Threshers; July 1, 2014

The Phillies first round pick and number 7 overall, Aaron Nola, made his home debut against the Dunedin Blue Jays Tuesday night.  The crowd of 3,394 was treated to a pitchers’ duel in a game the Threshers’ lost 1-0.

Nola made his FSL debut last Monday in Lakeland.  He was on a 50 pitch limit that night.  He started Tuesday on an unknown pitch limit, but a 5-inning limit.

Nola features a fastball, change, and a curve.  He velo was reported to have hit 94 last week.  But, his reputation was built on his ability to pitch not on his fastball.  Last night, his fastball was at 91,  his curve at 77.  His curve had a hard break on it and gave the Jays’ batters problems.

Nola pitched 4 innings and threw 48 pitches.  He had a strike/ball ratio of 34/14.  Most of the 14 balls were around the plate.  He was incredibly accurate.  He struck out 2 batters and walked none.  He ran only 3 counts of more than 1 ball – a 3-2 count that resulted in a foul ball then a fly to left, a 2-0 count that ended as a fly ball to center, and a 2-2 count that became his second strike out on a nasty curve that the batter took for strike three.

Nola pitched very efficiently and consistently through his 4 innings, allowing only one base runner on a ground ball through the 5.5 hole just out of Crawford’s reach.

  1. First inning – 12 pitches, 8 strikes, 1 K
  2. Second inning – 13 pitches, 9 strikes, 1 K, 1 single
  3. Third inning – 10 pitches, 8 strikes
  4. Fourth inning – 13 pitches, 9 strikes, 1 K

Nola pitched in front of most batters.  He threw 10 of 13 first pitch strikes.

None of the Jays batters made hard contact.

  • Five fly balls made it to the outfield, but the fielders took steps in to make the catches.
  • One pop up that Nola was going to field himself until called off.
  • And, 3 ground balls in the infield.  He showed his defensive ability, when he continued to first to complete a rare 4-1 put out (The ball was in the hole and the first baseman was unable to get to it, but the second baseman was able to cut it off and find Nola at first ahead of the batter.)

Kevin Walter pitched 3 innings.  He had a 1-2-3 5th inning, but pitched himself in and out of trouble after retiring the first 2 batters in the 6th inning.  He gave up a meaningless 2-out single in the 7th inning.

Ramon Oviedo took the loss when he gave up a lead off single in the 8th inning.  After a sacrifice bunt and a pop up he was on the verge of escaping the inning when he gave up a run-scoring double.  After a wild pitch and a walk, he completed the inning with no further damage.

Dan Child pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning that included 2 strike outs.

Offensively,

  • Roman Quinn beat out a single to short (no throw), but struck out 3 times and was caught stealing.
  • JP Crawford went 0-4 with a strike out.
  • Evert Williams had a single and a stolen base in 4 at bats.
  • Brandon Short struck out twice in 4 at bats.
  • Art Charles was 1-3 with a strike out
  • Harold Martinez was 2-3, but his second single was an inning ender when Charles was hit by the ball and ruled out for interference.
  • Anthony Phillips in his first game since his return from Reading went 1-3.

There was one defensive gem.  Williams retreated to the wall in left and made a leaping catch to bring back a potential 2-run home run to end the 7th inning and preserve a 0-0 tie.

 

 

16 thoughts on “Threshers; July 1, 2014

  1. I always like reading Jim’s reports. Concise and readable. Brings me up to date on important details.

  2. ty Jim. I am interested in the pitcher that Quinn and Crawford faced, both were older guys, one was a former first round choice, This is why sometimes I just don’t thinks stats tell the story, on minor league prospect.s. I Believe and Jim you can help me on these, the first two pitchers for Toronto what kind of stuff did you see and velocity. ty Jim

    1. The starter, Kendall Graveman, is a 23-year old, 8th round draft pick from 2013. He throws 3 pitches – a 91-93 mph fastball, a slider, and a changeup. The fastball and changeup are both above average pitches (per scouting report). He threw with similar accuracy to Nola. By their body language, Quinn and Crawford both appeared to disagree with the location of called strikes. Gabriel Lino routinely talks to umpires about the strike zone, but Quinn and Crawford are usually less demonstative with their actions.

      Neither faced the first reliever, 25-year old Justin Jackson. Quinn struck out against 24-year old Efrain Nieves. The 2012 rule 5 selection from the Tigers is a left-handed submarine pitcher. Crawford grounded out weakly to short against 25-year old closer Arik Sikula. This was his first appearance since returning from the Jays AA team. Prior to his promotion to AA, Sikula had 16 saves and a 0.87 ERA for Dunedin.

      The Jays have a good pitching staff. Their team ERA is 2.83 this season.

  3. Good for Nola bouncing back. Not that I was worried over 1 start but it was good to see. Judging by the report, it seemed like everything we were expecting from Nola. Good control and mixes up pitches good.

  4. Nola’s control still sounds to me like a guy who was just more advanced than the players he was facing at his level of competition. I hope the Velo is just a ‘tired’ thing. Despite what Papelbon says it does matter.

    1. Maybe he is but he’s starting in High A ball. That’s the highest level almost anyone starts at. Obviously , over time well be able to tell but it’s still good to see.

      1. The PR coordinator provided us with this little factoid – Nola is the first Phillies’ draft pick to begin his career in A+ since Pat Burrel in 1998.

  5. I didn’t park behind the scouts this game, I watched from the press box. Adam Berry from MLB.com shared the room with me. He went down for a half inning and provided the 91 mph report for the top of the third, I believe.

  6. 91 mph fastball will be cutting it close at ML level. You have to believe there is little more projection there.

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