Box Score Recap – 9/6/2015

Look! They did it again!  The Clearwater Threshers won the second half FSL North Division with their 2-1 win on the last day of the season.  They duplicated their first half performance when they won they clinched on the last day of that half.  The Threshers, who had a distressingly poor record in 2014, rebounded with the best overall record in the entire Florida State League.   More on the Threshers below the fold.  

Injuries and the movement of players in the minor leagues is a “feature” that all teams have to deal with.  I’m not going to insinuate that the following is something that only the Threshers experienced, but –

  • SS J.P. Crawford (.392) was activated on May 6th and only in played 21 games.
  • SP Matt Imhof went on the DL after 2 April starts and missed 7-8 weeks.
  • SP Brandon Leibrandt missed 3 weeks in June and 4 weeks in Aug.-Sept.
  • SP Yacksel Rios went down after one start and came back in a mixed role.
  • SP Colin Kleven was promoted after his division clinching win.
  • SP Mark Leiter was lost for the 7 weeks he spent in Reading.
  • SP Miguel Nunez was converted to a competent reliever.
  • #1 Closer Edubray Ramos was promoted to Reading.
  • Yoel Mecias imploded, demoted, and released.
  • 2B Jesmuel Valentin started the season on the Restricted List.
  • 1B Zach Green went down with a season ending wrist injury in early May.
  • C Andrew Knapp was promoted in late June.
  • RF Dylan Cozens went down with an injury before the all start break amd missed a month.  He was later promoted to Reading with 2 weeks left in the season. Interesting that Cozens missed both division-winning runs for the Threshers.  And maybe just a little more impressive that the Threshers could make those runs.

Now, granted Malquin Canelo relpaced Crawford.  And Carlos Tocci pushed Chase Harris to Lakewood.  But there was a 6-7 week period after Green’s injury that the Threshers played without a real first baseman until Rhys Hoskins was promoted.

And, Ricardo Pinto was promoted from Lakewood when Leiter went to Reading.  Jesen Therrien chipped in with 30 strong appearances after his early promotion.  And the additions of Alexis Rivero, Alberto Tirado, and John Richy certainly helped.

I guess it just amazes me that you can tear a Crawford, Knapp, and Cozens from a team and not miss a beat.  That you can have so many starters go down (or up) and still pitch effectively.

Lehigh Valley (63-80) lost to the Rochester Red Wings 5-1.  Miguel Gonzalez pitched against men again, and got knocked around again.  Maybe he should stick to the kids in the GCL where he had his only success this season.  Gonzalez threw 84 pitches and failed to complete the third inning.  Real pitchers took over and shutout the Red Wings over the remaining six-plus innings.  Tyler Pastornicky had three hits.  Kelly Dugan drove in the only run.

  • LF Kelly Dugan (.228) went 1-5 with an RBI and 2 K.
  • 1B Tommy Joseph (.179) went 0-4.
  • Tyler Henson stole his 26th base.

Reading (80-60) lost to the Richmond Flying Squirrels 2-1.  Ben Lively was charged with an unearned run in six innings.  He gave up seven hits and struck out six.  Ryan O’Sullivan took the loss.  Cam Perkins drove in their only run with a double in the first inning.

  • J.P. Crawford (.260) 0-4.
  • Cam Perkins went 2-3 with a double and RBI.
  • Andrew Knapp (.357) DNP.
  • Dylan Cozens went 2-4 with 2 doubles.

Clearwater (79-58)  Matt Imhof turned in his best outing in a month, earning the Threshers’ 2-1 win over the Dunedin Blue Jays.  Imhof pitched five, three hit innings, striking out seven.  His only blemish was a second inning home run.  Imhof threw 78 pitches, 49 strikes.  He only reached three-ball counts twice, both in his second inning.  The only other blip in his performance occurred in the fourth inning two runners reached base.  However, the first batter reached with two out on a strike out wild pitch and an infield single.  Hardly reasons for alarm.  Imhof ended the threat another strike out.  Imhof changes speeds well.  His fast ball was mainly 87-89 mph, but he hit 90 five times and 92 once.  Imhof recorded a swinging strike out on his final pitch (no velo on that pitch).

Victor Arano pitched three dominant innings in relief.  His 94 mph fastball must have seemed quicker following Imhof.  He struck out two and the only hit he allowed was an infield hit chopped toward Walding at third.

Miguel Nunez made it interesting allowing a couple of two-out runners in the ninth before nailing down his eighth save.  His fastball was 93-94 mph.

The Threshers only managed three hits, but they all came in the third inning when they scored the two runs they needed for the win.  Jesse Valentin smashed his first home run, a two-run shot, onto the right field berm.

With the win, Clearwater finished in first place for the second half in the FSL North Division.  They had already earned a playoff spot by finishing first in the first half.

