MiLB Spring Training 2015; April 3rd v. Blue Jays

The Phillies minor league squads played their final spring training games today against teams from the Blue Jays organization.  I watched Greg Legg’s group win a well-pitched, well-played game by a 4-1 score.  Before I report on the game, here’s some roster rumors based on some real good conversations, but not yet verified.

I came right out and asked Coach Legg if today’s line up was pretty much what we could expect of the Clearwater roster.  He replied, “Yeah, pretty much”.  As an afterthought, I introduced myself as a reporter and he clarified his statement with, “Of course, camp doesn’t end until tomorrow morning (Saturday), there could still be some changes”.

When the players took the field, one of the coaches or players exhorted them with the line, “You’re no longer Group Three, you’re Threshers”.  So with that in mind, here is today’s Clearwater Threshers line up –

  • Jesmuel Valentin, 2B
  • Willians Astudillo, 1B
  • Andrew Knapp, C
  • Dylan Cozens, LF
  • Zach Green, 3B
  • Aaron Brown, CF
  • Andrew Pullin, DH
  • Drew Stankiewicz, SS
  • Chace Harris, RF
  • Mitch Walding, Bench
  • Devin Lohman, Bench
  • Angelo Mora, Bench
  • Jose Mayorga, not listed on line up card but he replaced Knapp
  • Miguel Nunez, SP
  • Colin Kleven, RP
  • Edubray Ramos, RP

I heard that Aaron Altherr is beginning the season in Reading with Roman Quinn and Brian Pointer.  Brock Stassi started in the outfield today for the AA team.

I heard that J.P. Crawford new a couple weeks ago that he would start the season in Clearwater.  That would explain the acquisition of Devin Lohman and his placement in Clearwater after Crawford suffered his oblique injury.

I heard that Nunez and Cleven would start games 4 and 5 for the Threshers and that the first 3 games would be started by new Threshers.  In all likelihood, that would be Matt Imhof, Brandon Leibrandt, and David Whitehead.

If any/most of this is accurate, then we will see  –

  • Knapp, Astudillo, and Mayorga sharing catching duties,
  • Astudillo and Green sharing innings at first base,
  • Green and Walding sharing innngs at third base,
  • Stankiewicz, Lohman, Mora, and Valentin sharing innings at the middle infield, positions until Crawford returns and claims shortstop before moving on to Reading,
  • Cozens, Brown, Pullin, and Harris in the outfield,
  • Imhof, Kleven, Nunez, Leibrandt, and Whitehead in the rotation with Mark Leiter poised to step in when needed.

If the Clearwater roster is “set”, then it follows that today’s other game would constitute the Lakewood roster –

  • Miguel Canelo, SS
  • Jiandio Tromp, RF (homered today)
  • Carlos Tocci, CF
  • Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  • Cord Sandberg, LF
  • Deivy Grullon (homered today)
  • Damek Tomscha, DH
  • Derek Campbell, 3B
  • Grenny Cumana, 2B
  • Chris Oliver, SP
  • Herlis Rodriguez, Bench
  • Tim Zeir, Bench
  • Joel Fisher, Bench (homered 2 days ago, base hit in AAA/AA game yesterday)
  • Corey Bass, Bench
  • Yacksel Rios, RP
  • Calvin Rayburn, RP

Now for today’s game.

Miguel Nunez pitched 4 strong innings.  He allowed only 3 base runners on 2 walks and a single.  One was erased by Knapp on a steal attempt, another on a double play.

Colin Kleven followed with 4 strong innings of his own.  He allowed 4 base runners and a run on 2 walks and 2 hits.  But he responded to the Jays RBI single with bac-to-back strike outs to end the inning.  Kleven’s repetoire includes a 4-seamer, 2-seamer, slider, and a cutter.  His fastball was 92-93mph, his cutter was 88-89 mph.

Edubray Ramos picked up the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Domonic Brown batted third in each of the first 4 innings.  When he reached base, Mitch Walding came in to pinch run for him.  brown went 1-2 with a single, walk, sacrifice fly, and an RBI.

The Phillies scored first in the third inning.  Stankiewicz opened with a line drive single to right center field.  He moved to third on Harris’ single to right.  He scored on Brown’s sac fly.  Harris moved to third on two stolen bases but was stranded there.

The Phillies scored another run in the fourth inning.  Knapp led off with a single.  He moved to second on a ground out and scored on Green’s double down the left field line.

The Blue Jays closed the gap in the sixth to 2-1.  The Phillies opened up a three run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Stankiewicz led off with a walk.  He stole second and moved to third on Harris’ bunt for a base hit.  Stankiewicz scored on a sacrifice fly by Devin Lohman.  Harris stole third and scored on Mayorga’s line drive single to center.

