2016 Spring Training, March 23rd

The Phillies lost a game in Kissimmee to the Astros, their last trip there since the Astros are moving to another Florida location next spring.  Some guy named Giles got the save.

We had large crowds at the Carpenter Complex yesterday and today.  I have short reports on the action both days, and a little video.  Tuesday, I was drawn to the AAA field to watch five innings of Vince Velasquez.  Uninspiring innings.  I saw a report that stated VV gave up up one earned run.  Wrong, but you be the judge when I cover it later on.  His fast ball was 92-93, and he had some nice movement.  But, his control was erratic.  I saw him earlier in the spring, but not up close like Tuesday.  Maybe a few weeks in AAA wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Velasquez started off well enough.  He struck out his first batter, got a ground ball to first, and then a well hit fly out to center fielder Angelo Mora (yes, Mora).

In his second inning, Velasquez gave up a lead off double and an infield single to put runners on the corners.  Logan Moore made a poor decision on a throw to second  and the ball bounced into center field allowing an unearned run to score and putting a runner on third.  (I judged it to be a poor decision because the runner broke on Velasquez and the pitch was in the dirt and not handled cleanly.  His bad throw bounced into center.)  After a ground out back to the pitcher, Velasquez gave up a clean single to the outfield.  That makes the first run earned and the second run unearned.  A fly out for the second out in the inning ended the inning as the Phillies rolled the inning due to Velasquez’ pitch count.

Velasquez got a ground out to second to start the third inning.

The next batter lined a single to left and was thrown out at second on a strong throw by Nick Williams.  Velasquez got the next batter looking.

A lead off home run to start the fourth would be the second earned run allowed by Velasquez.  He then gave up a double to left.

And then he hit a batter.

At this point, I went looking for other players to watch.

Tuesday notes:

  • Moore lined a single to left his first at bat.
  • Cozens ground a single through the shift for a single in the second.  I know Cozens is a big kid, but I have also seen him hit to all fields.  I think a shift is premature at this point of his career.
  • In the third, Pullin ground a single to right.  Mora came through with a hit-and-run single to left to put runners on the corners.  J.P. Crawford waited out a walk to load the bases.  Moore grounded into an inning double play.
  • Jake Thompson pitched on the AA field and got knocked around some.
  • David Whitehead appeared for the Pirates AA team and was greeted rudely by his former team mates.  One scoring sequence involved a Rhys Hoskins double off the left field fence and an Andrew Knapp RBI single.
  • Hinojosa pitched for the AA squad, Pinto for Group 5.  I passed on both to watch Velasquez.

Wednesday was a camp day.  The teams were loosely based on the work groups.  It looked like G1 v. G2 and G3 v. G5.  Most of the G3 starters were probable Lakewood guys, the Clearwater guys didn’t play.  There were infield drills on one of the other fields.  I recognized Lucas Williams and Scott Tomassetti.  I saw some Jake Fox, Cam Perkins, and Gabriel Lino taking BP with several guys on another field.

I got some random video.  Juan Luis beats out a bunt.

Austin Bossart throws out Luis on a steal attempt.

Zach Coppola singles.

A few notes from Wednesday’s games:

  • Tommy Joseph homered to left off John Richy.
  • Jose Pujols drove a ball over the left fielder’s head for a double.
  • Jiandido Tromp had a couple of knocks on hard hit balls.
  • Luis Encarnacion continued to make hard contact with a sharp line drive speared by the third baseman.
  • Pujols homered to left.  There’s the in-game power I hadn’t seen until today.
  • Andrew Godail froze “C” Randolph on a called third strike.  I thought it was a fast ball.  I told his Williamsport house parents that was a good way to get cut, striking out the top prospect.  I think for a second they thought I was serious.  They were having dinner with him tonight and were going to tell him what I said.  Hope he knows I was kidding.

I finally got confirmation on Murray’s report that Andrew Amaro and Ryan O’Sullivan were released.

Other transactions:

  • Jesus Manuel Chavez (the kid who has been on loan to the Mexican League for the last two years) was released last week in the bunch that included Brian Pointer and Art Charles.
  • Seve Gonzalez and Colton Murray were optioned to Lehigh Valley.
  • John Zgardowski, Denton Keys, and Bryan Martelo were released.
  • There were several reports by Phillies’ beat writers on twitter that Lino Gabriel was reassigned to minor league camp.  That’s 47 left on the Phillies’ spring roster.

And, finally, Riley Pint had an auspicious 2016 debut.  He hit a grand slam in his first at bat and struck out 5 of the first 6 batters he face in front of about 75 scouts.   His FB 95-98 CH 86-88 CV/SL 84-88.  And later, 7 k and 1 H through 3 IP; FB 94-96, CV 80, SL 89 from the same scout.  Another report (second hand it appears) had him with a FB 95-99 and CB/CH both flashing plus.


19 thoughts on “2016 Spring Training, March 23rd

  1. One thing that stuck out was the release of Denton Keys…I thought he was a guy to watch…apparently watch leave.

    1. All three were somewhat surprising to me. I thought Zgadowski had pitched pretty well since they signed him and Martelo just had his first year in the GCL and was 19. Nothing earth shattering as I don’t think any were regarded as high upside guys but still a bit surprising.

    2. I was surprised by Martelo, too. He signed for a $230K bonus. They used to keep a player like that as filler after that type of investment.

  2. Somewhat interesting that they’re trying to turn Mora into a utility guy who also plays CF. He’s fighting for a spot at AAA with all the 4A guys they brought in. They can’t all make it. Mora hit very well last year at AA so I wonder if that will help him win a spot. His defense isn’t as good as you’d like in a utility guy though. Assuming JP starts at AA, with Valentin at 2b, there won’t be many at bats for the back up there so AAA is definitely where he wants to be.

  3. Good report. Maybe Jose Pujols has turned the corner and will begin to show what many expected from him after his signing.

  4. It just shows the amount of quality depth we have added to the system, plus this is a new regime that is not emotionally invested with previous players. The previous regime’s lottery tickets are coming up busted and this regime is wiping them off the board.

    1. Agree that the the new regime has no reason to keep a prospect from the old regime simply due to the size of the signing bonus. They don’t need to cya.

  5. Thanks again for yet another detailed write up. Everything that I have read thus far on Pint has me thinking he could end up being our guy at #1. How has the report thus far on Groome been? If were to happen tomorrow I think you’ve got to select Pint or Groome. Blake Rutherford is enticing but would Phils go bat at #1 then pitching rounds 2-4?

  6. Groome’s season starts next week. I hope he has a monster year, and picking him at 1.1 becomes a no-brainer. But, it is never that easy!

  7. Tommy Joseph seems to be hitting based on these reports.

    Is that the case? And, if so, does he have a chance to stick at Lehigh Valley?

    I have just assumed he’s a goner, but maybe not.

    1. I had TJ written off. i thought he’d be released before this. They might be keeping him to see if Stassi is for real. If he is then Joseph is just not needed. If Joseph is to stay, his bat has to explode and not just be good. IMO

  8. They traded Hunter Pence for Tommy Joseph. He was once a top prospect who was derailed by injury and not lack of talent. He is now healthy, playing another position and still young enough to make his mark. Why on earth would the Phillies release him?

    I am quite sure the SF Giants, who knew Joseph well and loved him as a prospect, would gobble him up quicker than you can say Ed Ott [the shortest name in major league history!]

    1. I doubt that any team would be falling over themselves to sign ToJo since he can no longer play catcher. Still, I hope he sticks around and gets the chance to have a healthy season with regular at-bats at AAA. He’s still 2 years younger than Brock Stassi.

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