MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 30th vs. Yankees

I saw another sign today that spring training is almost over – the Lehigh Valley coaches were with Group 1 and the Reading coaches were with Group 2.  That led to speculation that the line ups we saw today are close to reaching their final iterations.  That thought lasted only a few minutes until I saw Revere and Hererra listed as the first 2 batters for the AAA squad.  However, the AA line up is pretty close to what can be expected in Reading.  That led to some wild and ecstatic speculation about the Clearwater line up.  Can’t wait to see that group tomorrow.  An added bonus today was that Aaron Judge was playing with the Yankees’ AA team.

The AA line up was –

  • Roman Quinn, CF
  • Willians Astudillo, C
  • Brock Stassi, RF
  • Gabriel Lino, DH
  • Brian Pointer, LF
  • Harold Martinez, 3B
  • Art Charles, 1B
  • Carlos Alonso, 2B
  • Casey Serna, SS
  • Ben Lively, Designated Bunter

Dusty Wathan started Paul Clemens this afternoon.  Clemens threw a lot of pitches in his first inning.  He served up a one-out home run to Judge and then walked successive batters before striking out the final two batters to end the inning.

Clemens allowed another one-out home run in the second inning.

He recorded his third strike out and third walk in the third inning as well as a two-out single.  His inning opening strike out this inning was of Aaron Judge, looking.

He allowed another one out single in the fourth inning.

Clemens faced one batter in the fifth inning before reaching his pitch limit.  He struck him out.  It was Judge again.  Ulises Joaquin came on to pitch and walked his first batter.  He induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the fifth inning.

Joaquin allowed the Yankees’ third run on back-to-back doubles in the sixth inning.  The first one was a ground ball between Martinez and the bag down the left field line.  The second double was a fly ball, also down the left field line.  A strike out and fly out ended the inning.

Austin Wright came on to pitch the seventh inning.  He walked the first batter and threw two wild pitches to move the runner to third.  After a pop out to right, the run scored on a high chop to Charles at first.  Wright was pulled after another walk.  Mike Nesseth came on to get an inning ending ground out.

Nesseth pitched a stromg eighth inning, striking out two batters (maybe three, I blinked).

Newcomer Nick  Hill pitched a scoreless ninth inning allowing only one single.  Hill was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 7th round of the 2007 draft.  The Phillies signed the 30-year old this month and assigned him to Lehigh Valley on March 17, 2015.

Defensively, Carlos Alonso amassed 8 assists and a putout.

On offensive, the Phillies overcame the Yankees’ 4 runs with 10 of their own.  Harold Martinez opened their scoring with a solo home run in the second inning.

The Phillies took the lead in the third inning.  Alonso led off with a single and was sacrificed over to second by Ben Lively.  He scored on Serna’s double to left field, the fielder had a lot of ground to cover and overran the ball in the corner.  Quinn singled to put runners on the corners and stole second without a throw on the pitcher’s first movement.    Astudillo waved through the pitch to distract the catcher and followed with a sacrifice fly to center.

The Phillies tacked on a run in the fourth inning.  Lino reached when he was hit by a pitch.  He scored on Martinez’ one-out double.  The Yankees “rolled” the inning after only three batters.

Art Charles crushed a tie-breaking home run to right center in the seventh inning.

They added another tack-on run in the eighth inning.  With one out and batting right-handed for the first time today, Quinn reached on a slug bunt down the first base line.  During the pitcher’s warm-up pitches, I overheard Mickey Morandini tell Quinn he wanted to see him get the bunt down.  After he popped the first pitch into the fence above the coaches, Quinn looked over and gestured with his bat toward Morandini who nodded.  Quinn got the bunt down even after the corners pinched in.  He got it past the pitcher so that the first baseman had to field the ball.  He threw wildly to the bag allowing Quinn to reach second.  Astudillo picked up the RBI with a single to center.

The Phillies broke the game open in the bottom of the ninth.  How often do you get to say that?  Pointer opened the inning with a single.  Martinez was nicked on an inside pitch.  Charles worked a walk to load the bases.  Carlos Alonso lined a grand slam to left to clear the bases.  When Serna was hit by a curve ball, the inning was “rolled”.  Final 10-4.

Today’s box score –

  • Quinn:            2-4; R, SB, K
  • Astudillo:      1-3; 2 RBI, SF
  • Stassi:            1-4; K
  • Lino:               0-3; R, HBP, K
  • Pointer:         1-4; R, K
  • Martinez:      2-3; 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR, HBP
  • Charles:         1-3; 2 R, RBI, BB, K
  • Alonzo:          2-4; 2 R, 4 RBI, HR
  • Serna:            2-3; R, RBI, HBP
  • Lively:             0-0; 2 Sac


  •  Clemens:   4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
  • Joaquin:    1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Wright:       0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 WP
  • Nesseth:     1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 inherited runner/didn’t score
  • Hill:               1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Some observations on Willians Astudillo.

I may have mentioned this in an earlier post, but it bears repeating.  While visiting Lakewood last season, a Phillies exec described Willians Astudillo as “an arrogant hitter”.  The person who relayed the comment to me this spring assured me that it was a complimentary expression.  I have often noted that Astudillo looks extremely comfortable with a bat in his hands.  He exudes the arrogance that he can get his bat on any ball a pitcher throws.  It was very evident he was just wasting a swing to allow Quinn to steal second and get into scoring position.  The fly ball that scored Serna from third (on the next pitch) was a line drive toward the gap in right center.

Defensively, behind the plate, he looks capable.  It looks like a more natural position for him.  I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that Wright’s wild pitches occured with Lino behind the plate.  (Note, Lino has looked better behind the plate this spring.  Wright’s pitches just ate him up.)

Last season, Astudillo got 30 of his 85 starts as a catcher, 51 at first base, and 4 in left field.  I think he begins the season in Clearwater.  I don’t see a clear-cut first baseman on their probable roster, so he may split time there with Zach Green (who could split time at third with Mitch Walding).  He’ll also probably see time behind the plate, splitting time with Andrew Knapp and another catcher.

Tomorrow, the A teams will be at the Complex.

13 thoughts on “MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 30th vs. Yankees

  1. Well, it’s likely that Reading’s rotation will include Nola and the other 3 pitchers received from trades of Rollins and Byrd. And Crawford should be in the lineup in 6 weeks. Seems a club worth watching.

    1. JPC is out for 4-6 weeks with an oblique….how is he going to be in Reading in six weeks, when he gets back he will be still in Clearwater rehabbing!

  2. Did Austin Wright get injured? Something must have not looked right for the coach to replace him instead of letting him work out of the jam.

    1. I didn’t see anything that looked like an injury. He was a little wild, a lot of pitches in the dirt. Neither wouldn’t explain why Nesseth was already warmed up when they decided to replace Wright. Perhaps he was on a short pitch count. He had just pitched on the 28th.

  3. I was told by another player that Harold Martinez had “figured it out” and to expect a big year from him. I didn’t really believe it but I sure hope I was wrong. It had looked like he was going to repeat CWater on the bench but now looks like he could start at Reading which is a huge difference. Good luck Harold! Another high pick who has done little….

  4. I have very high expectations for Quinn. I think he gets on the national lists after this season. Seems to be a prototypical CF/lead off.

    Martinez “figuring it out” would be a bonus as would anything from Willians. Reading is about Quinn and Crawford and the starting pitchers.

  5. Hard to believe Carlos Alonso was a better football player then his brother NFL LB Kiko, and Kiko was a better baseball player then Carlos, in HS. One grew, the other stayed where he was at.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s