Box Score Recap – 5/23/2017

Lehigh Valley won behind Nick Pivetta’s strong pitching and Dylan Cozens’ home run.

Reading lost in spite of Andrew Pullin’s 2-RBI night.

Clearwater split a pait of games.

Lakewood walked off for the second night in a row.

Lehigh Valley (30-14) beat Indianapolis, 3-1.

Dylan Cozens put the IronPigs ahead with his fourth inning, 2-run HR (12) and Nick Pivetta pitched seven innings of 1-run ball.

Pivetta allowed 7 hits but walked none and struck out nine.  Hoby Milner (0.00) and Casey Fien (0.00) pitched a scoreless eighth after Pivetta allowed a lead off double.  Pedro Beato (1.61) picked up his 14th save. Combined the relievers struck out 4 in 2.0 innings and retired 6 straight batters.

Lehigh Valley scored 2 runs in the fourth after falling behind in the top of the inning.  Jorge Alfaro was hit by a pitch to lead off and Cozens followed with his blast to right center field. They tacked on an insurance run in the sixth.  Rhys Hoskins drew one of his two walks, stole second, and advanced to third on Nick Williams infield single.  He scored on Taylor Featherston’s sacrifice fly.

  • #1 Crawford (.186): 0-4 with a K
  • #3 Alfaro (.281): 0-2 with a run scored, BB, 2 K, HBP
  • #4 Williams (.258): 1-4 with a SB (4)
  • #6 Quinn (.269): 0-4
  • #9 Cozens (.219): 2-4 with a run scored, HR (12), 2 RBI (34), K
  • #12 Pivetta (4-0, 1.04): 7.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, Balk, 84 pitches, 66 strikes
  • #13 Hoskins (.318): 1-2 with a run scored 2 BB, SB (1)
  • #17 Pinto (3-3, 5.85): DNP
  • #20 Appel (2-2, 6.69): DNP
  • #25 Lively (5-1, 2.79): DNP
  • #30 Valentin (.229): 7-day DL

Reading (23-17) lost to Trenton, 5-2.

Andrew Pullin provided the offense.  He had 2 hits, a solo HR (10), and 2 RBI.  Shane Watson couldn’t get out of the fourth inning.  He lasted 3.1 innings, gave up 4 runs on 5 hits and walked three.  He struck out two.  He threw 66 pitches, 37 strikes.

Newly reassigned Colton Murray (5.40) allowed one of two inherited runners to score and also gave up a run on 3 hits, but struck out 3 in 1.2 innings.  Joe DeNato (1.15) pitched 2.0 shutout innings.  Miguel Nunez (1.53) pitched one.

Not much offense besides Pullin.  In the fourth inning, his tenth HR pulled the Phils within 3-1.  They pulled within 5-2 in the sixth.  Scott Kingery singled with one out.  He was forced out by Malquin Canelo who moved to second on Carlos Tocc’s single.  Canelo scored on Pullin’s line drive double to right field.  Every starter except Kingery struck out at least once.

Tocci picked up an outfield assist (second base).  The Phils turned 3 double plays.

Early in the day, Mario Hollands was released.  The LHP had reached the major league team as a non-roster invitee from the 2014 spring training camp.  He ended the season on the 60-day DL with a flexor strain in his left elbow.  In April of 2015, Hollands returned to the 60-day DL with a left elbow injury.  He had Tommy John surgery and was placed on the 60-day DL at the start of the 2016 season.  In July of 2016, he was DFA-ed and continued his return in Clearwater, Reading, and Lehigh Valley.  He finished the season on Reading’s 7-day DL.  His comeback with the Phillies ended in Reading where he had a record of 1-0 and ERA of 4.15 in 13.0 innings, 10 appearances.  He had issued 12 walks and struck out nine.

  • #11 Kingery (.289): 1-4
  • #18: El. Garcia: Restricted List,  80-Game suspension
  • #22 Anderson (3-1, 5.26): DNP
  • #23: Arano: 7-Day DL
  • #24 Tocci (.310): 1-4 with a K
  • #28 Canelo (.299): 0-4 with a run scored, K
  • Pullin (.338): 2-4 with a run scored, double, HR (10), 2 RBI (31), K
  • Tromp (.254): 0-2 with a BB, K

Clearwater (25-21) lost the suspended game (that they had led 4-0), 10-4 and won the night cap, 3-1.

