 1b, 4. Susdorf lf, 5. Ruf dh, 6. Mitchell cf, 7. Mattair 3b, 8. Boucher rf, 9. Duran ss 10. Savery dh. Yes they had two DH’s. Hernandez replaced Mintkin at second. Dabbs replaced Susdorf in left and Langley replaced Diaz catching. Gillies was walking around the bench during the game but did not play. The pitchers were Ramirez 3 IP, Diekman 2 IP, Chapman 1 ip, Aumont 1 ip and DeFratus 2 ip.

  12. J.C. Ramirez has a good live arm and has shown flashes of what we hope he can become, but his secondary stuff needs work and I think this is why we see him get lit up occasionally. I believe that the three Lee prospects are relieved that Lee is back and they no longer have to feel the heat from the fans to make up for Lee. Gillies couldn’t be seriously hurt, otherwise there woould be news about him somewhere. It is mysterious, however, that he is so upset on his Twitter account. DeFratus needs to understand that he is a work in progress and he’s not going to master this game overnight.

  13. Nice work BR. I trust you more than the beat writer even more than Angelo C . :)

  14. I heard the phillies have interest in Jon Jay. I wonder what it would take to get him. He will be 26 when the season starts and will be entering his 2nd season. He hit .300 last year so he is pretty good at getting on base.

    1. Did the cards draft stutes and he refused to sign? I think he was drafted by the phils as a senior. That may be a name.

      1. I seriously doubt, that the Cardinals would trade a player that they started over Colby Rasmus a lot last year, for a minor league reliever not considered worthy of our top 30.
        You have to look at what the other guy is gaining when proposing a trade. If the Phillies traded even a guy like Gillies, for a Cardinals’ non ranked reliever, we’d storm Amaro’s home.

        1. We traded Marlon Byrd for Endy Chavez…

          Jon Jay is reasonable. He’s 26 years old so he’s no longer a real prospect. Right now he’s the fifth outfielder on the Cardinals. Since the Cards’ lost Adam Wainwright and it is Albert Pujols’ last year under contract, they may feel they need pitching far more than a fifth outfielder to try and win this year.

          1. Endy Chavez was a good prospect at one time. Probably on the level of Jiwan James. That trade was one-sided because the Phillies sold low on Marlon Byrd. But that isn’t in the same ballpark, if the Cardinals were to trade a 26 year old, .300 hitter, that is team controled for 5 years for a fringe reliever.

            1. Cost control is one thing for a starter. But we’re talking about a player who doesn’t project into the Cardinals’ starting lineup. (BA has Allen Craig projected above him long term.) I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a “sell high” attitude in St. Louis given his high average but lack of power.

              I wouldn’t expect to just flip a relief piece though. The Cardinals need a starter.

            2. Exactly, they wouldn’t trade their player for one of our spare relievers. That does nothing for them. I doubt the Phillies have a reliever in the minors that they would take straight up for Jay. Aumont or DeFratus maybe… and I doubt they would get it done.

          2. If you have one of our minor league relievers in mind, it depends on which one, but that would work for me.

            If you are thinking Kendrick for Jay, I also would go along with that.

            If the trade is Blanton for Jay, the trade makes no sense.

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