Box Score Recap – 8/6/2014

Aaron Nola and Jesse Biddle were on the hill for Reading and Clearwater, in the opposite order from where you’d have logically guessed that six weeks ago before Biddle was put on the inactive list. Nola pitched well, allowing one run on six hits, one walk and four Ks in five innings. He threw 65% of his 72 pitches for strikes, and was innings limited at five. Mitch Rupert was there on his day off and said on Twitter that Nola was sitting 92-93 on scouts guns, and though he touched 97 on the stadium gun, that seems far-fetched.  Mitch estimated that stadium gun was probably 2MPH hot. Still a fine outing from Nola.

As for Biddle, he was facing a Daytona team that has some pretty nice players right now, namely Kyle Schwarber, this year’s 4th overall pick, (who was generally ranked in the teens pre-draft but picked high and signed underslot), Dan Vogelbach, who’s OPSed near .800 on the year, and Billy McKinney, last year’s 24th overall pick who came to CHC in the Jeff Smajfgskuh trade and has been raking ever since. That’s some nice talent, and Biddle unequivocally shut them and the rest of their mates down. He threw five no-hit innings, allowing just one base runner on a walk, and striking out five. Rad. Here’s a nice write-up with comments from Biddle from’s Jake Seiner.

Elsewhere, Jia Tromp and Cord Sandberg both had two hits, and Tromp’s were both doubles for WIL. Tromp’s hot right now, with 5XBH in his last four games. Jose Pujols was 2-3 including his fourth homerun of the year and Denton Keys worked six fine innings for GCL – 1R 0ER 3H 1BB 5K. 2013 J2 guy Bryan Martelo was 2-4 with a double and a triple in the DSL.

And finally, VSL lost game two of their championship series on Wednesday. The last game is today, for all the marbles. Which for all I know is what these guys get for winning a championship. They probably get like a pizza party or the Venezuelan equivalent, and a neat plastic trophy. Or whats the drinking age in VZ? Maybe they all just go get blasted. Anyway, we likley won’t know until the box score starts up who will be starting for the VSL, but I would actually be a little surprised if it isn’t Ranger Suarez. I’ve wavered on that point for the last couple days. 11:30 EST, we’ll find out.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB.

8-6-14 boxscores

53 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 8/6/2014

  1. Nola is really impressive. 2 months removed from college and throwing well in Double A? Couldn’t ask for anything more from him. And really nice to see Biddle throw so well after being on the shelf. Shows some mettle on his part.

    1. Fastball in the high 80s, has a curveball and changeup, but neither is an average pitch yet. He is pounding the zone now. The stuff needs to tick up across the board for him to be a prospect. There is still projection left there though

    2. Yes, tall colorado high school lhp. Signed kate last summer, seems to be getting his feet settled nicely. Not at all too old for the league, those Colorado kids are fun to monitor-they are like a box of chocolates…..sorry

  2. will be interesting to see how many top 100 prospects we have next season. Will Nola make the cut? (suspect he would) Crawford? (likely) Could Quinn sneak in? (probably not) Will Franco stay on? (not sure)

      1. I don’t know, Quinn is considered the fastest player in the minor leagues and is already considered to be a good defensive CF with terrific stolen base results. I think he’ll make the list too. Biddle is still a possibility also btw.

  3. Some observations from last night’s Reading game.
    Nola; first pitch was 95, when he missed his spots they hit him hard. He was still hitting 94 in the fifth.
    Dugan; swings hard at first pitch every time and teams must know it because they didn’t throw him first pitch strikes. He adjusts with 2 strikes and had some clutch hits last night.
    Altherr; Aaron crushed 2 balls to dead centerfield with 1 going for a double and the other being caught in front of the 400 ft sign.
    Collier; Homerun streak over but he hit the ball hard with one deep to right that was caught.
    Alonso; He has a really weak arm.
    Not sure why the stadium is called a homerun park because dimensions are the same as Vet Stadium. The game itself was extremely long with sloppy play by the Nats infield.

    1. It isn’t all park dimensions, have to account for normal wind patterns as well.

      Here are Reading HR Park Factors (100 is neutral) from minorleaguecentral
      2013 – 128
      2012 – 117
      2011 – 111

      Some other sources have had them higher than that

      1. What kind of things affect the numbers from year to year? Weather fluctuations? Or are these factors somewhat random?

          1. As an aside, I have noticed that now that Howard, Utley, and Rollins are past their prime and we no longer have Burrell, Werth, etc. CBP is never referred to as a “bandbox” anymore

            1. CBP still had the highest HR factor in the league last season. It’s mostly been middle of the road to slightly hitter friendly in overall park factor (102 over the last 4 seasons)

            2. We all know how much most of the Philadelphia sportswriters research their articles! They seem more interested in writing their own editorial pieces than facts.

