Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.
The Phillies returned from the All Star break and swept the Miami Marlins. The Phillies lead for the #1 draft pick was whittled down from 9.5 GB to 7.0 GB, in just three games. Let’s get Utley off the DL and back in the three-hole.
Aaron Nola makes his MLB debut Tuesday night at home against the Tampa Rays. Might be one of the largest crowds of the season.
I’m sure expectations are high. I would hope that we all rein in these expectations. I found these reports on Nola –
- MLB – FB 60, SL 50, CH 60, Control 60, Overall 55. Nola has tremendous command of his three-pitch arsenal. He spots his low-90s fastball to both sides of the plate, and his three-quarters arm slot adds plenty of action to the pitch. His changeup is a plus offering at times, and his slider has improved to give him a third quality offering. While Nola lacks the ideal size for a right-hander, he has all the necessary tools to succeed as a big league starter.
- FanGraphs – FB 55/60, CU 50/60, CH 50/60, Command 45/55, FV 55. Nola creates above average life on his fastball and changeup with the spin he puts on the ball from the low slot. One of the concerns is that his low 3/4 slinging slot allows left-handed hitters seeing the ball too clearly, but Nola’s plus changeup does the heavy lifting here; his above average command and aggressive approach also help keep hitters off balance. 55 FV translates to above average, #3/#4 starter, 2.5 WAR.
- BA – Grade 60, Risk Medium. No. 3 Starter (comp, Orioles Chris Tillman) needed some work, fairly polished.
While we all hope he becomes a #2 starter in the rotation, it appears that may be just slightly above his ceiling. (Note: Cole Hamels is their comp for a #2 starter.)
The Clearwater Threshers interrupted their 20-game excursion against teams from the FSL South Division with a three game series against North Division cellar dweller Lakeland. The Threshers halted their three game losing streak, scoring single runs in three different innings. All three runs came with two outs. Ricardo Pinto enjoyed the longest start of his career. And Jesen Therrien came in to pick up a one inning save.
Clearwater (53-41) beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers 3-1. Ricardo Pinto threw eight, 3-hit innings, walking one and striking out three. He pitched seven scoreless innings after the Tigers scored an unearned run in the first inning. Ironically, an errant pickoff throw by Pinto helped set up the run. After the first inning, Pinto faced the minimum over the next seven innings. Only two runners reached base – a single in the second was thrown out when the batter tried to stretch it to a double, and a walk in the eighth was erased on a double play. Jesen Therrien powered through a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save. Continue reading Box Score Recap – 7/19/2015
Brandon Leibrandt pitched on Eighties Night in Clearwater. First, he threw 83 pitches. Second, his fastball was in the mid-to-upper 80s. And, third 85.9% of the 64 pitches that registered on the radar gun were in the 80s. See what I did there. Eighties night, 83 pitches, upper 80s FB, 85.9% in the 80s. Seriously, this game followed a similar pattern for Leibrandt. He lives in the 80s and pitches out of jams. The most glaring difference tonight was the 2 walks. He normally has much better control. The hit batter wasn’t a big deal, he was trying to establish the inside part of the plate. It was a shame that it came as the seventh pitch of the at bat on a 1-2 pitch.
Clearwater (52-41) lost to the Palm Beach Cardinals 7-2. Brandon Leibrandt pitched 6.0 innings. He gave up 1 run on 5 hits, 2 walks, and a HBP. His strike/ball was 52/29. He also caught a runner trying to steal third. Leibrandt left with a 2-1 lead that was provided by a Mitch Walding 2-run HR (3). The bullpen took over and imploded over the next 3 innings. Continue reading Box Score Recap – 7/18/2015