2016 Spring Training, March 21st

The Phillies traveled to Lakeland’s Joker Marchant Stadium Monday to take on Detroit Tigers.  Aaron Nola gave up one run in 6.0, 2-hit innings and the Phillies won 4-3.  They only managed 3 hits, but 8 walks and a Cedric Hunter 2-run home run paved the way to a   4-1 lead in the top of the seventh inning.  The bullpen managed to hold on for the win.

With the Phillies on the road, there was a larger than normal crowd at the Carpenter Complex.  Due to some sort of snafu, the Phillies’ Groups 3 and 4 faced the Pirates’ Groups 3 and 4 again, and the Phillies’ Groups 1 and 2 played an intrasquad game.  A fourth game featured Group 5 against another traveling team.

Since I had just watched G3 and G4 on Sunday, and since the players in G5 will undoubtedly remain in XST, I chose to watch the intramural game.  The line ups were made up mostly of guys who would soon be going to Lehigh Valley and Reading.  Zach Eflin and Ben Lively drew the starting assignments.

G1 starters:

  • Outfield – Cozens, Quinn, Perkins
  • Infield – H.Martinez, Mora, Featherston, Joseph
  • Battery – Eflin, Fisher
  • DH – Crawford, Knapp
  • Relievers – Jeanmar Gomez, Ken Roberts, Tom Windle

G2 starters:

  • Outfield – Brown, Tocci, H.Rodriguez
  • Infield – Green, Canelo, Kingery, Hoskins
  • Battery – Lively, Numata
  • DH – Alfaro, Sandberg
  • Relievers – Matt Imhof, Jesen Therrien, Lino Martinez, Matt Hockenberry

Eflin was strong through 4.0 innings.  The hardest his balls were a Hoskins line drive to second and an Alfaro line drive base hit to left.  Eflin gave up 2 other hits on inside out swings to Tocci (a single to shallow right) and Canelo (a double down the right field line). His only other base runners reached on fielding errors.  One was erased on a steal attempt on a good throw by Joel Fisher.

Lively threw 3.0, 1-hit innings.  The one hit was a HR to right field that cut through a strong right-to-left wind by Roman Quinn.  Lively’s only other base runner reached on a 7-pitch walk to J.P. Crawford.

Jeanmar Gomez followed Eflin with 2.0, 2-hit innings.  Aaron Brown lined a single to right and Carlos Tocci beat out a chopper behind third.

Matt Imhof followed Lively with 3.0 innings.  He pitched two 1-2-3 innings before starting his third inning with a walk to Harold Martinez.  Joel Fisher was robbed of an RBI when his line drive double into the left field corner rolled behind the outfield gate for a ground rule double.  After a K, Quinn stroked a 2-run single past a drawn-in infield into center field. Quinn easily stole third, but was out trying to steal home.

Ken Roberts replaced Gomez.  He allowed a base runner in his first inning on a wild pitch on a strike out.  In his second inning, he gave up a one-out walk to Cord Sandberg and an infield single to third by Carlos Alonso.  Rhys Hoskins lined a single to right that resulted in an out at home.  Jorge Alfaro followed with a titanic, 3-run home run to left center field.  After an error at third, Roberts was lifted in favor of Tom Windle who ended the inning with a strike out.

TWindle 3-18-2016
Tom Windle facing the Blue Jays over the weekend. Photo courtesy of Joe Kuhn.

Windle continued in the ninth and walked KC Serna tp start the inning.  H. Rodriguez sacrificed the runner to second and Brown reached on a HBP.  Windle then retired the last two batters.

Meanwhile, Therrien gave up a solo home run to Tommy Joseph in 1.0 inning of work. Lino Martinez pitched a perfect inning.  Matt Hockenberry survived a lead off, line drive single by Angelo Mora.

Group 2   0 0 0    0 0 0    0 3 0  –  3   8   0

Group 1   1 0 0    0 0 2   1 0 0   –  4   5   3

Pitching lines:

  • Group 2
  • Lively –                 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB
  • Imhof –                3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 K, 1 BB
  • Therrien –          1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 K, 0 BB
  • L. Martinez –     1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB
  • Hockenberry – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB
  •                                  9.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 K, 2 BB
  • Group 1
  • Eflin –                    4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
  • Gomez –               2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 BB
  • Roberts –             1.2 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 K, 1 BB
  • Windle –               1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP
  •                                   9.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 K, 2 BB, 1 HBP

Game and other notes:

  • Tocci made a nice running catch on a Joseph deep fly ball to left center.  He made the catch as he crashed into the fence.
  • Featherston committed a fielding error at second.
  • Martinez committed a couple errors at third, but charged and threw out a batter on an attempted bunt.
  • Cameron Perkins threw out Sandberg at the plate on Hoskins line drive single before Alfaro’s home run.
  • On Quinn’s 2-RBI single, Tocci charged and threw way offline to home in an attempt to get the training runner, Joel Fisher.  The throw was 20 feet up the line.  It looked very “Revere-ian”.
  • In every case where I described a base hit as a line drive, it was.  I am not using the term loosely.
  • Green threw out Quinn on a bunt attempt later in the game.  It looked like he was talking trash to Quinn (in a good way) as he left the field.
  • On Quinn’s caught stealing, the catcher had thrown to third after the previous pitch.  When Quinn didn’t shorten his secondary lead, the catcher fired to third again.  Quinn broke for home immediately.  Green made a good throw and Quinn was out on a close play.  I’m pretty sure the catcher was Numata, but he switched with Alfaro after the inning.  So, as I sit here typing, there is a little bit of doubt creeping in.  But, I think it was Numata.
  • Hoskins hit a lot of balls hard today.

