The Saint Patrick’s Day Game. Always a big draw at Spectrum Field. I arrived at the Complex at 8:45 AM in anticipation of a late change regarding Jake Arrieta. His scheduled appearance in a minor league game was moved to an earlier simulated game. No telling what time that would be held.
There was a slightly larger than normal crowd, augmented by a large contingent of Yankees’ fans. Yankees’ prospect Gleyber Torres would be in the AAA game so the autograph hunters were out in force.
With the games starting at noon, workouts, drills, and BP started a little earlier. PFPs were the same as yesterday, and they soon started BP for Groups One and Two. The Phillies came out for their BP on Ashburn and Groups Three and Four started loading the bus for the ride to Tampa.
Among the people milling around the Complex were a large group of young women who were in town to visit a pitcher on the bus. They are fans of Phuture Phillies and while we talked, the player’s team mates waved to the women to the embarrassment of the pitcher I’m sure.
There was also a group of players up from the Dominican Academy visiting the facility.
After BP, word spread that Jake Arrieta would come out at 11:00 AM to throw his sim game. Soon, there was a crowd at the mounds between Ashburn and Schmidt as the free agent pitcher made his way over to throw some warm up pitches. When he was ready he made his way to the mound to face Scott Kingery, Andrew Pullin, Jorge Alfaro, and Logan Moore.
After a half dozen warm ups off the Ashburn Field mound, Arrieta began. He faced all four batters and threw 17 pitches in his first “inning”. After a break between “innings”, Arrieta faced five batters (Kingery twice) in the second “inning”, throwing another 14 pitches. Afterwards, he thanked his catcher, Andrew Knapp, and the batters. Then spoke with the coaches who had gathered before heading back to the club house.
If you take the time to watch, notice Scott Kingery flinch at one of Arrieta’s curve balls.
I have video of the entire session, broken into two pieces.
Ricardo Pinto, Pat Neshek, and Seranthony Dominguez pitched the first four innings for Group One. They went on to win.
Harold Neris pitched to the first batter in the Group Two game. He retired the first batter and was done after four pitches. Adam Morgan pitched the next 1.2 innings, striking out four. Edgar Garcia pitched two clean innings with at least one strike out.
Mickey Moniak reached base once in the three at bats I saw. He hit aball up the middle that the second baseman threw wide to first. I scored it E4t. My friends told me it was a harsh scoring decision. They persisted. They were serious. I stand by my decision.
Moniak stole second and moved over to third on a bloop single to right by Jose Gomez. What transpired next is something I’ve heard about. I didn’t know if it really existed, but I swear I witnessed the following. Gomez broke for second on an 0-1 pitch to Adam Haseley (a high pitch that was unbelievably called a strike). The catcher rose to catch the ball and threw to second. Moniak broke for the plate and beat the late throw from the shortstop. This is called a double steal. I saw this happen today. By a Phillies’ team.
- Gomez went 2-3 in the at bats I saw. He drive a triple to left center field in an earlier at bat.
- Haseley also went 2-3 with an RBI single and an RBI double.
- Edgar Cabral added a double and a walk.
- Group Two ultimately lost when the Yankees score in the late innings.
Yacksel Rios was optioned to Lehigh Valley, 47 players remain in camp.
I sat on the following for about a week. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but I’ve noticed something that causes me some concern. Although he is taking part in workouts, drills, and long toss, Sixto Sanchez has not thrown a pitch in an intrasquad game nor in a spring training game. There is no one I can ask about this. If they don’t give out work groups, I wouldn’t expect an answer on this topic.
Group assignments will not be available. I have gathered what information I could to come up with the following –
- Group 1 – (AAA, Lehigh Valley)
Catchers – Bossart, Grullon, Rickles
Infielders – Martin, J. Meneses, H. Meneses , Tomscha, Canelo, Green, Alvarez, Stankiewicz, Marrero
Outfield – Sandberg, Tromp, Coppola, Cozens
Pitchers – Anderson, Berry, Irvin, Pinto, Dominguez, DeNato, Taveras, Casimiro, Davis, Frazier, Rivero, Tols, Viza, Watson, Windle, Liebrandt, Rios
- Group 2 – (AA, Reading)
Catchers – Cabral, Fitch, Lartigue
Infielders – Gamboa, Gomez, Brito, Hall, Listi, Rivas, Williams, W. Garcia
Outfielders – Haseley, Pujols, Moniak, Randolph, Hernandez
Pitchers – Kilome, Ed. Garcia, De Los Santos, Romero, Waguespack, Arauz, Bergjans, Bettencourt, Aa. Brown, Etsell, El. Garcia, Gilbert, Hammer, Leftwich, McGarry, Mills, Quinn, Russ, Suarez, Tirado, Cleavinger, Singer
- Group 3 – (A+, Clearwater)
Catchers – Duran, Martinez, Rivero
Infielders – Guthrie, Nieporte, Maton, Antequerra, Cumana, Pickett, Scheiner, Buhner
Outfielders – Muzziotti, Ortiz, Martinelli, Alastre, Gurrola
Pitchers – C. Brown, Seabold, Llovera, Paulino, Kelzer, Hernandez, Hennigan, Armas, Cabrera, Falter, Fanti, Hallead, Hibbs, Howard, Medina, Requena, Sanchez, Warren
- Group 4 – (A, Lakewood)
Catchers – Marchan, L. Rodriguez
Infielders – Mayer, Azauje, Gonzalez, Mims, Guzman, Stobbe, Henriquez, O’ Brien, Zoellner, Encarnacion
Outfielders – Matos, Markham, Stephen
Pitchers – Young, Alcantara, Jones, An.Brown, J. Escorcia, Rosso, Brogdon, Marcelino, Mezquita, Carrasco, Caravajal, Dohy, J. Garcia, Melendez, Nunez, Parkinson, Ramirez, Rosario, Stewart
- Group 5 – (XST, Rookie)
Catchers – Aparicio, Gutierrez,
Infielders – Luis Garcia, Holmes, Rodriguez, Rojas, Stewart, Torres
Outfielders – Bocio, De La Cruz, Pelletier
Pitchers – Aponte, Brown, Cummings, A. Garcia, Kuznetsov, Miller, Puello, Vargas, Sobil, Jimenez, Silva, Betancourt, Santos, Morales, Conopoima, R. Martinez, D. Martinez, Lindow, Santa cruz
These four guys are on rehab – Mario Sanchez, Grant Dyer, Sutter McLoughlin, and Kevin Gowdy.
Keep in mind that these groups mean very little. There are 47 guys in the major league camp. There will have to be 22 transactions to get down to a 25-man roster. Some guys may have opt outs if they aren’t on the 25 by a certain date. Some may get released. Some may go to one of the two DLs.
One thing that will definitely happen is that some guys will be reassigned or optioned to the minors. When this happens, a domino effect will bump players to lower levels, and populate Group Five for XST. You can bank on it.
#Phly Phillies Phly