  • Jessie Valentin (.273) went 1-4 with a run scored, HR (1). and 2 RBI.
  • Carlos Tocci (.258) went 1-4.
  • Andrew Pullin (.258) went 0-3.
  • Aaron Brown (.257) went 0-2 with a walk.
  • Rhys Hoskins (.317) went 0-2 with a HBP.
  • Wilians Astudillo (.314) DNP.
  • Mitch Walding went 0-3 with 3 K. (I guess I jinxed him in yesterday’s report.)
  • Malquin Canelo (.250) went 1-3 with a run scored and 2 K.

Lakewood (72-65) lost to the Delmarva Shorebirds 5-4.  Austin Davis gave up four runs on six hits in 4.1 innings but struck out eight.  The BlueClaws scored two runs in the eighth inning on a passed ball and wild pitch.  They took an early lead on Cord Sandberg’s RBI single in the second.  Damek Tomscha homered (8) in the fourth.

  • Herlis Rodriguez (.293) went 0-4.
  • Scott Kingery (.250) went 0-4.
  • Deivi Grullon (.223) went 1-4 with a run scored and double.
  • Damek Tomscha (.282) went 2-4 with a run scored, HR (8), and RBI.
  • Kyle Martin (.275) went 0-2 with 2 walks.
  • Cord Sandberg (.254) went 1-4 with an RBI.
  • Rodriguez threw out a runner at home.

Williamsport (46-29) beat the State College Spikes 2-1.  Luis Morales pitched six shutout innings.  Robert Tasin picked up his 17th save.  The Cutters scored on Austin Bossart’s RBI single in the fifth, and Jose Pujols’ RBI single in the sixth.

  • Josh Tobias (.326) went 2-4.
  • Brendon Hayden (.295) went 1-4 with a run scored.
  • Mark Laird (.285) went 1-3 with a run scored and walk.

GCL Phillies (36-24) Season completed.  Finished in second place, four games back.

DSL Phillies (40-32) Season completed.  Finished tied for second place, three games back.

VSL Phillies (30-40) Season completed.  Finished tied for third in a four team league.

Here’s the affiliated scoreboard from MiLB.

Extra Innings –

  • No transactions, but here’s some more Clearwater stuff.
  • Willians Astudillo (.314) won the batting title in the FSL.
  • Andrew Pullin (14) shared the home run crown in the FSL and finished 4th with 73 RBI (leader had 79).
  • David Whitehead (9-11) earned a decision in 80% of his 25 starts.
  • David Whitehead led the team with 94 K.
  • Edubray Ramos BB/K was 6/47.
  • Ramos, Rivro, and Richy had WHIPs of 0.75, .0.85, 0.87
  • David Whitehead threw 135.2 innings.
  • Ulises Joaquin had 16 saves, Nunez and Ramos had 8 each.
  • Whitehead and Pinto had 9 wins each, Imhof had 8.
  • Ramos had lowest ERA 1.46; Leiter 2.26 among starters.
  • Angelo Mora had a 0.00 ERA, no hits but a WHIP of 2.00.
  • Aaron Brown was second on the team with 11 HR.
  • Astudillo was second with 49 RBI, Brown had 47, Cozens 46.
  • Walding had 48 walks, Hoskins and Knapp were next with 29.
  • Walding was the only Thresher with over 100 K.
  • Cozens lead with 18 SB in 23 attempts. (Tocci was 3 for 12.)

24 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 9/6/2015

  1. Cozens has been a slow starter in his 3 seasons in the Phil’s organization. He was hitting .218/.255/.288 as late as May 20 in CLW. But things changed when he jumped to Reading. He torched the place from his 1st game. That’s a nice progression.

    Walding should get a personal hitting coach this winter. He needs to cut down on the Ks. The BBs are great but more contact will help him dramatically. I recommend Wally Joyner.

    Pullin needs to flip the switch and start doing what he does best, knock in runs. He’s hitting .212 in his last 9 games with only 3 RBIs.

    LKW finally fielded a lineup with everyone hitting .200 or above. It seems like the entire year has been about 3 stars and a bunch of no hit wonders. Hang on, help is on the way. Randolph will likely start there next year and Tobias and Hayden so we can better evaluate them. Austin Bossart is another guy who should have started in LKW but they didn’t want him messing up the progression of catchers.

    Robert Tasin is going into the playoffs in a good place. He hasn’t given up a run in his last 7 outings. Six have resulted in saves.

    Puhols debuted in the GCL as a 17 y/o and hit .188. Last year he split between the GCL and Wmprt and hit .226. This year he’s hitting .238 as a 19 y/o in Wmprt. I guess we can call that progress.