Game one (susp.):  Wow!  Can’t explain this reversal.  I guess the Phillies thought Cole Irvin could finish the 9-inning game and the bullpen could handle the seven inning game.  If so, the strategy back fired as Irvin had his worst outing of the season.

Irvin (3-5, 3.20) was torched for a 6-run sixth inning.  In 3.0 innings he gave up 8 hits and 3 walks.  Matt Hockenberry (3.27) gave up 4 runs on 4 hits and a walk in the final 2.0 innings.

The offense couldn’t mount a comeback.  Their best opportunity came in the seventh after falling behind in the sixth.  The Threshers got singles from Grenny Cumana and Zack Coppola.  Cornelius Randolph sacrificed the runners to second and third.  Florida responded by walking Damek Tomscha.  The inning ended on a double play.

Coppola had 3 hits.  Randolph, Tomscha, Cumana, and Austin Bossart had two each. Tomscha had 3 RBI, Bossart had one.  Jose Pujols had an outfield assist (at home) that saved Irvin even more damage.

  • # 5 Kilome (2-2, 3.63): 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • #10 Randolph (.201): 2-3 with a run scored, BB, K
  • #29 Pujols (.189): 0-5 with 4 K

Game two: Tyler Gilbert (3.18) came off the DL and gave up one run in 2.0 innings on a solo home run.  Ranfi Casimiro (2-1, 3.81) got the win with 4.0 scoreless innings.  He struck out five.  Luke Leftwich (4.01) earned his fourth save.  He struck out three.

The Threshers only had 5 hits but they made them count.  They started the scoring with Deivi Grullon’s solo HR (4) in the second inning.  Jan Hernandez put the Threshers in fron in the fifth with a lead off, solo HR (8).  In the sixth, Mark Laird led off with a single and stole second.  After his foul pop up was dropped, Damek Tomscha stroked an RBI double to center.  The Threshers’ only other base runners were Laird with a single in the first, Rodriguez with a walk in the second, and Laird again with a walk in the third.  He also stole a base (3).

Jonathan Guzman made his debut at short and struck out 3 times.

  • # 5 Kilome (2-2, 3.63): DNP
  • #10 Randolph (.197): 0-2 with 2 K
  • #27 Ed. Garcia (1-0, 3.92): DNP
  • #29 Pujols (.189): DNP

Lakewood (26-19) beat Greensboro, 3-2 in an 10-inning walk off.

Brett Barbier opened the scoring with a solo HR (1) in the second inning.  Lakewood added another run in the third.  Carlos Duran doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Greensboro forced extra innings and the BlueClaws prevailed in the tenth.  Edgar Cabral led off with a double.  David Martinelli came in to run and scored on Luke Williams sacrifice bunt when the third baseman made an errant throw.

Cord Sandberg recorded an outfield assist (at home) in the first inning.

  • #2 Moniak (.285): 1-4 with a K
  • #7 Sanchez (1-2, 3.70): DNP
  • #16 Medina (1-2, 2.03): DNP
  • #19 Brito (.249): 0-4
  • #26 Romero (2-1, 2.20): 6.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Williamsport (0-0) – first game on Monday, June 19th at State College.

  • #8 Gowdy
  • #15 Stobbe
  • #21 Ortiz

GCL Phillies (0-0) – first game on Monday, June 26th v. Yankees West.

DSL Phillies (0-0) – first game on Saturday, June 3rd.

DSL Phillies2 (0-0) – first game on Saturday, June 3rd.

