I received a text from a friend this morning alerting me to an intrasquad game at the Carpenter Complex. The same friend picked me up and we went to the fields. We were immediately rewarded when Zach Green came out of the clubhouse in uniform spikes. It got better when Cody Asche came out in uniform, too. Jackpot!
With only 17 position players in camp available for the game, the line ups were divided loosely into Williamsport vs. Gulf Coast. I say loosely because Jose Pujols played RF for the Gulf Coast team. He has played exclusively with the Williamsport squad the last few weeks. I still expect him to make the trip north this week.
Asche batted three times and didn’t play the field. He struck out and flew out to center against Feliberto Sanchez when batting for Williamsport. He flew out to center against David Whitehead when batting for Gulf Coast.
Green played first base and batted 4 times. He mashed a Sanchez offering in the first inning over the left field fence. At that point, the wind was blowing softly from left to right, so it didn’t get any help from the wind. He popped out to infielders in his other 3 at bats.
Other than Green’s home run, Sanchez allowed only one other hit in 5 innings of work. He struck out 5 and walked none. It looks like he is set up to be the Crosscutters’ #2 starter behind Mitch Gueller. Whoever pitches at tomorrow’s 9:00AM game will probably be the 3#, I’m guessing Denton Keys.
Whitehead had a rough first inning. Cord Sandberg reached on a throwing error by the third baseman (Cuicas). After Asche’s fly out, Wilmer Garcia and Trey Williams singled and Jan Hernandez tripled over the centerfielder’s head (Biter). Herlis Rodriguez completed the scoring that inning with an RBI ground out. Whitehead came back strong allowing two hits and striking out 2 over the next 4 innings. He finished 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO in 5 IP. This was the longest I’ve seen him pitch this spring.
After the starters were replaced, a stream of unknown (to me) pitchers took the mound until Rick Bielski took the mound in the top of the ninth inning. Bielski had an uneven inning. He allowed a hard double and 2 soft singles. He gave up 2 runs but only 1 earned. The unearned run scored on his wild pitch. He retired a batter on a ground ball back to the pitcher, but the hard hit ball ripped his glove off. He walked 1, but struck out two. With Delvi Francisco down from Lakewood, Bielski figures to be a set-up man to start the season.
Other miscellaneous stuff –
Sandberg went 2-5.
Garcia went 2-4 with a walk.
Williams went 2-5.
After his triple, Hernandez was struck out 3 times, twice looking by Whitehead.
Malquin went 2-4 with a double.
Garcia and Williams executed a double steal when Garcia stole second with Williams on third.
Olvy Marte went 3-3, with the best bunt single I’ve seen all spring, down the first base line. He beat the pitcher easy, but Robinson Torres almost beat him to the bag from his second base position. Good hustle all around.
Jake Sweaney went 1-3 with a double.
Luis Encarnacion went 0-4 with 3 swinging strike outs.
Jose Pujols was 1-3 with a walk.
I heard they were expecting one of the draft picks to arrive tonight. Nick Ferdinand was being assigned to Lakewood from XST. Morning game tomorrow.
I picked up a friend from the airport and didn’t make it to the Threshers’ game. Their last home game before the All-Star break is Tuesday night. They’re off Wednesday then play a double header Thursday in Tampa. Apparently, we have rain scheduled for Wednesday?