Spring Training 2019 (March 21st)

Thursday, the Phillies stomped the Braves in two minor league games at the Complex.  Mike Micucci’s Group Three team won 8-1, I think.  Pat Borders’ Group Four team shut out the Braves, 3-0.

The opening battery for Group three was Hector Neris and Rob Brantly.  So, even though Jake Holmes (LF), Jonathan Guzman (SS), and Luis Garcia (2B) were in the line up, I ambled over to Ashnurn Field to watch Victor Santos pitch to Logan O’Hoppe.

Santos pitched well in his three innings.  He retired the side in order in the first inning.  The lead off batter in the second inning topped a ball toward third.  An errant and unwise throw gave the batter second base on the single and error.  A ground out to short kept the runner on second.  Corbin Williams made a diving catch coming in on a sinking line drive for the second out.  The runner was unable to move up again.  He was finally retired on an interference call when he ran over our third baseman on a ground ball to third.  Santos got two quick outs in the third before giving up a triple.  A ground ball to short ended the inning.

Santos went 3.0 innings, allowed 2 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, and struck out two.  His fastball sat 91-93 mph.

Jhordany Mezquita pitched the middle three innings.  He retired the Braves in order in the fourth and sixth innings.  In the fifth inning he gave up a hustle double with one out.  The runner stole third and the next batter walked.  Mezquita struck out the final two batters.

Mezquita went 3.0 innings, allowed one hit, 0 runs, 1 walk, and struck out four.  His fastball sat 92-94 mph.

Three relievers mopped up after that.  Mark Potter induced two fly balls and got the third out in the seventh inning on a rising fastball.  Ethan Evanko got a ground ball to short then two strike outs to end the eighth inning.  Tyler Carr opened the ninth inning with a strike out, induced a come backer to the mound, and a game ending ground out to second.

The final 14 Braves’ batters were retired in order.

The Phillies’ offensive damage was all accomplished in the second inning.  Carlos De La Cruz led off with a line drive single to left.  Jose Mercado sacrificed him to second and reached base himself when the pitcher’s throw pulled the fielder off first base.  Logan O’Hoppe brought both runners home with a double down the left field line.

The Phillies were kept off the board until the bottom of the ninth when Corbin Williams walked with one out and scored on Yerwin Trejo’s triple to the right center field gap.  Yes, we play the bottom of the ninth when leading if the visitors want to get a pitcher some work.  Spring training baseball.

There wasn’t a whole lot of other action.  Both teams pitched well.  Our pitchers gave up just 3 hits and a walk.  Our batters collected six hits, 2 walks, and a hit batter.  In addition to those mentioned above, Trejo beat out an infield single in the first, Litton walked in the fifth, Williams was it by a pitch in the sixth, Mitchell Edwards lined a single to center in the seventh, O’Hoppe singled to center in the eighth.

Other items of note –

  • D.J. Stewart was removed from the game after his collision with a Braves’ runner in the second inning.  The runner was ruled out on interference.  Stewart remained on the ground for a few seconds, then got up and jogged between the bases.  The play was the last out of the inning, and he did not return to the field.  His position was taken by Curtis Mead.  I saw Stewart walking around smiling.  I believe he was removed as a precaution.
  • Juan Aparicio entered the game as a replacement for Connor Litton at first base.  Aparicio was a Post Season All Star in the GCL last season …  as a catcher.
  • We could hear the roar from Spectrum Field when Harper hit his first inning HR.
  • I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but Jose Pujols is on crutches.  He is bandaged from below his left knee to his toes.  It is not a cast or soft cast.  Just an ace bandage with gauze showing through around his ankle.  He says he’s okay, that it is a little injury, and that he will be back soon.  Hope so.
  • Jose Jimenez had what appeared to be knee surgery back in January.  He’s off crutches and his bandages have been reduced to an ace bandage around the knee.
  • In case you missed the assignments in the Group Three game, that was Luis Garcia at second base, Jonathan Guzman at shortstop, and Jake Holmes in left field.  Adam Morgan followed Neris.
  • It’s really cool to see the coaches talking to the players between innings. After the game, I saw Coach Hector Berrios instructing Ben Brown in the bullpen between Ashburn and Schmidt Fields.  It appeared he was working on release point with respect to shoulders and hips.  Berrios can sometimes find a couple more mph of velocity for a pitcher’s fastball.  We’ll see.