    Who is the better prospect Puhols or Encarnacion? Puhols is 2 years older, one league higher and hit .238. Encarnacion hit .271 but was at .300 on August 15th. He just faded into the end of the season. Puhols is head and shoulders better on the defense side. He’s a legitimate RF’er and Encarnacion played 1B all year. Encarnacion looks a lot better with the stick in his hand. Statistics viewpoint only as I haven’t seen either of them live.

  2. I’m wondering if Luis Morales is a big time prospect. He’s putting up nice numbers. Also, Tomscha has really turned his season around after a terrible start. Playoffs!

  3. is there a reason they are still having Gonzalez try to start?
    guess its only 2 years since he signed..feels a lot longer then that

    1. Ya his big upside so far is….well at least we got him for 12 million and not 48. Unfortunately he is a big poster child for the melt down that was the Fall of 2011 – Fall of 2014. Though this year has been tough on the scoreboard for the big club at least we have seen improvement in the minors and with some of the young guys on the Phils

    2. He’s been injured most of his time in the organization. It’s not like he’s just sucked. They signed him for a reason but he’s been hurt. It happens, especially when you barely ever sign big time international players.

      1. That’s the main reason his contract went from $48M to $12m, because of his medicals at the time of the signing. The Phillies took a shot that he would recover, he hasn’t…

  4. Next year will be critical for David Whitehead. He’ll be 24 years old. He has not earned a promotion to the next level (but neither had Biddle) but he needs to start at Reading which might embolden him mentally. All in all, not a bad pick for the 36th round (originally by Blue Jays).

    1. Whitehead was drafted by the Blue Jays but didn’t sign. He was a 34th round pick in 2013 of the Phils and he signed. I think he was hurt when he signed with the Phils so it took all of 2013 to heal. He only pitched in 9 games for Elon in 2013. He’s 23 and will be 24 next year. He’s up and down but could straighten himself out but with all the new pitchers in the org, he’ll have to be very good to move up.

  5. Imhof has struck out 40 in his last 43.1 IP, which is a big improvement over the first half of the season or so. Still hoping he finds another mph or two on his fastball.

    1. I’m hoping he improves his change-up, so he can be an effective major league starter. I think that may be more important for him than a slight uptick in Fastball velocity.

  6. Hey Jim, You could probably say the same thing for Reading.

    There whole team other than Stassi, Efflin, and Lively has been changing all year. As you said that is part of the minors and in many cases a good ting for the organization. While the additions of Kleven and Leiter did not help Reading, the additions of Williams, Knapp, and most recently Cozens has. Its interesting though that both Knapp and Cozens were really not on fire until they came to Reading.

    I think that both Clearwater and Reading doing well is a testimony to the surge of the Phillies farm system this year. Hopefully some good promotions and off season signings will make Allentown a more competitive team (along with the Phillies) and it will be even a more fun season in 16.

    For now we can enjoy the minor league playoffs and watch the end of the year RAJ drama in Philly.

    1. If you’re a hitter, you want to get out of Clearwater. Scorching weather and the ballpark has true major league dimensions.

    2. I disagree on Cozens. He bottomed out around .218 in May, but had raised his average by about by about 50 points when he suffered a leg injury in June. When he returned, he continued to raise his average until he plateaued in the .280s.

      You’re right about Knapp. His Reading sample size is approaching his Clearwater sample size, and his Reading breakout is amazing.

      I wonder if any body had Knapp as this year’s breakout player? Anyone other than me that is. Yeah, time to pat myself on the back for that prediction.

      1. JimP…congrats on the Knapp pick….have a Tiki drink on me. Hope your practicing on what stories to relate for your next booth session. Take tips from Matt Stairs! 😉

      2. Ya, I can see what your saying on Cozens, although it is still amazing how he got started with a new club it did not got so well for Leiter and I have seen other players loose something (like Dugan and Perkins last year) when they bumped to the next level.

      3. Baseball America had Andrew Knapp as their Phillies break- out player of the year, way back in January.

    3. I think Lehigh Valley will be an interesting roster to watch next year – I would guess most of the following players will start the season there – Crawford, Knapp, Lino, Dugan, Biddle, Asher, Lively, Eflin, N Williams, J Thompson, Cordero, Ogando, Ramos, Windle, and Rodriguez

      1. You forgot Tommy Joseph and/or Stassi. One or both of those guys should make the team. Of course, it all depends on training camp and how they perform. We might actually see more prospects in LHV than AAAA guys next year. How long has that been since it happened?

      2. That rotation is going to be tough. Just Thompson and Eflin alone make it a potentially imposing one.

        I really don’t see why Asher would start at AAA though. Also, you don’t think Quinn will start in AAA?

  7. Reading kicked your Knapp prediction into gear…as Romus said kudos. I might get down to Clearwater on biz in the next couple weeks, whats going on at Clearwater? Hopefully Threshers will win it all and still be going next week? Maybe I can buy you that drink at the Tiki bar

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