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

Transactions (and paper moves)

  • 5/23 – Phillies placed LF Daniel Nava on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to May 21, 2017. Left hamstring strain.
  • 5/23 – Phillies recalled LHP Adam Morgan from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 5/23 – RHP Colton Murray assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
  • 5/23 – Reading Fightin Phils released LHP Mario Hollands.
  • 5/23 – Clearwater Threshers activated LHP Tyler Gilbert from the 7-day disabled list.
  • 5/22 – Lakewood BlueClaws released LHP Zach Morris.
  • 5/22 – LHP Casey Brown assigned to Lakewood BlueClaws from Williamsport Crosscutters.
  • 5/21 – SS Jonathan Guzman assigned to Clearwater Threshers from DSL Phillies.
  • 5/21 – SS Emmanuel Marrero assigned to Phillies Ext. Spring Training from Clearwater Threshers.
  • 5/21 – Phillies activated RHP Aaron Nola from the 10-day disabled list.
  • 5/21 – Phillies optioned Adam Morgan to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

61 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 5/23/2017

  1. The battle for OF positions next year in Philly is heating up. Herrera, Altherr, Quinn, Cozens, Williams all in play, with Pullin and Tocci likely at AAA.

  2. Brito seems to be really scuffling the last couple weeks. Started off the season scorching hot, but BA is now at .249. Many hitless games of late.

      1. Gamboa played a full game in XST on Monday. He homered in the game. Once he plays back-to-back complete games, he’ll be on his way back to Lakewood.

        1. Jim…..how would compare skill levels between Brito and Gamboa…..specifically at the plate.

          1. Brito and Gamboa were similarly built and lacked power.

            Brito held his own in the GCL last season. I thought I read that he suffered an injury that didn’t require his being on the DL this year. Something like a jammed thumb. I thought that Lakewood was an aggressive assignment, but expect him to be okay.

            Gamboa was overmatched in Williamsport in 2016 and struggled in the GCL in 2015. He looks bigger this year than I remember. Joe Jordan loved him last year and feels the same about Brito this year. (I trust Joe)

            Defensively, they were both signed as shortstops. Brito has already been moved off to second and Gamboa is still at short. I think that says it all.

            I fully expect them to be the double play combo in Clearwater next season.

    1. Brito was 19 y/o in January. SAL pitchers have found a little weakness and Brito will need to adjust. I pointed this out early in the season. He is good enough to stay where he is and Gamboa coming back won’t impact his spot on the team. Patience friends… patience.

  3. Bossart started the season very slowly. He hit .167/.200/.292 in April but May’s been a very strong month for him. He’s hitting .409/.480/.636 with a 1.116 OPS. If there’s a definition of on-fire in the dictionary, it would have Austin’s picture next to it. He is having a little trouble with left handed pitching, hitting only .200 against them. He’s been mashing right handed pitchers. He has half as many ABs against lefties than righties. I guess he just needs more ABs against lefties.

    1. Bossart is one of 2 catchers whose season I am particularly interested in. I have him as my sleeper pick. He could figure in the 2019 picture as a fine backup backstop. The other is Rafael Marchan who’s still quite a ways off. His ceiling could be much higher.

      1. I think Bossart has the highest floor of any catcher in the entire system. More ABs would definitely help.

  4. Two blowouts at home vs COL. Yet, I see some silver linings…

    1) Nola! Very impressive start. If he’s healthy and picks up now where he left off after May’16, we’ll be excited to have him our #2 entering 2018. (I predicted the morning before he started that he’d lead the staff the rest of the way.)
    2) Altherr! Two multi-hit games continue to show he is for real. He was strong at end of ’15 and shouldn’t have hurried back from injury in ’16. 20 of his 33 hits in ’15 were XBH, and 19 of his 36 are XBH in ’17. The kid can hit, …and field, ….and run the bases well. 🙂
    3) Neris! Struck out the side in his 1 ip last night.

    Big start for Jeremy tonight. Need to see he’s healthy and can keep pitching well. His stock is decent and still has time to rise for a good June/July trade return.

    …And I can’t help but say something again about Pivetta! He got his cup of coffee and went right back to dominating AAA. Give him another month or two uninterrupted at AAA, bring him up when you trade HellBoy in July, and let him start rest of season. I believe he can be a fixture #3/4 SP entering ’18.

    1. I agree about Pivetta. I know he had his ups and downs in MLB but I saw some solid signs in his starts. He has good velo and has greatly improved his control. Not saying he is a future ace, but I could see a 3/4 as JohnK said. Also pleased to see Kilome have a strong 3 IP before the rain came the other day. His last couple of starts got me a little worried.

