MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 20th vs. Blue Jays

Coach Wathan and Coach Legg took their charges to Dunedin today.  Prior to the games, rumors that the Jays newly signed FA, LHP was warming up and would be pitching during the AAA game.  Alas, Randy Wolf completed his throwing and was finished for the day.  Later, I saw him making the rounds and greeting his friends among the Phillies’ staff.

Sean O’Sullivan was scheduled to start the AAA game, Ben Lively the AA game.  Since the AA group contains players who will possibly start the season in Clearwater, I took up a position on Field Two. 

This was the posted line up for today’s game.  Cord Sandberg was the only substitution I observed during the game.  He entered in the 6th inning, but batted between Crawford and Cozens.  He took over in CF for Tocci and continued to bat following Crawford.  Tocci’s slot in the line up remained vacant.  I love what spring training does to my score sheet.

AA Line Up 3-20-15

Ben Lively started and threw three scoreless innings.  He threw 50 pitches, 31 for strikes.  Of those 31 strikes, 4 were swinging, 13 called, 8 foul balls, and 6 balls in play.  He walked 3 and struck out 4 – 2 swinging and 2 looking.  He broke 2 bats in the first inning – one on a single to right and the second on an inning ending double play.

1st inning

  • 4-pitch K
  • 6-pitch BB
  • First-pitch, broken bat 1B to right
  • 7-pitch, broken bat, ground ball into 1-6-3 double play

2nd inning

  • First-pitch fly ball, F8
  • Line drive 1B to left, video of this AB
  • Fly ball, F9
  • Base stolen during next batter
  • 5-pitch K looking

3rd inning

  • 3-pitch K looking
  • 4-pitch K
  • 5-pitch BB
  • 5-pitch BB
  • Fly ball, F8

The 2 walks in the third inning were due to the umpire losing command of the strike zone.  I was standing behind the cage during this inning to see where Lively was locating his  pitches.  One of the Phillies’ coaches was behind me.  After the second walk, he started over to the bench and let Legg and the bench coaches know they need not worry about Lively’s control, that the pitches were NOT balls.  It was said loud enough for the umpire to hear.  The next pitch was a called strike before the inning ending fly out to center.

Lively Follow Through
Lively following through on a pitch


LIvely’s fast ball was in the low 90s, 90-92 mph.  Scouts were heard saying that he was moving the ball around effectively and hiding it well.  He showed a real good move to first.

Elniery Garcia pitched the next two innings.  He threw 32 pitches, 19 for strikes – 1 swinging, 4 called, 5 foul balls, and 9 balls in play.  He gave up 4 hits and 1 run with no Ks or BBs.  His fastball was 88-90 mph.

4th inning

  • Line drive 1B to RCF
  • Line drive 1B to RF
  • Ground ball, 3 unassisted
  • Line drive, run scoring 1B to LF
  • Ground ball, 5-3
  • Ground ball , 3 unassisted

5th inning

  • Line drive 2B to RF
  • Ground ball, fielder’s choice, 1-5
  • 6-4-3 double play

Garcia probably should have taken the out at first instead of throwing to third.  He made a perfect throw.  Walding was able to make the catch and the runner slid into the tag.  If the throw had been even a few inches higher, requiring Walding to catch and lower the glove to make the tag, I think the runner would have been safe.  As it was, the play at third kept the inning ending double play in order.

Ethan Stewart pitched a strong two innings.

6th inning

  • Pop out, P3
  • Ground out, 3-1
  • Ground out, 6-3

7th innng

  • First-pitch, drag bunt for a 1B
  • Ground out, double play, 6-3
  • K

Lee Ridenhour finshed up with 2 effective innings.

8th inning

  • Broken bat 1B to CF
  • Fly ball out, F9
  • Pop out, P9
  • Ground out 5-3

9th inning

  • Ground out, 6-3
  • Fly ball out, F7
  • Infield 1B on a high chopped ball to second
  • Ground out, 5-3

In all, 4 pitchers scattered 9 hits while allowing only 1 run and 3 walks while striking out 5 batters.