Roster movement.

Yesterday, the Phillies released LHPs Edward Paredes and Jeremy Bleich, INFs Trevor Plouffe and Gregorio Petit, and optioned RHP Drew Anderson and LHP James Pazos to Lehigh Valley.

Today, the Phillies optioned OF Dylan Cozens to Lehigh Valley, and reassigned OF Adam Haseley to minor-league camp.  They informed OFs Shane Robinson and Lane Adams, and INFs Phil Gosselin, Gift Ngoepe, and Matt McBride that they will be reassigned to the minors on Tuesday.

After today’s game, the Phillies granted C Drew Butera and INF Andrew Romine their unconditional release.

That leaves 34 players in the major league camp – eighteen 40-man roster pitchers plus NRI Josh Martin, two 40-man roster catchers plus NRI Rob Brantly, five 40-man roster infielders plus NRI Sean Rodriguez, and six 40-man roster outfielders.

There are 184 players in the minor league camp (189 Tuesday if no more releases occur) – 105 pitchers, 19 catchers, 37 (40) infielders, and 23 (25) outfielders.

Well, that’s all until tomorrow.


30 thoughts on “Spring Training 2019 (March 21st)

  1. For a guy who was touted as a defense-first catcher, Logan O’Hoppe sure seems to come up with knocks whenever I read a recap of a game in which he played. It would be amazing to see the Phils hit on a late-round pick like this.

    Jim, has there been any indication of where Luis Garcia will play this year? (pleasesaylakewoodpleasesaylakewood…)

  2. If we look at our top 30, we completed recently and look at their ages, our under 22 team looks pretty good. Garcia is 18 and would probably be #1 on most people’s lists. Moniak is #2. Ortiz, Morales and Marchan are 3 – 5. Gowdy, Muzziotti, Young, Gamboa and O’Hoppe round out the top 10. Randolph, Pipkin, Duran and Pelletier are the remaining guys in our top 30 who are 21 and younger. We all know, in this age group, there are going to flame outs, smoke and mirrors and injury implosions but it’s nice to see 14 our top 30 are pretty darn young. Starlyn Castillo is a guy I’m hearing a little more about. He could make the top 30 next year and he’s already on some guys top 30.

    1. Brantley and McBride just took his spot. Oh well. Lots more to come.
      Jim – it’s good to get a report on Pujols, especially when it doesn’t sound like he’s hurt too bad.
      Garcia at 2nd is interesting. I can see them playing him and Gonzalez at Lakewood but Guzman is trying to start there also. It’s also great to see Holmes playing LF and 1B this week. He plays a great 3B but Stobbe will already be at Lakewood at 3B. Too much talent is a good problem.

      1. I don’t know about Pujols. He was vague. I heard that he had surgery. Today I heard that it might have been ACL, but the bandaging was lower. I’ve heard that he may be lost for the season. Who knows. They protect minor league injury information like it was national security.

  3. @JimP – do you know what’s the Phillies plan on Yerwin Trejo? He’s 22 yo but still in the Rookie ball despite of good numbers – ability to hit and get on base with potential plus speed.

      1. Richardson’s here. He said he might get to pitch in the Oakmont CC game this past Monday. He was getting his work in the bullpen when the game ended.

          1. Hope his velo picks up a few ticks later this summer.
            Assume it will as he gets stronger.

            1. I had a different take. I was impressed by his velo. He is just getting back after 2 years off. I am sure that he will add some more.