        1. Yes, he does. Why does he not already have a 3rd pitch or, if he has it, why aren’t the catchers calling it – if only to change things up. This echoes my comments about McClure creating pitchers who only throw fastballs and curveballs – not a fan of that approach.

            1. Yeah, I suppose he must – but he’s got to work on it. In my view, a pitcher who throws very different 2 and 4 seam fastballs has two pitches right there.

          1. I agree like with No!a in college he had a vg change . Last season he barely used it. Mk gave McClure the kiss of death he backed him up. Where have you gone Johnny Pardes.

        2. I saw Pivetta throw a couple of times in Reading last year and saw the same issue there. He flashed decent off-speed stuff but was very inconsistent with it. He would follow up a great curve-ball/slider with a hanging change-up.

          In AA, he was able to get away with that for the most part but that won’t work in the bigs.

  5. Saw Phillies release Hollands. I thought at one time he was going to be a pretty good lefthand relief pitcher for us. The injury must have been worst than we thought.

  6. I see JP is back taking the collar the last few nights after one warm week. I will reserve my outlooks for these guys until July 1st. But no one is knocking the door down outside of Hoskins to get promoted on the offensive side. I will be glad to see Alfaro on the big club later this summer. I tend to think that the big league staff is going to see changes come around them first with the removal of McClure (Klentak needs to put some big boy pants on and make big boy moves/changes) and the removal of Cameron Rupp taking the majority of reps from behind the dish.

    1. You can’t blame the pitching coach for the poor performance of the pitching staff. It is the pitchers themselves with the ball in their hands making poor pitches. In the games I watch it is the pitchers not throwing the ball to the location that they want. The talent of the pitchers is mediocre at best. When you throw the ball to the location that is desired (like Nola did the other night) you get batters out. When you consistently miss your target, MLB batters do not miss it. Eflin left balls up and they were hit out. I can’t blame the Pitching Coach for that.

      1. My biggest issue with Bob McClure is that he looks like Colonel Sanders but talks on the radio with a California accent that makes him sound like a 22 year old surfer dude – which is very odd!

      2. Seriously, you can’t blame Bob McClure for a pitcher’s lack of talent or inability to hit his spots.

        What you can blame a pitching coach for is not giving the pitcher all the tools he needs to succeed – and much of that is behind the scenes and is very hard to assess. However, you can get little glimpses of what is going on by how the pitchers conduct themselves and what they do on the mound – just like you can get glimpses of what a hitting coach is doing by watching the approach of the batters he coaches.

        My issue with Bob McClure is that, under his direction it seems to me like the Phillies’ pitchers – especially starters – have become 2-pitch pitchers. Fastballs and curveballs – lather, rinse, repeat. His pitchers really don’t throw a cutter – which, with the right pitcher can be a superb pitch. Ever. And they don’t throw a ton of sliders either (at least decent ones). Hector throws a splitter, but it seems he’s the only one. Rich Dubee, while he was a really cantankerous fellow, always seemed to be working on getting his starters to have 3 to 4 working pitches. I don’t see that anymore and I sure as heck don’t like pitchers to overly rely on the curve. Major league hitters kill a curve when they know it’s coming, just as Charlie Blackmon did last night. So, yeah, I’m not sold on McClure’s leadership right now.

        1. For a team slow in developing pitching, desperate times call for energetic measures. In looking at who is around and available, there are lefties Jon Niese and Ross Detwiler, who has started and come out of the pen. And there is righty Henderson Alvarez. Accepting that Pivetta could earn a re-call in the coming months, there are no lefties waiting in the wings who would be blocked. I can’t see a justification for no moves so long as the Phils collect money for game tickets.

        2. Take a look at what you just said. Of course you don’t blame a coach for talent levels or missing spots and I never made mention of that. Dig up Bob McClure’s track record as a pitching coach and the numbers they put up. Flat out unbearable. You don’t remove him as a scapegoat, you remove him because he simply is not good enough and the fact that you cannot have these growing arms under his tutorial guidance. Period. Look no farther than Carlos Arroyo or maybe even call up a guy like Jamie Moyer or Doc to give it a whirl for the rest of the year.