            3. The left field fence was moved back a little. Prior to that it was a bandbox. Still slightly positive for HR.

  4. I see Chase Numata is back in the picture catching in the GCL
    With all the catchers in the system I wonder what the Phillies plans are for him from here on out..

  5. I just saw significant portions of Nola’s start at Reading on MilbTV.

    Uh, wow! I get it now and, trust me, this guy was not a reach at #7. In fact, you could argue that they were quite lucky he fell to them at 7. He’s that good.

    He’s lean but not too skinny – a classic thin pitcher’s build with acceptable height. He has a nice old-fashioned pitching motion – the kind you used to see in the 60s and 70s, with a high leg kick to generate extra torque and velocity. He works with a nice rhythm. You can see he’s in control out there and means business. His demeanor was excellent. And, oh yeah, he’s got a great pick-off move; he caught a runner napping at first.

    Now for ths stuff. Throw away any suggestion you’ve heard about this kid just being a control artist with pedestrian stuff – that is entirely not the case.

    The biggest thing with Nola, aside from his command (which was good, but not great, last night), is the incredible movement on his pitches and the apparent deception in his motion. His fastball velocity sat at above average (allegedly 91-93) touching plus (95 or more), but his fastball movement is plus. The best comparison I can think of is the movement on Papelbon’s fastball. And he can throw it as a sailing fastball (high) or a sinking fastball. I’m not sure he if throws it with different grips (2 versus 4 seam), but it’s possible. If he throws the pitch at 91-93 and gets plus command, it will be a plus pitch. If he can maintain even better velocity and good command it, it’s a potentially elite pitch. I was pumped to see this.

    Nola’s curve is also at least above average, frequently sitting as a plus pitch. It’s a wiffle ball curve that sort of darts down and laterally about half way to home plate. Now, I haven’t seem him pitch before, but it seems to me that what makes this pitch so effective (batters couldn’t hit it at all) is that it comes out of his hand looking just like his fastball.

    I didn’t really see many other types of pitches, but he may throw a change or a cutter – it wasn’t clear to me. He’ll need to work on another pitch, but, in college, I am sure he didn’t need one because college hitters were almost certainly overwhelmed by the fastball and the curve.

    If what I saw last night (said to be a very average start for Nola – not one of his better outings, believe it or not) is representative of his abilities and his potential, this guy is definitely not going to be in the minors for long. If I’m the Phillies I probably want to get him some starts in AAA next year and also keep the FA clock running an extra year (a very relevant consideration with a talent like Nola), but unless he gets hurt or hits a road block (always possible, especially with young pitchers), expect to see him in the Phillies’ rotation by May (honestly, he could pitch there now and not embarass himself at all).

    And you’re going to love watching this kid for many years. Assuming no injury or loss of velocity, you are looking at a #3 starter at worst, probably a good #2, with outside ace potential if he can hold his peak velocity later in games or develops another above average pitch.

    Wow! Great pick.

        1. Thanks for the link. Nice to see him hustle and get on base. I’m tired of seeing guys like Roberto Hernandez bunt or slap a ground ball and take 2-3 steps out of the box before they walk.

    1. I was at the game. Nola is for real. He has for real stuff, including a plus FB. For a guy in the pros only about a month, he had great composure on the mound. Really, for any AA pitcher he had great composure on the mound. His hit was a lucky, not-great sort of chop bunt, which actually went over the head of the charging 1B.

  6. Keys has pitched well as of late. I wonder if they will just send him to LWood next year and skip WPort means he’s spent 2 years in the GCL.

    1. Based on what Matt has had to say about him, that seems unlikely unless his stuff takes a big step forward. He was raw coming out of HS, so he could be a guy who moves somewhat slowly.

  7. I know this is a little off topic, but since we’ve alluded to the Cubs prospects at Daytona, there is a lot of chatter (mostly from Cubs fans) that they are the team that claimed Hamels. The Cubs are loaded with prospects and names like Soler, Schwarber, Almora, McKinney, Vogelbach, CJ Edwards, Pierce Johnson and even Addison Russell are being tossed around as return for Hamels. If we got back Soler and 2 more from that group (except Almora-don’t like his low BB rate), I would pull the trigger.

    1. Very interesting. You’re right, the Cubs are loaded with talent. They certainly are a team that could put a package together that would make RAJ stop and consider it.