            2. Thanks for this video, plus the Howard&Morales footage. Appreciate it.
              For Gowdy, You gotta be pleased enough. Big step for him. Hitting 90, is a nice high watermark for now. I’ll be following him closely. At the mid season mark, that’s is where I hope we start to see enough separation from the TJ surgery & his potential. Before then a couple glimpses would be nice. In the small sample video, his curve looked a little wild, but I’m sure he is regaining feel, etc. Finger crossed, If he can beat the odds, it will boost the contention window, by trade chip or SP.

    1. Trejo’s here and playing LF in games for group four. I like Corbin Williams, a similar type with speed and defensive skills. Williams has been leading off and playing CF in group four. Trejo has been batting second. Williamsport’s Pat Borders is their manager.

      1. Williams is a guy I like a lot. He’s got great bat control, can really run and plays a nice CF too.

  4. Being my 4th ST. It’s apparent ST philosophy is still ? Early arrivals are getting more playing or showcase time, minor league players arriving on report date seem to be forgotten. Not enough innings. Early reports and Draft Status or $$ players innings plentiful, display of “This is A Bisness, support minor league affiliates No# 1 priority not development”
    Guess I believe in fair competition, not apparent visibly

    1. Are you a relative of a pitcher who you feel is getting squeezed out? Results and projection typically drive these decisions in my experience, not who showed up first.

    2. ST is really for the preparation of the MLB team – so unless a player or prospect is near MLB ready, ST appearance is just a cameo. Some FO use ST performance in decision making, but for the Phillies who has a tight 40-man roster – options and actual MLB experience possibly factor in the decision making process,

      XST, the minor league season and Fall Instructs is where the minor league prospects/player get their development.

    3. For the most part, minor league assignments for prospects were determined after last season in a meeting in Clearwater during Instructs. Those assignments were decided on how players performed during the season.

      Being a great “practice” player is no way to gauge how a player will perform in season.

      So, there is “fair competition”, it just includes more than a few weeks in the spring.

    1. I started with the catchers. This one was tough. So I stayed on catchers. LKW ended the year with Duran, Fitch and Rivero. Duran has to move up. Fitch should also move up because he’s already 23 and he can’t be blocking the good catchers coming up. Rivero could be gone or be a guy who moves around to fill in for short stretches. Of the guys left on the Williamsport roster at the end of the season, Marchan has t move up. Wilkening should get at least one more look so he should go to LKW. Nerluis Martinez should not be blocking anyone. He might be like Rivero or gone. GCL East has Aparicio, Conley, Edwards and Orepeza. A double jump for anyone on this list except Conley doesn’t make much sense. Conley is older and showed he’s far exceeded GCL standards. He could go to Wmsprt but the Phils have to see what they have in him so LKW would not be out of the question. The GCL West roster had O’Hoppe, Gutierrez, Mendez and Matera. Mendez needs to play state-side since he was out all last year. He’s be in the GCL next year. Matera shouldn’t hold anyone up and could be released before the season. O’Hoppe is very very young and he’ll need playing time. With the other catchers who I’ve mentioned above, I’m not sure he’ll get a lot of playing time. they could start him in LKW and then move him back to Wmsprt but I think he should stay in XST and ge a lot of work in there. Gutierrez could be the same as O’Hoppe. He has skills but he deserves to play as much as he can. I think XST and then Wmsprt for him too.

      So Marchan, Wilkening and Conley would make some sense. I didn’t even want to look at CLW to see who could fall back. I’m assuming it’s move along time for anyone who they might think about moving back. So you see how the rest of the roster might go. Catcher is one of the Phils biggest bright spots.

    2. You’re looking at Stokes, Gonzalez, Garcia, and Stobbe in the infield with Holmes fighting for a spot here. There will probably be another 1B too. Maybe Litton. Marchan will catch. The OF will include Aklinski, Matos, and maybe Ortiz again. I’m sure there are other OFs I’m missing.

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