2016 Spring Training, March 28th

The Phillies lost another game, 2-1 to the Blue Jays in Dunedin.  Darin Ruf crushed his 4th HR to center field, and  Vince Velasquez pitched 6.0, 2-hit innings allowing 3 BB and 8 K. But, the bullpen blew another late lead on a 2-out, 2-run HR in the eighth inning.

The minor league games were cancelled, so there were 2 intrasquad games at the Complex.  I watched the game between Teams 1 and 2,  mostly AAA and AA guys with a few A+ guys tossed in.  I won’t get to see guys like Quinn, Crawford, Hoskins, and Knapp once they go north.  So I opted to watch this game without regard for the pitchers.

Charlie Morton started for Team 1 and faced a line up that included – cf Carlos Tocci, 2b Scott Kingery, c Jorge Alfaro, rf Aaron Brown, 1b Rhys Hoskins, dh Christian Marrero, 3b Zach Green, lf Cord Sandberg, and ss Malquin Canelo.  Ben Lively batted 10th for Team 2.

Ricardo Pinto started for Team 2 and faced – cf Roman Quinn, lf Andrew Pullin, ss J.P. Crawford, 1b Tommy Joseph, dh Nick Williams, c Carlos Ruiz, rf Dylan Cozens, 3b Angelo Mora, and 2b Jesse Valentin.  Morton and Ruiz batted when told, Andrew Knapp replaced Ruiz in the seventh inning.

Morton got Tocci looking at all three pitches to start the game.  Kingery doubled down the right field line and Alfaro beat out a chopper over the mound.  Brown lined an RBI single to right center and stole second before Hoskins struck out.  The inning was rolled.

Morton gave up a double to Green that bounced off the center field wall, but recorded 2 more strike outs in a scoreless second.

In the third, Lively chopped a ball that bad-hopped over Mora.  Tocci singled off Valentin’s glove.  After a K and a FC, the inning was rolled (?).

Brown hit a hard line drive single to right to lead off the fourth.  He was erased on a 6-4-3 DP.  Morton ended the inning inducing a ground ball to first.

Morton got Green and Alfaro on Ks to start and end the fifth.  In between, Sandberg grounded a single to center and stole second.  Canelo stroked a line drive, RBI single to left.  Lively successfully sacrificed him to second.   Tocci aimed a ground ball into the 3/4 hole that Valentin dove to keep in the infield, but he had no play and Tocci had an infield single.  Kingery topped an RBI single to third.

In the sixth, Morton walked Hoskins with one out.  Marrero lined an RBI double to right center.  Morton got a couple ground outs to end his afternoon.

Ken Roberts pitched the seventh and was nicked for an unearned run.  Tocci beat out a single to short and stole second.  There was an error on the pickoff throw, either an E6C or E3T.  Initially I went with E6 but it was a difficult catch on a low throw.  Crawford actually slid to get down for the ball.  So, more accurately E3 on the throw.  Anyway Kingery line a single to right for the RBI and stole a base.

Gergory Infante pitched the eighth.  Brown led off with a single to left and stole second. Infante retired the next 3 batters.  The game ended after the eighth inning.

Felix Pinto started for Team 2.  He faced Quinn, Pullin, Crawford, and Joseph in the first.  Crawford reached on a walk.

Pinto retired Williams and Morton on strike outs and Ruiz on a pop up in the second.

Cozens opened the third with a walk and stole second.  I think he surprised Alfaro with his speed, his hurried throw was high and late.  Mora followed with a line drive, RBI single to left.  Ruiz flied out to deep center.  Valentin reached on an error when Canelo dropped a throw at second on a fielder’s choice.  Quinn loaded the bases with a line drive single to center and the inning was rolled.

Pinto retired Pullin, Morton, Ruiz in order in the fourth.

Joseph crushed a double into the right field corner with one out in the fifth.  He scored on Ruiz’ double to right center.  Fly balls to center by Williams and Cozens brought the inning to an end.

Greg Burke pitched the sixth.  Williams was placed on first with Morton leading off.  He struck out on a foul bunt for the third strike.  Williams took second on an errant pickoff throw, E1T.  Mora lined out to center.  Ruiz singled home Williams with a line drive to left.  Valentin doubled to right center, Ruiz to third.  Quinn for the final out on a ground ball to short.