          Mackanin is what he is and loved by the front office, but a former catcher as manager usually works out pretty well. Knowledgeable, tough, understands pitching staffs and pitch sequences almost like another pitching coach. Dusty Wathan, Pat Borders both in the organization and familiar with the up and coming prospects.

          1. I did read my post. I wasn’t suggesting that you were making that argument (sorry if it came across that way) – just noting what a pitching coach can and cannot be blamed for. We actually agree that McClure doesn’t appear to be doing a very good job.

          2. Klentak has already said (and recently) that McClure is the man for the job, saying that he’s great with young pitchers and focusing on the long term. Said that McClure was a big part of the royals pitching staffs that have been so successful in their recent play off runs.

            1. I realize that Klentak said this and not you, but it seems odd to give McClure credit for the Royals staff. Almost all of the guys who were a part of their postseason run weren’t there when McClure was. He was fired after 2011 and the staff really improved starting in 2013.

        3. There seems to be an organizational philosophy that leads to guys pitching to contact. Emphasizing 2seamers and ground balls; which is great, don’t get me wrong but I think they should be preaching about how to put guys away. It seems like every guy that’s come up (after Nola) had struggled with putting guys away when they get to two strikes.

          1. Pitching to contact is a losing philosophy with most pitchers and always has been. The best pitchers generally do not pitch to contact.

            1. “Pitching to contact is a losing philosophy”
              In reality, unless you are RHP with high velo, better than average secondaries, and adequate command in the high 90s…then you better utilize the 2Smr for higher GB%.
              The reason why the best pitchers do not use it….they also share the fact they have the high velo for swing and miss capability.
              Pitching to contact did not seriously alter Greg Maddux or present-day Dallas Keuchels or Cub’s Hendricks’ successes.
              Some pitchers will just have to use that as part of the repertoire since they were not bless with electric velo arms

            2. Perhaps a better way to think about this is to discuss strikeout rates. I realize that generating weak contact can be a way to succeed, but usually, you want to see somewhat higher strikeout rates. When you’re striking people out, it means contact on those outs is non-existent. Strikeouts aren’t everything, but they are an important part of the puzzle.

            3. Absolutely agree.

              It’s why you see organizations like the Minnesota Twins struggle to develop starting pitching. Guys who stay at the Major League level have the ability to miss bats when they need to.

            4. Upwards of 80% of all pitches the batters makes contact……be it a foul ball or ball in play.
              So for a low velo guy….less than lets say 95/96 for a RHP and 93/94 for a LHP…they will have to survive with pitches down in the zone BUT have to be hittable..so the sinker/2Smr is the best pitch to utilize to accomplish that end.
              Breaking balls have lesser percentage of being in the lower end of the strike zone, and end up balls or if a pitcher is lucky the hitter swings and misses, so normally the P2C guys go for the 2Msr.
              The Cardinal organization stressed the P2C philosphy a lot .especially when Chris Carpenter was their number one guy. Dave Duncan convinced Tont LaRusso to let him use it with his staff…just the starters however.
              Now one-inning relievers….forget about it….they better come in with swing and miss stuff.

            5. Pitching to contact isn’t a losing philosophy assuming that the idea of pitching to contact doesn’t mean throwing 90 mph fastballs down the middle.

              the idea of pitching to contact is to throw quality strikes and not waste pitches trying to set every batter up for a strikeout. For the years the Braves had Maddox, Glavine, Smoltz, etc. Leo Mazzone preached the idea of throwing strikes with fastballs on the outside corner.

              Years ago I attended a coaching clinic where he was the speaker and that was his main message. Teach young pitchers how to command the fastball down and away before worrying about any other pitches..

    2. Unless he starts drawing a lot of walks, I don’t want to see Jorge Alfaro in Philadelphia this summer. What I really want to see is Cameron Rupp moved and Andy Knapp get more reps as the starter. I am not at all convinced that, for all of his tools (which are legit) Jorge Alfaro will end up being a better starting catcher than Andy Knapp, who has a nice hit tool, growing plate discipline, and plenty enough power. The Phillies better be cautious on this one and better scout their players well – the popular narrative (here, that Alfaro WILL be the catcher of the future) doesn’t always produce the right answer.

