The Phillies played their first Florida Instructional League (FIL) game Monday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Because of a 70% chance of rain, I went over early and was able to watch Franklyn Kilome start the game at noon instead of the 1:00PM scheduled start time.
Now, these are Instructs. Observers never now what a pitcher or player may be working on at the direction of his coaches. And there are a lot of coaches here. Whichever minor league coaching staffs aren’t with the Phillies are here in Florida. In addition, some upper management is attendance. The only person I recognized today was Joe Jordan, though.
Additionally, this is a good time for scouts to see a lot of young players. I counted about 30 around the back stop and between the dugouts.
Now, keeping in mind that this is Instructs, Franklyn Kilome looked pretty darn good. He pitched two innings and struck out four of the six batters. All four Ks came swinging on curve balls. (I verified they were curve balls after he was finished.) Kilome’s fastball was in the low 90s (90-93) and his curve was around 77-78. He struck out the side in the first inning, throwing a lot of curve balls. He threw one in the second to record the third out. His other two batters grounded out to second and short. Nice to see him pitch this well as he continues to regain his strength.
Tyler Gilbert pitched the next two innings. I think this is the first time I ever saw him pitch. He looked pretty good, too. He only faced six batters and struck out four of them. He recorded two strike outs each inning, and finished with a backward K on a fast ball. His first three Ks were swinging at curve balls. (Verified) Gilbert’s fastball was 88-90 and looked a little straighter than Kilome’s. His curve was a little flatter, but in the same 77-78 range.
Edgar Garcia followed and went the next two innings. He allowed the Jays first base runner when he hit a batter with two out in the fifth. Two pitches later he picked the runner off first. The Jays led off the sixth with a double and triple (both to RCF). Garcia rebounded by striking out the next three batters swinging at sliders. (Verified) His fastball was at 90-93, his slider around 80.
Skylar Hunter pitched the seventh and was 88-90 with his fast ball. He hit a batter and gave up a run on 2 singles and a stolen base. He benefited when Nerluis Martinez threw a runner out at second on a steal attempt.
Ismael Cabrera pitched to four batters in the eighth and didn’t record an out. He walked his first batter and watched as Jose Antequera booted a potential double play ball to put two on with no outs. Cabrera made things worse with a horrible throw into left field on a pickoff attempt at second. Yeah, I said left field. A double cleared the bases and a walk ended Cabrera’s afternoon. He was 90-92 with his fastball. (He was 88-90 in Instructs last year.)
Robert Tasin came in with two runners on base. He got a fielder’s choice before a single ricocheted off him into foul territory. The runner reached on a close play when Tasin retrieved the ball and flipped late to first. (I don’t know why the first baseman didn’t get the ball and let Tasin cover first.) A run scored on the play but he got out of the innng without further damage. Tasin retired the Jays in a 1-2-3 ninth. First time I saw Tasin. He’s a sidearmer and brings his fastball at 88-89. He throws a change up around 80.
The Blue Jays starter was Tom Robson. He pitched into the sixth inning today which is very unusual for Instructs. So I looked him up to see if I can determine why. The 22 year old Canadian is in his fourth year in the Toronto system. He made it to their full season A team in Lansing (think Lakewood) in 2014 before going down in May. He returned this season in July and pitched his way from GCL back to Lansing. With under 40 IP each of the past two seasons, I assume they just want to get him some extra work in Instructs.
Robson allowed three hits and a run in 5.2 innings. Four relievers held the Phillies to one run on two hits the rest of the way.
The Phillies had Roman Quinn and Maikel Franco in the line up. They played the field and batted in each of the first five innings. I’m sure that the rest of the batting order has to be affected when they bat once and sit for three innings before batting again.
Franco and Quinn each had a hit. Franco lined a one out single to left in the second inning. He reached third on Quinn’s line drive double over the first baseman. Franco scored when the first baseman couldn’t handle Kyle Martin’s ground ball.
Franco’s line drive was a soft liner over the infield. He didn’t really make any hard contact as he hit a couple fly balls to the outfield, popped up, and struck out looking. Quinn also walked in one at bat. He hit the ball hard – once on a fly ball to center field and twice to the first baseman. One was a hard line drive, the other was a sharp ground ball. It was funny to watch the first baseman realize he made the wrong choice waving the pitcher off. He had to bust his butt to barely beat Quinn to the bag.
The Phillies scored a cheap run to take their last lead in the sixth, 2-1. They loaded the bases with nobody out on a walk, hit batter, and failed fielder’s choice on a sacrifice bunt. With one out they scored on a fielding error on a ground ball by Bryan Martelo. A double play on the next pitch ended the threat.
They closed to 5-3 in the ninth inning on Jan Hernandez’ home run to left center field. It was hit hard, real hard. Although the outfielders made the obligatory run to the fence, I only got out of my chair to see if it landed near my car.
For those who are interested, here’s the batting order –
- Quinn, CF
- Franco, 3B
- Mark Laird, LF/DH
- Scott Kingery/ Antequear, 2B
- Martin/ Brendon Hayden, 1B
- Jose Pujols/ Reggie Wilson, RF/LF
- Deivy Grullon/ Nerluis Matinez, C
- Hernandez, DH/3B
- Martelo, DH/RF
- Gamboa/ Cumana, SS
Looking at my score sheet, which I was able to keep 100% accurately even with all the changes and irregularities, the only other positives that that stood out were Scott Kingery’s lead off double (he was stranded at third); and Reggie Wilson. He was a late replacement and got two at bats. He led off the seventh with a walk and scored later in the inning. He lined a ball toward the outfield in the ninth, that the second baseman snagged on one hop in a full layout. He was able to recover and throw Wilson out on a bang-bang play. Off the bat, I thought it was a hit. Nice play.
Extra Innings –
- After the first inning, when they batted Quinn first and Franco second, they came up with one out – Franco batted second and Quinn batted third.
- Except for a nine batter stretch in the seventh and eighth innings, the pitching looked strong. The first three pitchers (Kilome, Gilbert, Garcia) each struck out four.
- Kilome’s curve ball had people around me talking. I specifically heard Scout One, “Where did he pitch?” Scout Two, “Williamsport.” Scout One and Scout Three. “Really?” Like they couldn’t believe he wasn’t further up in the organization.
- I hate to fuel the fire that has become your expectations for such a young pitcher, but he looks real good.
- I put (verified) in the text above so you would know that I checked with the pitcher who was charting pitches today. I’m not just guessing what was thrown. Although, I was correct on all my guesses before verifying. I think I’m finally learning how to recognize pitches.
- Tomorrow’s game is at Bright House. Same forecast. Hope we get the game in.