      1. Sorry, this is the wrong place to put this obviously but any deal with the Cubs for Cole would have to include Kris Bryant. That’s the legit bat that I would crave.

    2. Asking for Soler would be stupid. Nothing prevented us from getting him ourselves for free. Not saying you’re wrong or that we wouldn’t want him – on the contrary, we just should already have him if they want him now.

  8. Not sure where to add this, and I could write a more complete report if anyone wanted but I went to see Nola last night in Reading. The results quite good. I had 73 pitches, 48 strikes, milb has one less of each. Note: I looked at the scouts guns, and took my radar gun (though it proved unreliable). Though when mine worked, it read 1-2 mph less than the gun at the stadium. Below I’ll give you the stadium gun numbers.

    1st inning: Nola gives up a single on the second pitch on a 93 mph FB (Ramsey went 4 for 4). Sanchez flies out to right field. Nola picks off Ramsey between the first and second pitch of the Dykstra AB. Cutter struck out during this AB. Nola hit 97 on strike 2 and struck him out with a downward moving 95 mph FB. 1 Hit, 1 PO, 1 K – 12 pitches

    Shorter summaries for the next 4 innings (cause its getting late)

    2nd inning: Ground out to first, fly out to right, first pitch double (95 mph fb right down the middle), 6-3 ground out. 1 hit – 8 pitches, 7 fastballs, and one offspeed pitch

    3rd inning: Double (off fastball), SAC, Single (off 84 mph slider), then finished the inning off with 2 Ks. Began to break off some really nice curveballs this inning. 2 hits, 2 K’s – 19 pitches

    Reading scores 7 runs. Felt like the inning was an hour long.

    4th inning: Nola looks rusty. 5 pitch walk, then a 3 and 1 count, which ended up being a fielders choice (could have been a DP with a slower runner). Long AB again, running took off for second, batter hit where the SS would have been playing. Base hit. Finally three great off speed pitches and Nola got the DP. 20 pitches to make it through the inning, fastest pitch was 93, 9 offspeed pitches, 6 strikes from them.

    5th inning: Comebacker to Nola 1-3, K on 4 pitches, Double on a hanging curve, and a 6-3 ground out to end his night.

    As mentioned, I counted 73 pitches, 48 for strikes. Only during the 4th inning did Nola look rusty and not in control. As mentioned, a couple of his mistakes did get hit pretty hard, but all in all it was a very good night. FB velocity sat between 92-94 according to the Reading gun, with 97 peak in the first, and still routinely hit 94 during the 5th.

    Some other observations: Cartwright stole a base, then got a CS in the 4th when the Phils were up a ton. If I was Harrisburg, I would have plunked him the next time up. However, they didn’t. I believed it was just trying to pad his stats.

    Kelly Dugan is not ready for crafty left handers at the major league level. Looked lost against the starter that Reading abused. Had a sweet swing against the righties though.

    Valle will play in the majors at some point in his career. He runs a good game behind the plate and knew when to settle Nola down in the 4th.

    1. Might even have been more impressive on TV – it’s almost impossible to pick up FB movement when you’re sitting at a game, but he had a ton of movement on his fastball as I explained above. Very, very impressive.

      1. I was sitting directly behind home plate – might have even seen me on TV. It wasn’t too hard to see the movement from there.

          1. LOL no, I was sitting in the second row, would have been the left side of the TV, blue shirt, no hat. No Mutts hat for me.

  9. Not sure where to post this, Phils trade Roberto Hernandez to Dodgers for two players to be named later……Sean O’Sullivan called up from minors…..RH was scheduled to pitch tonight…….shucks I was hoping to sweep the Astros.

    1. The last PTBNL from the LAD – in the Vic trade a few years ago- didn’t turn out well for the Phillies. Jury still out on Martin however as the straight up in the trade.
      Maybe Ruben will choose well this time around.

      1. That was Ryan O’Sullivan. I think you might be thinking of the Joe Blanton trade for Stefan Jarrin. That was really a salary dump, more than anything, and LAD doing a favor to one of their announcers kids, likely, to give him maybe one more shot elsewhere rather than cut him.

        1. Yes…thats it….Stefan Jarrin….got the trades mixed up…thanks Brad.

          Wouldn’t mind if reliever Jose Dominguez was one of the PTBNL this time….no command, albeit the low ranking in the LAD org, but velo at 100MPH. Imagine him and Giles back to back!

    2. Nice – hopefully they got something useful for him. He was a freebie – it only cost money to sign him (no players or draft picks), so anything positive helps.

      Gotta give the team some credit, the Ogando trade looks like it might be a huge coup. For Michael Young? That’s impressive.

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