Group 5 played another team whose player’s age range was 19-25.  Felix Paulino started. Jake Sweaney made an appearance in left field.

Colton Murray was optioned to Lehigh Valley.  Murray had a 1.69 ERA in five appearances this spring.  Here’s an interview of Murray by Kirsten Karbach from the Threshers’ homepage, conducted a week ago.

Here’s some video from TheGKita that you may have missed when he posted to an earlier thread.  You’ll have to view all to see Kilome, Eshelman and others from over the weekend. As a bonus, it includes video from today, too.  Thank you, Geary!


33 thoughts on “2016 Spring Training, March 21st

  1. Joel Fisher is intriguing in G1. He’s a 23rd round pick out of Michigan State in 2014. He’s essentially catching depth for the organisaton but it looks like he’s going to be at least double-jumped to Reading this year. He played in LKW last year. He appears to be a solid defensive catcher with 52% CS last year. He’s a big guy; nearly Ruppian in size. Could he be a Rupp sort of guy who can be a backup catcher in the big leagues or possibly keep the position warm for a young prospect? That latter part would be with some other team, of course. The bat will have to be better and he’ll have to make the best of every opportunity. It’s a big hurdle but Rupp’s done it. Why not Fisher?

    1. I don’t know about Fisher, I would think he is just as likely to be cut. Even though he did have a nice CS% last year we are going to have quite the roster crunch with catchers this year. With his splits last year in Lakewood and being 23 I think he’s just a place holder in group 1 until they send Lino and Moore down. If he’s in Reading I think it’ll be as 3rd catcher at best behind Alfaro and Lino or Moore. He could be in line for the org floating catcher job if they see enough in him to keep him around but I just cant see him getting any meaningful time at the upper levels.

  2. I am annointing myself the phuturephillies president of the cedric hunter fan club. really rooting for this guy to make the team, seems like he has a big hit every day. ive always been a huge fan of bringing in failed top prospects and seeing if you can rekindle the magic

    1. They are no harm, no foul. He has always had the potential. Maybe he’s ready to harness it.

    2. danurda,

      I’ll be your first member. The guy is having an impressive spring, and he deserves a shot for persevering so long after having fallen so far from a top prospect. And at 28, who knows, maybe he becomes a Major Leaguer.

  3. I have seen so many have great springs and stink when they come up. Hope your right. We need to get some luck with some prospects to build this team.

    1. rocco…you may be right on the luck…..but the build is going in the right direction and there are plenty of candidates with impressive raw talent..

    2. There’s little risk to carrying Hunter in the Altherr spot. He’s played very well and has good speed and plays good defense. My guess is that Asche will start on the DL but be back in mid April. They certainly won’t waste a 40 man spot for two weeks so expect someone on the 40 to claim that opening day spot, but only for two weeks. It could be Sweeney.
      Separate topic- Joseph continues to hit but I’m not sure there is a spot for him. Stassi will start at 1b and I think Arencibia will make the team as a C/1b/DH. Quinn looks so good that I have to guard my excitement. It’s good to hear that Green played 3b because I question whether his bat will play at 1b and that seemed like where he was playing every day. Great stuff Jim. Thanks

        1. Not sure when it was added to their milb.com player pages (I checked shortly before going to bed last night), but a quick Twitter search confirmed it if you haven’t seen it yet.

          1. They sure take their time posting transactions. Those weren’t there when I left the house at noon today. And then they have the nerve to use yesterday’s date. SMH

        2. Jim – someone who works for the team told me Sunday morning. He said that these things don’t hit the press for about a week typically. The two names didn’t surprise me so I didn’t question it. I asked if there were more and he said yes but he couldn’t recall the names.

    3. absolutely, preseason means nothing, as us philly guys know with the eagles. Jake Fox hit 10 homers one spring. Still, my motto is you play them until they give you a reason not to, so if he keeps this up you give him a roster spot, and if hes hitting .167 after a month, by all means, send him down.

  4. JimP….do you know the exit velocity on Alfaro’s blast?
    …just kiddin…..another great detailed report.

      1. “..one of the best pure hitters in the minors”

        Wow…just wow!

        I have said before, I think C has a 70 hit tool and maybe better. I know how crazy that is and I have never said that about a minor league prospect before. But I just think he has an elite hit tool.

  5. Jim,

    Thanks for the report. Exciting that Hoskins, Quinn and Alfaro are hitting the ball. They are three of my favorites. I have become an Alfaro fan this spring now that I’ve gotten the chance to see him live and in person. Love his athleticism as well as his power.

    I don’t know about O’Sullivan, but I did get a message on my mobile phone the other day about Amaro. I don’t know if the message comes from MLB or the Philly Baseball apps.

  6. Happy to see Kingery up with Hoskins and Canelo. It might take some tricky roster management, especially with Valentin sort of standing between Kingery and that group, but I think it would be great to try to keep this group together. It seems like a testament of what the organization thinks of Kingery to have him there, even just for now.

    1. Chase reminds me of Tuffy Gosewich who believe it or not has held down a back up job with the D-Backs for a few years.

      or not an everyday MLB catcher but he switch hits and is solid defensively so he will have a long career as a AAAA catcher and possibly hook up with a team that needs a back-up catcher.

  7. What are Nina’s chances of making the big club? Every time I see him in a boxscore, he’s making an error. He’s hitting the ball pretty well but his .778 FPCT is terrible.

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