The Phillies lost their St. Patrick’s Day game against the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-1. But the offense returned Friday with a 15-12 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies fell behind 5-0, scored 9 runs in the 4th inning, 6 more in the 5th , and allowed 7 runs over the final 3 innings. Maikel Franco hit his 7th HR, Peter Bourjos hit his 1st, Ryan Howard blasted his second, a grand slam, over the batter’s eye in center, and Cameron Rupp hit his third. The Phillies opted to play without a DH and starter Charlie Morton went 0-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Luis Garcia struck out 3 in 1.1 IP. The Pirates only brought 2 starters – RF Polanco and C Cervelli. Freese made the trip as a DH.
Lots of stuff going on today at Bright House, the Carpenter Complex, and on the transaction wire.
First, I got a pass into Bright House to attend Larry Shenk’s book signing. I met the Baron and spoke with him for a good while. He reads Phuture Phillies, and knew who I was. How cool is that. He was kind enough to pose for a picture with Threshers’ play-by-play announcer Kirsten Karbach. You may have heard Kirsten recently on a Phillies’ radio broadcast. She sat in for Scott Franzkee with Larry Andersen for the middle three innings of a broadcast last week. Kirsten is the only female PxP announcer in baseball. She’s pretty good. I listen to her and her partner Josh Appel during Threshers’ games while I’m at the games.
Larry’s book has is not yet available in stores. He mentioned in his Phillies Insider blog that the book would be available in April or May of this season.
I suggested through his comments section that he should get the publisher to move the release date up during spring training. Then he could take advantage of all the die hard Phillies fans in one place with a book signing. Just like a lot of other book signings the Phillies have promoted during the spring before games. I hope he sold a lot of copies.
The book has a forward by Larry Andersen. I’ve moved it to the top of my reading list. I can’t wait to read it.
When I arrived at the Complex, there were Phillies players on three fields. A quick check revealed that the Phillies’ two Class A teams (Groups 3 and 4) were facing the Blue Jays. a fifth team comprised of the players I expect will remain behind for XST were designated Team 5 and were to play a Community College team.
Further investigation revealed that Adam Morgan would be throwing 5 innings with Group 3, David Hernandez would be pitching for Group 4, and Brett Oberholtzer would follow Hernandez. Adonis Medina was starting for Team 5. So, I ran around from field to field, got some velocities, and some video.
I’ve seen Morgan on a couple occasions this spring so I started with Hernandez. Here he gets his first batter on a deep fly to Reggie Wilson in center.
He followed that with a strike out.
Hernandez was 92-94 mph today. He recorded 2 K in the inning I watched. He pitched a second inning, too. I missed Medina but caught a glimpse of Felix Paulino. He over powered the college batter I watched with 2 FB at 93 and an off speed pitch at 82 for a K.
I watched one of Oberholtzer’s innings. He threw a lot of pitches so the 3 videos are long. His first inning was rolled after the second walk. He did strike out his first batter.
Then came a walk.
And another walk. He was 89-91 mph during this inning. He threw a couple more.
I watched a little of Luke Leftwich. Here a runner reaches on an error at first.
Followed by a K. He was at 93 mph.
I walked back to the college game and got Nick Fanti. He induced a ground out to third baseman Luke Williams.
And a ground out to short. Good play turned in by William Cuicas, I think.
Back in Group 4, Jose Taveras got a ground ball to second.
And a K.
Other notes and recent transactions.
- Andres Blanco caught Hernandez. Yes, Andres Blanco. I guess he is the Phillies emergency catcher.
- J.P. Arencibia caught Morgan.
- Cody Asche played left field for the second day in a row. He did not bat.
- Samuel Hiciano batted today. First time I’ve seen him bat since his injury last spring. He lined a double off the left field fence.
- Geury Ortiz got the final out in the game against the CC team on a K. He’s Jhailyn’s brother.
- On at least 3 different occasions, I saw big guys stroke balls the other way rather than try to pull pitcher’s pitches – Luis Encarnacion lined a ball to right for a single, Jan Hernandez lined a double into the right field corner, and Jhailyn Ortiz lined a ball over the right fielder’s head for a triple.
- Reggie Wilson drove another ball hard off the right center field fence. Lot of power for a 5’8 guy.
In other news, Justin De Fratus was released and then resigned to a minor league contract by the Seattle Mariners.
Jimmy Cordero and Jorge Alfaro were optioned to the Reading Phillies.
Andrew Knapp was reassigned to minor league camp.
And, seven minor leaguer players were released:
- Reading Fightin Phils released 1B Art Charles.
- Reading Fightin Phils released RF Brian Pointer.
- Clearwater Threshers released LHP Harold Guerrero.
- Lakewood BlueClaws released RHP Victor Delgado.
- Lakewood BlueClaws released 2B Tim Zier.
- GCL Phillies released LHP Ryne Frankoff.
- GCL Phillies released RHP Kevin Walsh.
My condolences to Brad re:BP.
One of our reader’s, John was over in Dunedin watching Groups 1 and 2. He called me with this report.
- Herlis Rodriguez opened the inning for group 2 with a single.
- During Carlos Tocci’s AB, he wandered over to watch Group 1 go down 1-2-3. He returned to find Tocci still at bat.
- Tocci tripled to right field.
- Cord Sandberg followed with a double.
- John turned to his son, Jonathan, and said, “We could see the Phillies start the game with their first four batters hitting for the cycle”.
- So, of course, Rhys Hoskins crushes a HR into the netting above the right field fence.
- The Blue Jays rolled the inning after Hoskins’ home run.
Saturday’s games were moved up to 10:00AM. Thank you Murray.