MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 17th vs. the Blue Jays

I arrived at the Carpenter Complex as the teams took the field. I was drawn to Ashburn Field, traditionally the AAA field, when I thought I saw Carlos Alonso at shortstop, not a normal position for Carlos. Turns out it was free agent signee Tyler Greene. But since Ethan Martin was on the mound, I chose to stay. I recognized Aaron Brown, Cameron Perkins, and Roman Quinn in the outfield and was satisfied with my game selection.

Ethan Martin started and retired 3 of 4 batters fairly easily. The only base runner reached on a softly hit flare to shallow left field. There were no scouts around the cage, so I don’t have any velocity on his fast ball.

Quinn led off for the Phillies and battled through a lengthy at bat. He fouled off several pitches with a 1-2 count before grounding a single back through the middle. Two outs later, he stole second base on a pitchout. Quinn got a tremendous jump. A lot of times, when a base runner gets such a good jump, we say he stole the base on the pitcher. Even then, a good throw could still get the runner, but this throw was about chest high. In this case, they knew he was stealing, pitched out, and he BEAT the throw.

At this point, a friend saw me and let me know that Aaron Nola was pitching on the AA field. And hey, there were all the scouts. Unfortunately, on Schmidt Field you can’t get up behind the scouts to consistently read their guns. But, Nola appeared to be comfortably in the low 90s. He struck out 3, walked 1, and recorded the last out of his second inning on a weak come backer to the mound. The only other base runner reached on an error. One runner was erased by Andrew Knapp on a stealing attempt.

Tom Windle followed with 2 scoreless innings in the low 90s. Elniery Garcia was at 92 during his one scoreless inning.

Percy Garner, Ethan Stewart, and Lee Ridenhour followed with effective scoreless innings. Kevin Walter finished up and gave up a few solidly hit balls that resulted in a run.

The AA offense was quiet most of the early innings. I think they had one hit until Cord Sandberg lashed a double into the LCF gap. He moved to third on a ground out and scored on a sac fly. (Sounds like small ball.) The AA Phillies “bunched” together another couple hits to score a run when Andrew Knapp drove a double into left field. He scored on a Darin Ruf single. (Oh yeah, Darin Ruf got 4 at bats with the AAA team and a couple more with the AA squad.)  In his next at bat, Sandberg reached on a 2-out single.  He scored easily when Mitch Walding crushed a ball that one-hopped the RCF fence for a triple.

The AA team included Knapp and Jose Mayorga catching, Harold Martinez at first, Jessie Valentin and Angelo Mora at second, Crawford at short, Zach Green and Walding at third, and Pullin, Tocci, and Sandberg in the outfield.  (I asked Valentin how to pronounce Jesmuel (2 syllables, Yes-Mwel).  He does also go by Jessie, and has no preference.)

Back in the AAA game, Martin finished a scoreless second inning. He was followed by Anthony Vasquez (for two innings, I think), Stephen Shackleford, Nick Hill, Tyler Knigge, Ryan O’Sullivan, and Colton Murray each pitched one inning. I think that the Jays only got a single run off O’Sullivan.

The AAA team included Gabriel Lino and Logan Moore catching, Ruf and Brock Stassi at first, Casey (formerly K.C.) Serna at second, Greene at short, Gustavo Pierre (Pee-you-ray) at third, and Perkins, Quinn, and Brown in the outfield. I think Aaron Altherr was the DH. Edgar Duran and Brian Pointer were used as subs during the game.

Players from the AA group who did not make an appearance may have been over with any A group guys who did not make the trip to Dunedin.  There was a game on Roberts Field against a team called Superstars.  I saw Christian Palacios score on a ground ball.  AA group players included Herlis Rodriguez and Drew Stankiewicz.

I went back to last year’s reports to see how I reported when two games were played. Seems I focused on one game instead of trying to cover both. I’ll try that tomorrow when the A teams will be at the Complex against the Pirates, the AAA and AA teams will travel to Bradenton.

I had a nice conversation with a parent of one of our newer players. I didn’t tell her/him I was a reporter until deep into our conversation, so I don’t feel right disclosing what we talked about or who’s parent she/he is. But it was interesting to hear about the baseball life from a parents’ perspective. I may have gained a couple new readers for the site, so let’s continue to be mindful of our audience when making comments. Thank you.


32 thoughts on “MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 17th vs. the Blue Jays

  1. Jim, thanks, this is heaven. All your position guys are consistent with what I saw over the weekend other than Ruf replaced Charles. I’ve talked to a bunch of parents in the past and you forget that they’re just a parent of a young kid who has amazing ability to even get this far. It’s quite a moving experience for the parents of new players at their first camp. Keep the reports coming. Thanks so much

  2. Thanks Jim, sounds like there was some good stuff going on, I’m going to love following the Reading team, and from what I can see so far it looks like Allentown will be interesting as well. Looking forward to some more excellent reporting!