      1. It looks like the coaching staff wants to see how Knapp calls a game over Rupp. They seem extremely frustrated with him during this stretch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get more starts here.

      2. The thing I don’t like about Knapp is his less than stellar arm, which is one of the main things I want in catcher to shut down the other teams run and even help keep them honest at first base with snap throws, knapp with all his tools will just never have that.

    3. I don’t want Alfaro up until September. No reason to. I’d rather see Knapp get playing time.

      We cannot send him back down to AAA. Let him learn everything he can now so he can be prepared for next year.

    4. I agree that there should be an upgrade in pitching coach in the near future. However, some of the struggles and blame for pitching performance rest on the large shoulders of Rupp. Some of the pitch selection calls he makes, especially in crucial times during an at bat,leave me scratching my head. Too often he asks a pitcher to abandon his best pitch and apparently tries to out smart or trick a batter. I don’t see the pitchers, perhaps because they are generally inexperienced, shake him off. Rupp needs to do a better job of calling a game.

      I’m not trying to parrot what the manager said a few days ago. I just happen to agree with his observation. Btw, he should never have called Rupp out in public. This kind of stuff needs to be dealt with internally.

      1. I’m long past weary of the coaching ol’ boy network. McClure strikes me as just that. It’s a young man’s game now. That goes for coaches and managers. It’s not that they have forgotten all they known by experience. It’s their mentality steeped in the ’80s culture that doesn’t translate with the ADD of today. The one thing I took away from Money Ball was how Billy Bean challenged that stale mentality. Even older baseball people need to be of a mind that there is something for them to learn just like the next generation. Otherwise they become extinct.

  7. Catch..Great post on Alfaro versus Knapp!! Why wouldn’t the manger play Knapp twice as much as he currently is?

    1. Looks like he is ready for a promotion. I would expect him to be the first one from that staff to take the next step. Timing? Soon, I hope. But they may wait until after the draft and short season begins before moving guys up or out.

  8. Most of the comments here belong in the Open Discussion reserved for Phillies talk. Please pay attention to where you are posting your comments.

    1. Just to clarify to jimpeyton19: though my comments concerned the Phils, they suggest a series of moves from the minors to the major league team as well as a move from Reading to Lehigh. Your decision to remove it after already being posted seems excessively subjective, particularly the words “Please pay attention to where you are posting…”, as if there were clear and objective guidelines in this regard and my posting was clearly erroneous. My comments focused on a series of minor league moves that, if implemented (which they certainly will not be) would have an enormous impact on both Reading and Lehigh. In other words, I would think that either or both threads would be just fine.

      1. I read your post Morgana and thought there was enough prospect talk in the post to be relevant here.

        But Jimmy’s the boss and I think we all have to respect that…

  9. Anybody know about the Clearwater players on the DL? Sutter McLoughlin, Derek Campbell and Zach Green have been on the 7 day all season, and no mention of Tommy Bergjans.

  10. Interesting to see Colton Murray sent to Reading while Adam Morgan was called up again. That leaves Lehigh Valley with six starters and only six relievers. Maybe tonight is Mark Appel’s last start (he was in trouble already in the 1st inning). I’m probably reading too much into it but it certainly would be an opportune time to make the move.

  11. Here’s another link for every body to check out. Big changes to Bowman Field in Williamsport for this season. http://wnep.com/2017/04/03/crosscutters-baseball-field-gets-upgrade-thanks-to-mlb/ They completely removed the oldest bit of the stadium, the box seat section, put in by the Detroit Tigers in 1947. Built new dugouts into an all new “field reserved” section. Replaced all the bleacher seats with individual numbered seats. Built a new right field premium seating deck. Replaced the field, adding an irrigation system and a new outfield fence, moving the diamond outward a bit. Can’t wait to see it.

    1. Tim, I know they’ve been doing that – paper moves. Not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about three guys on the DL, wondering what their status may be. Also one, Bergjans who hasn’t been moved at all. He is apparently in limbo (aka extended spring training).

  12. Mark Appel – from pick 1.1 to out of baseball in under 5 years. Is that going to be some sort of record?

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