2016 Spring Training, March 30th

The Phillies’ spring training in Clearwater came to an end today.  Many of my friends and acquaintances are saddened by this occurrence.  Not me.  Now, I can return to my normal routine.  I can park at the Carpenter Complex instead of at the tennis courts a mile away.  Go north you Phillies.  Take your fans with you and let me get back to watching and reporting on the players at the low levels of the stateside affiliates.

So, today I attended the Phillies’ final Grapefruit League game.  Yeah, hypocrite.  Any way, what a game.  Eight run, come-from-behind rally.  8-4 win over one of 2015’s Cinderella teams, the Houston Astros.  15-10-3 record.  Spring ends on a good note.

Well, not really.  Granted, there  were some good things in the game but there were also some glaring negatives. Remember, I think a half-full glass is really half-empty.   Tell me.  If you order a glass of wine in a restaurant, doesn’t it arrive half-empty?

Anyway, you may have watched the game or saw a news report.  So, I won’t do a full game report like I would for one of the minor league game or a Threshers’ regular season game. Here are a few facts and observations –

  • Hellickson started and looked better than he did in his last start Friday night.
  • His FB was 89-91 mph in the first two innings.
  • He only threw one FB in the third inning, 89 mph.
  • He had allowed one hit thru four innings, no runs, 5 K.  His FB dropped to 89-90.
  • He was 89-90 in the fifth, gave up his only walk and a 3-run HR to Altuve in the fifth on a 90 mph FB.
  • Houston’s Dallas Keuchel shut the Phillies down on two hits thru seven innings.
  • The Phillies started their 8-run comeback against the Astros’ bullpen with a line drive single to right  by Andres Blanco.
  • Cedric Hunter lofted a single to center that the fielder couldn’t come up with and Will Venable grounded a ball through the hole to load the bases.
  • Ryan Howard was announced as the pinch hitter for Daniel Stumpf and Houston countered with a left-hander.
  • Ryan Howard scorched a line drive that the first baseman couldn’t hold, but he recovered to get Howard at first as the Phils’ first run scored.
RHoward last AB in CLW 3-30-2016
Ryan Howard ripping the ball down the first base line in what is likely his last Bright House Field at bat as a Phillie.
  • Peter Bourjos reached on a SF that the center fielder lost in the sun for an error.  He panicked and threw in to the cutoff man rather than try for Bourjos who hustled into second.
  • Cesar Hernandez executed a suicide squeeze to tie the game, the Phils third successful suicide this spring.  It was exciting to see Venable break down the line in front of us on the play.
  • After a couple strike outs early in the game, Maikel Franco laced a line drive to left field to put the Phils ahead by a run.
  • After a Darin Ruf ground out, Cameron Rupp walked to reload the bases.
  • Andres Blanco came to the plate for the second time in the inning and crushed a HR to the berm in right center field.
  • After Hellickson, the Phillies’ relievers showed some increased velo – James Russell 92 MPH, David Hernandez 94 MPH, Daniel Stumpf 92 MPH.
  • Andrew Bailey got a quick out, but the Astros closed to 8-4 and had the tying run in the on deck circle with one out before an inning-ending double play.
  • Blanco barehanded the flip from Hernandez and gunned out the runner on the play.
  • Franco committed an error early in the game but made a nice play later on a chopper that he barehanded and threw to record the out at first.

It was an exciting ending to what had settled in to be a drab game for seven innings.

Transactions – 

  • Phillies re-signed Edward Mujica to a minor league contract.
  • Lakewood BlueClaws released C Jose Mayorga.
  • DSL Phillies released RHP Joel Cabrera.
  • Jimmy Rollins will be the White Sox opening day, starting shortstop.



