The Phillies played their last Grapefruit League yesterday. It was notable since Jake Arrieta was scheduled to start. As a Threshers’ season ticket holder, I got a free ticket to the game. So, with tickets furnished by a friend, I took my grand kids to the game.
This is not an “I told you so” report. It is early. And some things are correctable. But, I was not impressed with Arrieta’s readiness. Whatever he did alone while waiting to sign has not prepared him for spring training.
Arrieta threw as many pitches at 93 (one) as he threw at 90 mph. His FB sat 91-92, mostly 92 mph. Analytics has shown that he has lost three miles of velocity since his Cy Young season in 2015. Spectrum Field has long been considered to have a “hot” radar gun. I now question earlier reports that he was 93-95 in his last outing. However, if he can maintain 92, that might be sufficient.
Arrieta started off throwing nothing but fastballs, as far as I could tell. He didn’t throw a breaking pitch until after Kapler visited him. Then he threw successive 79 mph CB to retire the third out in the first inning. Another analytics report showed that He relies too much on his now slower fastball. Maybe the plan was to just throw FB. Maybe he shook off Alfaro’s calls foe another pitch. Regardless, this is correctable.
Arrieta was hit pretty hard. Hard to say the way the wind gusted, but the HR probably wasn’t wind-aided. The double to LCF was scorched though.
Arrieta committed a balk and a throwing error to first on a pick off attempt. I don’t know that PFPs would have helped, but the large number of reps the Phillies ran tis spring couldn’t have hurt. He did make a nice barehand play on a ball to the third base side of the mound and a strong throw to first.
All in all, a mixed bag of results. I was probably most surprised by his FB velocity. I shouldn’t have been with his recent trend, and I shouldn’t have bought into the earlier rosy report.
Before the game, Joe Jordan presented a few awards –
- Bill Giles Award — Adam Haseley
- Larry Rojas Award — Simon Muzziotti
- John Vukovich Award — Rafael DeLima
By mid-game, Kapler had emptied the bench. Roster players had been replaced by players from the minor league camp. Other game highlights included –
- Herrera out trying to stretch a single to RF
- Altherr crushed a HR to LF
- Gomez beat out a double play ball to drive in a run and keep a rally going
- Coppola hit a game-tying 2-run single
- Florimon made a great play and throw from third base moving to his right
- Coppola turned a walk and SB into a run when
- Muzziotti laced a go ahead RBI single for the Phils first and only lead
- Marchan singled in a PH appearance
#Phly Phillies Phly