MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 24th vs. Pirates

Today Aaron Harang started for Shawn Williams’ group.  He brought along Carlos Ruiz as his battery mate.  While I would much prefer watching prospects pitch, at least the game offered a chance to see some prospects in the line up.  Unfortunately, Chooch knocked Deivy Grullon out of the start.  He wouldn’t enter the game until the 6th inning.

The line up showed a little shuffling among the groups.  Willians Astudillo, Zach Green, Drew Stankiewicz, and Cord Sandberg dropped down from Greg Legg’s group for today’s game.  Jan Hernandez and Chase Harris moved up from the lower group. 

I struck up a conversation with Tony from Lakewood behind the cage.  He does some video work for the Blue Claws.  He saw a lot of these guys last year and we exchanged info about the players we were familiar with.  He took to calling the mix of players we were watching as “Lakewater”.

1st inning

  • 1B
  • Ground out, 5-3
  • K, looking
  • K

2nd inning

  • K, looking
  • K
  • Ground out, 6-3
  • Line drive 1B to RCF, batter out at second base, 9-4-6

3rd inning

  • Three-base error on E7 (I think this was scored a hit in Paul Hagen’s story below)
  • K, looking
  • Sac fly, F7
  • K

4th inning

  • Ground out 6-3
  • Ground out, 4-3
  • Ground out, 5-3

5th inning

  • P1 on a bunt attempt
  • Infield 1B between short an third
  • Ground ball 1B through hole to left
  • Line drive, RBI 1B to right
  • Ground ball, RBI 1B through hole to left
  • Ground out, 4-3
  • Ground out, 4-3

Harang threw about 70 pitches.  As you would expect, the Pirate youngsters had trouble with his 80-83 mph change up and 74 mph curve ball.  They even had difficulty squaring up his 87-89 mph fastball.  The extra hitter in the 2nd inning crushed an 88 mph fast ball but the right fielder was shaded toward the gap and was able to cut the ball off for the play at second.  The line drive single in the 5th inning was struck well.

I had him scored – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K.  Paul Hagen has a nice write up here.

Brandon Leibrandt pitched the next 3 innings.  The radar guns disappeared but he didn’t look to be much faster than Harang.  This was my first opportunity to see him.  He cycled through the GCL last season before I had the opportunity to watch him pitch.  I see what people mean when they say he has “pitchability”.  He uses the strike zone well, and doesn’t let batters get solid contact.

6th inning

  • Shallow fly out, F8
  • 1B to CF
  • Runner picked off by Leibrandt, but fielder dropped ball on tag, balk on next pitch
  • Pop up, P5
  • K

7th innng

  • Ground out, 6-3
  • Ground out, 6-3
  • 2B down RF line
  • Ground out, 5-3

8th inning

  • K
  • Fly out, F7
  • Ground out, 6-3

Jesen Therrien closed out the game with a strong save.

9th inning

  • K
  • Ground out, 1-3
  • Ground out, 3u

Offensively, the “Lakewater” Phillies pounded out 14 hits, 5 doubles and a home run.

In the 1st inning, Chase Harris opened with a double down the left field line.  Small ball reared its head when Derek Campbell moved him to third with a sacrifice bunt.  He scored when carlos Ruiz punched a single to right just out of reach of the first baseman.  (Williams Astudillo followed with a line drive single to left.)

Zach Green reached on a one out single in the second inning.  He raced to third on Jan Hernandez’ line drive double to left-center.  Green scored on Drew Stankiewicz’ ground out to short.  Hernandez scored on Harris’ double down the right field line.  The Pirates rolled the inning.

In the seventh inning, Cord Sandberg reached on a one out, line drive single to left.  He made it to second on a hit-and-run ground out to short by Jiandido Tromp.  He scored on Green’s second hit, a line drive single to left.  Green scored ahead of Hernandez on a towering home run to left center field, the hardest I have seen him hit a ball.  The pitcher was tossed when he hit the next batter on the next pitch.  In retaliation, the Pirates rolled the inning – for the fourth time today.

The complete box score –

  • Harris: 3-4; R, RBI, 3-2B, K
  • Campbell: 0-3: SAC
  • Astudillo: 1-4
  • Hoskins: 1-4
  •    Grullon: 0-2
  •    McHugh: 1-1; 2B
  • Sandberg: 1-4; R, K
  • Tromp: 0-4; K
  • Green: 2-3; 2-R, RBI
  • Hernandez: 2-3; 2-R, 2-RBI, 2B, HR
  • Stankiewicz: 1-2; RBI, HBP
  • Ruiz: 2-2; RBI, BB


  • Harang: 5.0 IP, 6H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
  • Leibrandt: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
  • Therrien: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

The Phillies won 6-3.  The only walk by either staff was worked by Ruiz in the 5th inning and was followed by a rollover.  Ruiz batted third in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings.

Just before Stankiewicz was drilled following the Hernandez home run, I called over to a friend at the other field to let him know that a player he had befriended had gone long.  He asked “420?” (feet).  I replied, “520, see the truck with the hole in the windshield?”.  We were probably a little loud.  I hope this wasn’t what led to the pitcher’s throwing at Stankiewicz.

Over on the other field, Elniery Garcia pitched 3 innings.  He allowed 1 infield single, walked none, and struck out two.  From what I could see he was betwen 88-91 mph with his fast ball.


21 thoughts on “MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 24th vs. Pirates

  1. An encouraging day for Sandberg and Hernandez against pitchers who are above their level.

    1. Means the coaching staff feels that their pitcher has thrown too many pitches in the inning and though there are not 3 outs the inning is over. Happens a lot in minor league ST games. Sometimes they request that their pitcher get 4 outs so he gets more pitches in the inning.

  2. My buddy told me last yr about C Harris said he’s already has mlb player defense . He hoped his bat would be there enough to him to the show. 8 I Dvr the game today was happy to see Gonzalez And Murray pitch. Murray had some nice stuff. Gonzalez pounds the zone , Danks man he a big guy.

    1. Murray blogs on this forum. What was he doing pitching for the big club yesterday? Oh, it’s a different Murray. It’s Colton Murray, aye.

      1. Funny… I’m the new RB on the Eagles too….I will be buying that jersey soon though…

    2. I actually commented the other day on how Harris is a very nice looking player although he doesn’t have the power desired for LF.

        1. Julio….Jim is a pretty busy man down there, accumulating data and trying to hit all the fields scouting all the prospects, and we ask a lot from him, have to give him the benefit of a minor mistake here and there. Even you have to admit he does a pretty thorough and outstanding job for the readers.

  3. Watching Nola he throws every thing down all movement is down too . Francoeur arm wow never get tried of seeing that.

    1. His changeup looks really good today. The curveball, not as much. It has less sweep than I was expecting and he’s hung it a few times. But just as I type that he throws a good one for a strikeout.

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