The Phillies won again today. They beat the Rays 5-2 on the road. Nola started and gave up both Tampa runs. Andrew Bailey struck out the side in a 1-2-3 inning and was the pitcher of record when the Phillies took the lead. Hector Neris followed with a one-hit inning where he also struck out the side. Colton Murray came on to record the final out to get the save. The Phillies are 11-4. Dylan Cozens made his spring debut in the sixth inning in right field and went 0-1 with a BB and K.
I didn’t make the trip to Port Charlotte. Rather, I went to the Carpenter Complex and watched David Hernandez make his first appearance since March 1st, as well as Mark Appel and other Group One and Group Two players who took on the Blue Jays in their first Minor League spring training games.
Hernandez, who was sidelined for 2 weeks with triceps tendinitis, looked rusty. He recorded two strike outs to end his one inning of work, but not before the Blue Jays minor leaguers knocked him all over the park. He gave up a line drive single, a walk, and a double to left center field that Roman Quinn couldn’t run down. The Rays’ #8 prospect Rowdy Tellez then crushed a double high off the batter’s eye in deep center field. Another deep fly ball to center was caught by Quinn for the first out.
Hernandez’ FB was 92-92, T93 during the final out. There was little movement and he was up on a lot of pitches. Some of his off speed pitches hung on him. By my count, he threw 28 pitches and it looked like they were going to pull him after 22. But after coach’s visit to the mound, he was permitted to pitch to another batter and recorded his second K. He allowed 3 R on 3H and walked a batter.
Mark Appel followed with 3 IP. I gave up on him after two. He struck out the side in his first inning, but also gave up a HR, 2 walks, and 2 other base hits. He was a little more effective in his second inning but after 2 quick outs an error by Angelo Mora led to another extended inning. Appel gave up a towering HR (by Tellez) in his third inning. The outfielder didn’t even move. His FB was 91-93 MPH.
Group 1 featured a top of the order that could likely be in Philadelphia some time soon. Quinn led off with J.P. Crawford batting second and Nick Williams third. Quinn fell behind in the count before lining a single to right. Crawford worked a deep count but grounded into a double play. Williams followed with a line drive double.
A few more notes:
- Ryan Howard didn’t take the bus to Port Charlotte. He batted in both games until he got his work in. I saw him twice in the Group One game.
- Jake Fox greeted the Jays’ Conner Greene with a towering HR to left.
- The second time thru the line up Quinn walked after Valentin lined a base hit. Crawford brought them home with a double down the left field line and took third on the throw to the plate. He scored on Williams’ ground out to first.
- Later, Quinn would be retired on a 3-1 when the first baseman dove to his right to stop a hard hit ball from going thru the hole. Crawford followed with a line drive to right center field.
- Ulises Joaquin looked good for Group Two. Effective FB down in the zone and a CH with nice late movement.
- Alexis pitched an efficient one walk inning with a couple of ground outs.
- Jimmy Cordero had control problems but was 93-96, T97
- Back in Group One, Tom Windle was inconsistent. Lots of base runners.
- Group Two, Edgar Cabral lined a single to left, Chase Harris followed with a line drive single left center, Zach Green drove them home with a line drive double into the left field corner.
- Bailey Falter still has some tightness in his leg, he’s day-to-day.
- Greg Picket has knee tendinitis and was not in uniform. He expects to play tomorrow.
I had a good vantage point behind the cage to watch Hernandez and Appel. A fellow slid in next to me to shoot some video. I backed away to give him more room to maximize his shot. Turns out it was BA’s J.J. Cooper. I had a nice conversation with him later. He had gone to Dunedin where he would have seen “C” Randolph, but when he saw the Jays pitching assignments in Clearwater he came over to the Complex.
One of the nice things about the minor league spring training games is that they draw a decent crowd when the Phillies are on the road. I got to touch base with several people who I have met in recent springs, as well as those who attend the Phillies’ home spring games.
NYPhilsFan, Dan, and his father Dick were on hand. We talked some baseball several times during the afternoon. I had a long conversation with Williamsport team parents, Terry and Dottie, making their yearly visit to Clearwater. I met them a couple years ago, the season after they welcomed Logan Pierce and Justin Parr into their home. Patrick stopped by to say “Hi”. Stick who ushers at Bright House during the spring was watching with his buddies from Clearwater Beach, Nick and Ron. The group of guys with whom I normally watch the games was also in attendance – David, Geary, Frank, George, Steve, Gail, Ross, Betsy, and John who was there with his “spring-breaking” son Jonathan. And, my brother Mark.
I had a nice conversation with Evan Crower during the game. When he pitches again, I’ll answer the question “Why did he choose football over baseball?” that so many of you asked a couple weeks ago. I have the answer. And, I understand his decision. I think you all would have come to the same decision.
According to the schedule, there are two Class A games at the Complex tomorrow. However, Larry Shenk stated in his blog that the AAA and AA games against the Pirates were at the Complex. Either way, there will be two games against the Pirates at the Complex. The Phillies have an off day. So, some Phillies may show up at the Complex games to get some work in.