  3. Jim you really do a nice job of reporting. Do you think the pitchers in the group with Nola and Windle are whom we would expect to see in Reading this season? It seems like a solid core and could make Reading fun to follow regardless of how the MLB Phillies perform.

    1. No. It’s way too early to project. Right now, Nola and Windle are in different groups. There will be a lot of movement as the AAAA guys are released from the major league camp. I think that Reading could have a starting rotation that might include – Nola, Biddle, Eflin, Lively, and Windle at some point. Eflin and Windle both finished at A+ last season and maybe they start there again this season. Who knows what decisions will affect where the Phillies decide to place their prospects. But I would expect all 5 to be in Reading at some point early in the season.

      1. Call it a hunch, but I think Biddle starts in AAA, not because he necessarily deserves it, but because I think changing his environment and removing him from that hitting Mecca could help. He needs a jump start and I think it’s often easier to put up better numbers in Lehigh Valley than Reading.

  4. Not sure if it has been mentioned yet, but Carlos Alonzo is the brother of new Philadelphia Eagle LB KiKo Alonzo.

  5. Excited and optimistic about Nola and his 3/4 delivery with that velo.
    Once Halladay took Queen’s advice and went 3/4 vs over -the-top he started to rake for the Jays in the AL E and his velo was just a tick better then Nola’s. RH location/command low was excellent and Nola has that same potential.

    1. I only watched two innings yesterday. I thought Buchanan change was great. I don’t remember if he had that pitch last year.or if it was that good?

      1. Rocco remember how KK would seem to sail along for the first 4 innings or so then have the wheels come off in an inning…that will be Buchanan over a full season.

        He has enough to be a 4-5 starter I suppose certainly cannot be a worse 4-5 than Kyle was.

  6. Jim…does Hoskins’ bat look to you to generate enough bat speed to complement his power?
    I have hope he will really power out this season.

    1. Hoskins placement to start the season is key for me. I’m hoping they believe he is advanced enough as a college bat to open in CLW and not Lakewood.

    2. I haven’t seen enough of him to judge. He’s certainly on the short list of guys who can provide power in the system. HIs power during Instructs caught my eye. I try to watch as many of his ABs as possible. I’ll keep an eye on him for you.

  7. I read that hoskins went 3-3 yesterday triple short of a cycle! If his power sticks maybe our future 1st baseman

    1. I watched him take bp over the weekend and the ball just jumps off his bat. He reminds me of Thome in that country strong way, he’s a big guy.

      1. He is my sleeper and I think he can make it to Reading later in the season.
        I just hope he doesn’t go the same route as the former big power collegiate guys went…Rizz, Murphy, Serritella et al., when they got to better pitching higher on the ladder.
        I like to think a version of Ruf could be his calling down the road.

      2. Agreed. As I explained last week, my son and I just happened to pass him while he was in the enclosed hitting cage and his swing and power were immediately noticeable. I NEVER pay attention to what guys are doing in those cages, but when he hit, we both noticed the smooth, tight, easy swing and the power he unleashed. He could really turn into something good, but he’s on the older side, so he’s got to start moving quickly through the system.

  8. Jim, or Anybody have a link of where I can follow / get stats on the minor league spring training games. They use to carry them on MLB game day? Maybe its to early, but if someone has a link I would love that. Thanks!

  9. Just want to say thank you Jim. This is just terrific reporting and great information for a Phils’ minor league junkie like myself. Truly appreciate the effort!

  10. Thanks Jim! has anyone seen Victor Arano live? He has gotten some really good revies.

    1. Jim Salisbury on Arano today:
      Word out of minor-league camp is that the Phillies might have something in 20-year-old right-hander Victor Arano, one of two players picked up from the Dodgers for Roberto Hernandez last August. The 6-2 Arano throws in the low 90s and scouts believe there’s more to come. He has a good feel for his secondary pitches and some mound savvy. He’ll be someone to watch at the Single A level this season.

  11. Thanks Jim. Great descriptions of what’s going on down there. Even in the Philly TV market we don’t get anywhere near the info about the minors that you provide.
    If you get the chance can you do a writeup on the Lakewood roster once it becomes known? I’m not too far from that ballpark and I would like to have some “advanced scouting” of the prospects I’ll see in action.

    1. Sure, I watched today’s Lakewood game and posted a report. It’s a shame that the BlueClaws Blog hasn’t been posting so far this season. We did see the Lakewood photographer at today’s game. Maybe they’re getting ready to put something on their site.

Comments are closed.