Edgar Ibarra pitched the seventh.  Valentin was placed on first for Morton who led off and popped a bunt to the catcher.  Valentin was removed from first base.  Pullin grounded out.  Ruiz struck out. Knapp reached on an error at third, E5F.  Crawford grounded out.

Hoby Milner came on for the eighth.  Joseph led off with a towering HR just to the right of the batter’s eye in center.  Milner got the next three batters without further incident.

Team 2     1 0 0    0 2 1   1 0    –  5   15   3

Team 1     0 0 1    0 1 1   0 1    –  4     7   1

Pitching lines:

  • Team 2
  • Pinto –           5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB. 3 K
  • Burke –          1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Ibarra –          1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Milner –         1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  •                           8.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Team 1
  • Morton –       6.0 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
  • Roberts –      1.0 IP,    2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Infante –        1.0 IP,    1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  •                            8.0 IP, 15 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Game notes:

  • Pinto was the only pitcher I bothered to get velo on – FB: 91-93 MPH
  • Team 2
  • Tocci went 3-4  with 3 infield singles and a SB
  • Kingery went 3-4 with a 2B, 2 RBI
  • Alfaro 1-4
  • Brown 3-4 with an RBI and 2 SB
  • Hoskins 0-3 with a BB
  • Marrero 1-4 with a 2B and RBI
  • Green 1-4 with a 2B and 2 K
  • Sandberg 1-3, SB
  • Canelo 1-3, RBI
  • Lively 1-2 with a sac
  • Team 1
  • Quinn 1-3
  • Pullin 0-3
  • Crawford 0-2, BB
  • Joseph 2-3, 2B, HR, RBI
  • N. Williams 0-3, 2 K
  • Cozens 0-2, BB
  • Mora 1-2, RBI
  • Valentin 1-2, 2B
  • Ruiz 2-6, 2B, RBI
  • Morton 0-4

Joseph’s HR was majestic as it sailed high over the center field fence.

The Phillies made a bunch of transactions this morning after deciding that Vince Lelasquez would be their 5th starter –

  • 3/28 – Adam Morgan optioned to Lehigh Valley.
  • 3/28 – Elvis Araujo optioned to Lehigh Valley
  • 3/28  – Luis Garcia optioned to Lehigh Valley.
  • 3/28 – Darnell Sweeney optioned to Lehigh Valley.
  • 3/28 – Logan Moore reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/28 – Reinier Roibal reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/28  – Bobby LaFromboise reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/28 – Angelys Nina reassigned to minor league camp.
  • 3/28 – Chris Leroux reassigned to minor league camp.

And they signed OF Will Venable to a minor league contract with an invitation to camp.  He will report tomorrow.  Mackinin said that Venable was not promised a spot on the 25-man roster (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more).


38 thoughts on “2016 Spring Training, March 28th

  1. Thanks as always, Jim! Would like to see Kingery break out this season. Kudos on the Monty Python reference at the end there as well.

  2. VV is an elite SP prospect. If he stays healthy we will crush Houston in that trade even if we get nothing from anyone else in the deal. What he did yesterday to the best lineup in baseball was simply awesome. Will only get better with age. Just hope he stays healthy.

    1. v1……his innings limits will dictate how far they will let him go this year. So far, he has maxed out at 124 in only one season, so maybe 150 this year.

      1. true, but his innings limit this year will not determine his value to our organization. he is 23 years old and has electric stuff and improving command. if he can get to 50 or 55 command you are looking at a #2 starter IMO. those type of prospects do not get traded often. let alone for a reliever, which history proves have very short shelf lives. especially relievers who throw really hard with max effort.

        1. Yes understand his value…but 2016 could be an abbreviated season. He turns 24 later in the season, so going forward from 2016, I would think they hope to get at least the quality 180-200 from him. And I also think a number 2 is quite possible.

    2. I agree. I said at the time of the trade, if Velasquez is healthy there is basically zero chance the Phillies lose that trade. I don’t know why Houston didn’t just groom Velasquez to be the closer.

        1. hope i eat crow too. would love for him to be a real mlb level player.

          to be a productive major league 1b, you have to be a very good hitter with power. it is a very high offensive bar to jump over, unlike the catcher position.

