Well, the Instructional League is winding down. Only a couple of scouts were on hand for the final intrasquad game on Wednesday. Two Phillies’ teams played six innings to a 2-1 conclusion. I don’t have velocities and didn’t bother to count pitches. Instead, here are a few observations.
First, Bryan Martelo suffered a leg injury. Jesmuel Valentin lined a ball down the right field line that rebounded off the bleachers in foul territory back into right field. Martelo was racing to cut the ball off before it passed him into the corner. He reacted to the rebound and appeared to roll his ankle where the grass and cinders on either side of the foul line begin. He immediately crumpled to the ground and was unable to retrieve the ball. He had to be helped to the dugout. Later, with a bandaged foot, he was helped out through the right field gate and, I assume, taken to the hospital. I don’t know why he wasn’t taken out on a cart. I hope to get an update tomorrow.
Six pitchers pitched two innings each. The most effective was Franklyn Kilome. He started for one of the squads and struck out the first two batters he faced swinging. Jan Hernandez worked a walk, but was erased on a steal attempt by Joel Fisher. Kilome struck out the first two batters in his next inning looking and retired Chace Numata on a pop up in the infield. Granted, two of Kilome’s strike out victims were 16-year old Arquimedez Gamboa and Lenin Rodriguez. But the 19-year old also struck out Christian Palacios and Emmanuel Marrero who are 20 and 21 respectively. He had much better command of his pitches today than he did last Friday against the Blue Jays.
Felix Paulino also pitched effectively. He faced 7 batters and struck out 3 of them. The 19-year old started with a strike out 16 year old Jonathan Arauz (pronounced a-rouge, like the French word for red). Paulino also struck out Willians Astudillo and Andrew Pullin swinging to end the game. He also recorded two ground outs and an infield pop up. His only blemish was a hard ground ball by Gregori Rivero down the first base line that struck the bag and eluded Damek Tomscha’s bare-handed grab as it bounded back into the field of play and into right field. Rivero raced to third base after the carom. He was stranded there after Astudillo’s and Pullin’s at bats.
Seventeen year old Carlos Salazar allowed a hit and walk while striking out 2 batters in two scoreless innings. Three of the other four outs he recorded were fly balls to the outfield.
Another 17-year old, Adonis Medina, also contributed two scoreless innings. He did walk Astudillo and allowed a single by Pullin, balking them both into scoring position before escaping with his fifth ground ball out.
Ismael Cabrera (20), the other starter, allowed the first two runs of the game. He began by walking Arauz and Daniel Brito followed with a ground ball single to right field. Right-handed batting Jesus Alastre drove in the game’s first run with a flare to the opposite field. Rodriguez threw him out attempting to steal, and Cabrera retired the side on consecutive pop ups. Astudillo singled with one out in the next inning and Pullin struck out. Grenny Cumana lifted a fly ball to the warning track in left field, but Luis Encarnacion dropped the ball for a two base error and an unearned run.
Yan De La Cruz (19) was victimized on the play where Martelo injured his leg. Valentin reached third on the play and was driven home on Drew Stankiewicz’ sacrifice fly to the new right fielder, Alastre. De La Cruz gave up a single before retiring the next two batters on a ground out and strike out. He had breezed through his first inning with a pop up, fly ball, and ground out.
Worthy of note is that Andrew Pullin was in left field again, and Willians Astudillo started at third base. Astudillo made a nice stop on a ball down the line, but couldn’t recover to make the throw to first.
The Phillies’ new Minor League Pitching Coordinator, Rafael Chaves, was in uniform and in the dugout today. Most of the brass is gone, although I still saw Joe Jordan. Interestingly enough, this is the first year in the three that I’ve been going to these games that I didn’t see Ruben Amaro at any of the games. During the first week, J.P. Crawford was taking ground balls to his backhand on the half field outside Bright House. He’s probably home already, he hasn’t been seen in a while.
At home for the final two games – Thursday at 1:00PM them Friday at 10:00AM.