Threshers; June 29, 2014

Miguel Gonzalez threw 14 pitches in a relief appearance today, his first back-to-back appearances since restarting his rehab as a reliever.  It was reported that his fastball peaked at 95-96 mph Saturday night.  He followed that up with 92-94 mph on 10 of his 11 fastballs on Sunday.  One fastball dipped to 91.  He threw 3 off-speed pitches, two 77 mph curve balls and an 81 mph slider(?).  The first batter fell behind 0-2 and fouled off a pitch before hitting a soft cue shot that found space between Art Charles and Angelo Mora on the right side.  It barely reached the outfield grass.  Gonzalez struck out the next batter after falling behind 2-0.  The third batter lined a ball back through the box that Gonzalez grabbed between his ankles.  He easily doubled up the runner off first.

Gonzalez threw 10 strikes among his 14 pitches.  He was unable to throw any of his 3 off-speed pitches for a strike.  From my vantage point behind the scouts behind home plate. it seemed to me that his fastball travels in a straight line.  I couldn’t detect much movement, but he was pretty accurate with it.  He was able to hit Gabriel Lino’s glove without the catcher having to move it very much.  I’ve seen Gonzalez in XST, earlier with the Threshers as a starter, and recently when he began relieving.  This was the most effective I’ve seen him.

It’s great being able to watch Roman Quinn and JP Crawford play.  They both seem to have settled into their new environments.  Their sped at the top of the order has made Threshers’ at bats more interesting.  Today, for instance, Quinn started the first inning with a walk.  Crawford chopped a ball to the first baseman.  He had to throw over Quinn’s shoulder to get the force at second.  Quinn’s speed put him on top of the shortstop as he released an inaccurate throw to get the hard-running Crawford.  The first baseman crashed to the ground as he stretched to gather in the errant throw.  The umpire called Crawford out.  In an unusual minor league version of replay, manager Nelson Prada raced over to “challange” the umpire on his call.  After a very short exchange, the umpire jogged to the home plate umpire.  After another very short discussion, the call was overturned.  The defender’s foot had come off the bag.

Aaron Nola is scheduled to pitch Tuesday night.

10 thoughts on “Threshers; June 29, 2014

  1. Quinn seems to be taking to CF nicely, based on the box scores. How does JP look against High-A pitching? It’s a shame you missed his HRs!

    1. Quinn dropped a fly ball in the 9th on Saturday that cost the Threshers the game. The ball was smoked over his head and he did a good job getting back to it, but it was in his glove and popped out. Good route- but he should have held on to it. I agree that having Roman and JP makes the Threshers more fun to watch on the field and in the boxscore.

      1. I wouldn’t say Quinn cause the Thresters the game it was one out who can te what the outcomes would hsve been. The next pitch was a home run did he make the pitch for the homer. One drop ball with one out is not a cause for a list game.

      2. Most OFs have had that experience at one time or another. You take a great route and get to where you didn’t think you could get to and then the ball hits the rim of your glove because you’re trying to stop and not totally smooth at that moment. As a play in his development back to being an OF, I think its great that he got to experience it. I’m sure he’ll work on it and improve. 2016 mid season in Philly….

  2. Thanks for the great post! In an interview with MAG soon after he was signed I thought it said that he threw about a gillion different pitches. Does it seem that he was throwing an assortment of different pitches or with different release points, but still exhibiting good control? On another subject, what is the highest speed you can recall seeing on that gun this season?

    1. I’m not a scout, so take what I say with a grain of salt. When MAG was on the mound, I was standing behind Jeb Stefan and Colin Kleven as they charted pitches. I’m sure that his fastball was 92-94. I know that 77 was his curve, I overheard Stefan verify that with Kleven. I was guessing that 81 was a slider. Maybe the 91 was a cutter? His release point has always looked the same to me no matter where I’ve seen him. But I hesitate to claim that as a fact. I do know that the 3 off-speed pitches were out of the strike zone, but maybe they were supposed to be. Last time I saw him, he was having trouble inducing any swing-and-miss. The batters were late but hitting hard foul balls into the stands down the foul lines. Today, the only ball hit well was hit right back to him. He looked better today.

      I think I saw 95 when Ethan Martin was on rehab. But only once. Hamels topped out at 92 on rehab. Adams got one pitch up to 90 on the scoreboard at Dunedin, a stadium that has a well-calibrated gun. I think I saw 93 at GCL/XST, but don’t remember who, maybe Manny Martinez. I don’t remember MAG getting above 92 in XST.

  3. Crawford looks like he is adjusting nicely. This morning his average was over .260, but he has so few at bats that an oh-for-four can drop his average over 20 points. Remember, he started 0-8, and in an interview conceded that the quality of pitching is much better in the FSL. In particular, he finds the pitchers hide the ball better. He likes attacking early in the count, but has been seeing 3,4,5 pitches in his at bats. In his last 5 games, he has only struck out twice and has walked 3 times in 23 plate appearances.

    I did see Crawford’s first FSL home run. He stayed back on a pitch and drove it over the right field wall. The pitch looked like a fastball up in the zone and out over the plate. He got his arms extended. The ball’s trajectory was directly over the right fielder’s head. It landed about 5-6 feet up the berm. If you are familiar with Bright House Field, it cleared the fence above the white “Clearwater Recycles” sign, the 5th or 6th sign in from the right field line. What little breeze we had at that point was coming in from right, so it was not wind aided.

  4. Jim,

    Do you get all of your pitch speeds from sitting behind the scouts and/or Threshers’ pitchers who are charting?

  5. Usually. Dunedin posts them on the scoreboard. At the Carpenter Complex it is harder to position myself behind the teams’ guns, so I rely more on the scouts. At the Jays’ Englebert Field, I can usually choose from multiple guns. Same at Bright House Field. I try to see more than one so I can get a consensus. I used to watch the numbers the pitchers recorded until I noticed they were recording fastballs at higher speeds than the gun indicated last season.

    1. Jim, thanks for your reports from Florida as they show that the Phillies have hope for the future. A question for you in that do the scouts you speak to see MAG more as a late reliever than a starter?

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