19 thoughts on “2016 Spring Training, March 30th

  1. Although this was spring training, yesterday’s game gives me a little hope. They faced a very good pitcher who stifled them for 7 innings. Once they got into the bullpen, they teed off. Against good pitchers, you have to work counts and make them throw pitches. The Phillies chance of beating a pitcher like Keuchel is slim and none but getting into the bullpen can change things. If he goes 8 innings and then a shutdown closer comes in, maybe not so much but knock him out in the 8th and maybe something happens. Phillies pitchers have to keep the team within striking distance. These are some very tough ‘ifs’ but maybe 70 wins isn’t too far fetched. Everyone starts 0-0 and in first place. Just play well… that’s all I can hope for. Hoping the Phils win more games than the full year 76’ers by the end of April. What are the chances of that?

    1. Yeah pretty much who doesn’t Keuchel shut down…

      it’s kind of like back to school for you Jimmy. Get all those fan hacks out of your hair for the summer.

  2. Jim,

    As a relatively new Florida resident — snow birding since 2010 and permanent since 2014 — I fully appreciate you liking the Phillies heading north.

    A couple of years ago, I joked about my Florida driver’s license giving me the right to complain about the snowbirds. Now, I complain about the traffic and crowded restaurants caused by the snowbirds, and am not joking.

    Finally, as a Cape Coral resident, I intend to attend, and maybe report, on the Threshers games in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte. I say intend, not promise, because my observations are pretty amateurish compared to the super knowledgeable people on this board.

    Finally, finally, thanks for all you do on this site. When I moved to Florida, golf and fishing sounded like reasonable future pastimes. I didn’t count on becoming a Phillies farmhand fan, but PhuturePhllies has made that my Florida avocation.

    1. FrankF…….for a Philly based and occasional Sunshine state visitor, though on the eastern side of the state, will appreciate the reports from the Threshers games in Ft Myers/Port Charlotte.
      So how much is Jim going to pay you…or is it strictly commission? 😉

      1. Romus,

        Thanks. Based on quality, I’m preparing to pay Jim for letting me post reports.

  3. Great job all spring man. Alright, let the games begin. Not before this futures showcase though. Gotta give it to the Phils, this is a great idea.

  4. i will be in reading tonight and philly saturday for both futures games. anyone else?

    1. I will be Saturdays game, right by third base. Used the Boy Scouts of America group ticket coupon code illicitly to obtain my two tickets a few months ago

  5. For fun, here are three possible lineups:
    1-Venable – RF
    2-Lough CF
    3-Williams LF
    4-Knapp C
    5-Stassi 1B
    6-Joseph/Perkins DH
    7-Jackson SS
    8-Nina 3B
    9-Featherston 2B

    1-Quinn CF
    2-JP SS
    3-Pullin DH
    4-Hoskins 1B
    5-Brown RF
    6-Cozens LF
    8-Mora 3B
    9-Valentin 2B

    1-Canelo SS
    2-Kingery 2B
    3-Tocci CF
    4-Martin 1B
    5-Walding 3B
    6-Pujols RF
    7-Green DH
    8-Rodriquez LF
    9 Grullon C

    Am I close?? How good is that Reading lineup?

    1. I forgot Sweeney who will probably play 2B and replace one of the utility guys I listed above.

  6. The Phillies twitter account is going to give me free tickets to the game on Saturday if I can prove that I said they should do this a few years ago. I said it on this site (I actually think I was bashed for it by a lot of the commenters haha) so i’m trying to figure out how to find it. Can I find all my posts anywhere?

    1. I can do a search on Eric D, and did. About 600 comments. If you can narrow it down to month/year, article title, or specific phrase maybe I can find it. Maybe.

      1. I would assume it was 2014 but have no clue. Anyways I can get access to my posts without it being a hassle? Not a huge deal if not possible.

  7. Mark Appel post game tweet to Eflin was pretty funny “Hey @zeflin12… you suck, keep the ball down” haha with Eflin tweeting back “@MAppel26 your lucky I didn’t have a bat in my hand against you tonight.” at least they were having fun with it.

  8. tonight’s futures line-up — though thoroughly and rightfully thrashed by the big boys — was so stacked that last year’s eastern league mvp batted 7th: quinn, crawford, williams, hoskins, couzens, alfaro, stassi, walding, kingery.

    for extra credit: which name seems out of place? (sanduskyohio need not reply) …22

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