          1. I understand that this is the mindset but I always wonder why? Why do you have to have power? If he can hit .320 I don’t care if he hits 10 or 25 home runs. Interesting that Tyler White won the Astros 1b job. Hes a guy who has one tool, the hit tool, but boy can he it. It woudlnt surprise me if the trend of “1b has to have a lot of power” falls by the wayside. I would rather have a guy whos always on base than a guy who is always striking out but hits an occasional homer

            1. It is not always the case however….Todd Helton, Will Clark were not big HR guys. But they were lefties who could hit for average/obp. Righties may need more of the power tool in their arsenal as first basemen. I cannot think of many, if any, right-handed bats at first who were not considered power bats but strictly ‘hit for average’ guys.

            2. Well..to be clear, hitting .320 in the majors means that you have an 80 grade hit tool. Tommy Joseph does not have an 80 grade hit tool. If he did, then I would agree, his lack of power would be less of an issue. But his hit tool is more like a 50 and his power is a 40, which is actually acceptable if you are a catcher that plays well defensively. But that profile is horrible for a 1B.

          2. 3rd dimension thinking would be to say one of 29 other teams sees his resurgence and values him in a way that contributes to our rebuild effort.

            Did you know that of the top 20 1B’s in AB’s (in the NL) the median OPS is a mere.762 and median HR’s was just under 18 and just to be fair the top 10 was .858 and 25.4 respectively so is the bar really that high.

            I’m too lazy to do the AL but I’ll grant that it is probably higher but also consider many of AL 1B’s take a considerable amount of their AB’s as a DH.

            1. That is a ridiculous way to analyze it.

              1. Only 9 1B in the NL were qualified hitters. So including 11 other hitters who didn’t get enough ABs to qualify means your counting stats are irrelevant as a comparison.

              Of those 9:
              – Ave OPS was .866
              – Ave HR was 25


              2. Why limit to the NL? And why include those with a WAR below 1? If you show entire league, and only show those with a WAR above 1, then the stats are:

              16 player qualified:
              – Ave OPS .870
              – Ave HR was 27


              – The lowest WAR player on that list is Albert Pujols who hit 40 HR and had an OPS of .781

              The point is…if a 1B can’t get hit for power, or somehow get a very high OPS without homeruns, then he is a replacement level player.

            2. “That is a ridiculous way to analyze it.” It’s not really V1. very few WS teams run out a line-up of top 5 OPS guys at each and every position.

              The point was simple Tommy Joseph has enough power to play 1B for some organization assuming he can adequately field the position and stay healthy.

              While you have your Goldschmidts and Vottos you also had your Logan Morrisons and Brandon Mosses of the world playing last season. Is it inconceivable TJ at 24-25 could become one of those players.

            3. So your point is, that Tommy Joseph’s low probability ceiling is to become a replacement level contributor? I guess that is not inconceivable, but as I said, nothing to see here…move along.

    1. Usually a good portion of the previous season’s Williamsport roster makes the move to Lakewood along with a few of the more advanced players from the GCL team.

    2. Cornelius Randolph and Adonis Medina from the GCL team will make the Lakewood team. Nick Fanti, L Williams and Juan Luis from the GCL should also have a good chance. The rest should be last year’s Crosscutters.

    3. I expect Kilome, Leftwich and Gilbert to headline LWD staff with Medina joining them at some point. The older 2015 R4 class – Tasin, Seuqeira, Bossart, Brodzinski, Hayden, Tobias and Laird will probably join the 3 SPs all of them played for WIL last year.

      C and Seranthony Dominguez can jump from GCL to LWD.

    1. Cozens is going to have a huge year. Look at the history of big RH bats at Reading, and Cozens is probably more naturally talented than all of them. He is my breakout candidate but will surely be overrated by some after this season.

      1. You are aware Cozens bats left handed. But should make no difference at the Reading ball park.

        1. Actually that was a mistake on my part, i thought he was a RH bat. No idea why. i also thought he was black until last year. I really think when they drafted him I looked up the wrong guy and made all of my assumptions and mental images throughout his career based on that!

  3. Luis Encarnacion courtesy BaseballBetsy:
    I cannot believe how big he is now compared to the skinny kid signed in the summer of ’13, about 30 months ago….he must have gained 30 lbs. Hope it was in the weight-room.

    1. He was also 16 when he signed I think he turns 19 this August . I like to see what does this yr he could be big jump in power.

    2. Romus – I was there. I didn’t see him up close in ST, but it seems to me that Encarnacion is not fat; he’s a beast.

      Sev Gonzalez, by comparison has also gained about 25 pounds, but at least half of that (but not all of it), looks like fat. He was skinny and now he’s pudgy.

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