Offensively, the Phillies faced one of the Blue Jays top A pitchers from 2014, Matt Boyd.  He rushed out to 4 wins in his first 5 starts at Dunedin (2 against the Threshers) and 1 ER, 5 BB, and 37 K in 31 IP.  He was promoted to AA and was yo-yoed back and forth each month, ending in Dunedin in August.  He faced the Threshers only one more time and threw 5 ineffective innings in a no decision.  Today he had mixed results against the Phillies.

Tocci started the game by reaching on a fielding error by the third baseman.  Valentin reached on a fielder’s choice and Tocci was safe when the second baseman dropped the throw.  Tocci was closing quickly on the fielder.  The left-handed Boyd struck out Crawford and Cozens before Valentin was caught off first base on a potential passed ball during Knapp’s AB.

Green pulled a one out, line drive single toward the left field line and was caught trying to stretch it into a double.  Walding struck out to end the second inning.

Pullin doubled into RCF to start the third inning and advanced to third on a fly out to center by Mayorga.  After Tocci grounded out to third, Valentin drove in the run with a ground single to left.  Crawford lined a single to left and the Jays “rolled” the inning.  And that was it for Boyd – 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.

Knapp worked a one out walk in the fourth and scored when Green gapped a triple.  He scored ahead of Walding when the third baseman crushed a ball that cleared the fence in right center field.  After Pullin worked a walk, the Jays “rolled” another inning.

The Phillies collected only one more hit,by Valentin, through the 8th inning.  Their bats woke up in the 9th when Cozens worked a one out walk.  A ground single by Knapp and a line drive single to left by Green loaded the bases.  A line drive single to left by Walding ended the scoring.  The Phillies collected 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, and 4 K in 5.1 IP against the Jays bullpen.

  • Tocci 0-3; K
  • Valentin 2-4; RBI, K
  • Crawford 1-4; 2 K
  • Sandberg 0-2
  • Cozens 0-3; R, BB, K
  • Knapp 1-3; R, BB
  • Green 3-4; R, RBI, 3B
  • Walding 2-4; R, 3 RBI, HR, K
  • Pullin 1-3; R, BB, 2B, K
  • Mayorga 0-3

Legg’s Phillies won 5-1.  Meanwhile, Wathan’s Phillies lost on the other field.  During pitching changes in the game I was watching, I saw limited action from the other game –

  • Aaron Brown grounded out sharply to second
  • Adam Morgan recorded a K looking
  • Roman Quinn, F8
  • Aaron Brown, F8 into the LCF gap

I’m attending the Phillies’ game tomorrow.  It’s Alumni Day.  I don’t expect to have a minor league report.


14 thoughts on “MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 20th vs. Blue Jays

    1. The odd thing about Valentin is that he’s just a so so fielder. He doesn’t scream major leaguer to me but I hope im wrong

  1. Valentin is intriguing. Don’t know about how he looks in the field, BUT on assessments at the time he was traded to the Phils said that he is a good fielder at his (2b) position. He, along with Joseph, are guys I”ll be following in ’15. Nola, too. And, Franco: can he or can’t he?

    Even if the big team sucks, watching whether some of our recent tradees can work toward filling the voids competently …soon.

  2. Art that’s what I would love to see this year. some young guys in philly. Maybe in july like biddle. nola, joseph. Imo would make it interesting, even though the team stinks.

  3. The fun this season will be following the Reading pitching and the Clearwater offense, plus Quinn. Also following the younger pitchers in Mecias, pinto, Garcia, etc. Obviously we’ll all follow Franco’s results closely too. In philly, not too much to be excited for.

    1. The positional group that would seem to be interesting to watch these next few weeks would be the one with JPC, Cozens, Green, Walding, Valentin , Pullin Tocci and Knapp. All Thresher-bound I would think to start 2015.

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