Today’s box score –

  • Valentin:           1-3; K
  •    Lohman:        0-1; RBI, SF
  • Astudillo:          2-4; SB
  •    Mayorga:        1-1; RBI
  • Knapp:               1-2; R, BB
  • Cozens:              1-4; 2B, 2 K
  • Green:                2-2; RBI, BB
  • A. Brown:          0-2; BB
  • Pullin:                 0-3; K
  • Stankiewicz:    1-2; 2 R, BB, K, SB
  • Harris:                 2-2; R, K, 3 SB
  • D. Brown:          1-2; RBI, BB, SF
  •    Walding:         0-0; SB


  • Nunez:    4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Kleven:   4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Ramos:   1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

The Threshers ran themselves out of a scoring opportunity in the sixth inning. With one out and Valentin on first, Astudillo singled to right. Valentin tried to go to third but was gunned out by the right fielder. Astudillo was thrown out at second following the play. A rare 9-5-4 double play on a base hit.

Camp breaks tomorrow.

38 thoughts on “MiLB Spring Training 2015; April 3rd v. Blue Jays

      1. I don’t know if I’m in the minority, I just don’t see him amounting to much. Just my opinion, I do wish for the best though, I just see a athletic/toolsy OF who will be maybe a John Mayberry type.

    1. Anderson i read on readingphillies,com that he is playing a position now and hitting,

      1. seriously? I totally missed that. I assume that means he worries about his arm staying healthy.

  1. Interesting to see, to start anyway, Cozens going over to the other corner outfield position.

    1. I’m kind of surprised by it but recognize that Pullin played DH and he’ll be the everyday LF although I assume they’ll probably rotate all 4 guys. Harris plays LF as well.

      1. To see when James posts. Occasionally I skim one of your “stories” which are written in a style similar to a shopping list.

        1. Maybe you can do better. I’d love to see it.

          I like Jim’s style. Easy to read, tells you what you want to know…so where’s the problem?

          1. Agree.
            Jim gives the facts and brief synopsis of them. And since there are so many facts there can little time for in-depth time-consuming persuasive analysis.
            If that poster wants analytical analysis ….then go to MattWinks’ website.
            he goes into in-depth reasons for decisions and future projections.
            ‘You can’t have both a great slider and great curve-ball’

            1. I too, enjoy the way Jim writes. He usually is objective and does not let his own opinions control the content. Super job by a very dedicated individual.

  2. Nice Clearwater lineup Jim! You are going to have some fun.

    So it looks like our Reading team is still inline for a rotation of Nola, Biddle, Eflin, Windle, Lively? Looks like the outfield is Altherr, Quinn, and Pointer. With Stassi between outfield and 1st, Alonso 2nd or 3rd, Serna SS – 3rd, and Duran SS – 3rd? Moore Catrching and maybe Garcia as his back-up?

    I’m gonna have some fun watching that team and looking forward to some promos from Clearwater coming up!

  3. I’d like to see Astudillo get a chance to catch a third of the games. He needs work on his D and isn’t as good defensively as the other catchers, but he can hit. It would be nice to have another position player who can hit. We have so few bats on the farm, I hate to see them wasted on DH and 1B, when they have some aptitude for another position. The objective of the minor leagues should be to develop the few guys who have a real chance at the major leagues, not to win games. I’m also disappointed that Pullin has been moved off of 2B. I think his prospect status is substantially reduced as a corner OF. He might not ever be good enough defensively at 2B, but that is what was said about Utley on draft day. Pullin can hit.

    1. Agreee…..maybe 2nd base should be given a look see for Willians. Turning the pivot double-play is the thing that could hamper him. But his bat plays out for sure.

      1. What? Astudillo can’t play 2b and how many 5’9″ 1b do you see? His only chance is as a C but knapp has a much higher ceiling and will play lots more.

        1. Knapp can’t catch every game. Astudillo could also be moved up a level to challenge his bat. As for Pullin and Valentin, I’d like to see Valentin teamed with Crawford in Reading by July.

    2. I agree with you on Pullin. He took a nice leap with the bat last year. I saw him play a couple games at 2nd last year and at least looked passable. On the other hand Valentin is at same level and is by all accounts better defensively. This is probably the easiest way to get Pullin consistant AB’s and move him up. I wdn’t rule them moving him back if he keeps progressing and gets closer to the majors.

      1. That’s the funny thing, Valentin is not great defensively either. Remember though that being able to play only 2b is not very flexible long term.

  4. Nice work Jim I’ll going to watch clearwater this yr unlike last yr with eyes peering though my fingers. I’ve been on Harris since he was drafted him and Cozens after his 2nd yr.go young Phillies the phillies need your help.

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