Sunday, the groups at the Complex engaged in two intersquad games. As I am wont to do, I opted to watch the game between the two single-A squads. One team was managed by Lakewood’s Mike Micucci the other by Williamsport’s Pat Borders. My game selection rewarded me with a pitching match up between Kyle Young and Ethan Lindow. Each starter went 4.0 innings.
An interesting aspect of the game was that each inning started with a runner or runners on base and a AA pitcher attempting to move them with a sacrifice bunt. During the middle innings, the pitcher attempted a pick off throw to second. The first two times this happened, the runners were picked off. I was astounded. The moves weren’t that great. I asked the pitchers I was standing among if the moves were that good. Turns out, the pitchers were practicing their move and the runner was supposed to get picked off so the fielders would be forced to practice their rundown. Whew.
Alejandro Requena bunted against Ethan Lindow and struck out his first 3 times. He finally got one in fair territory during his fifth at bat. The ball rolled under the glove of the charging first baseman and the pitcher scooped the ball to throw to first. However, the second baseman didn’t make it to the bag. He was jogging with his arm hanging limply from his torso. A few, “Oh shits” were uttered among the pitchers I stand behind as the identity of the second baseman became known. Luis Garcia. The trainer flew out of the third base dugout to examine Garcia. He walked it off and remained in the game. One of the pitchers saw Garcia collide with the base runner. Probably just a stinger as he finished the game.
David Parkinson bunted against Kyle Young. He was successful on 4 of 5 attempts (I think, could have been all five). On one attempt, he busted down the line and beat the throw for a hit. His placement was very good, making the first baseman field most of his attempts on the base line dirt. The most notable thing here is that Parkinson was taking part at all. Pitchers don’t bat in the Florida State League. So, it appears that even though the Phillies haven’t announced their assignments, Parkinson seems to be headed to Reading.
Whatever the result of the bunt plays, the batter and runners left the field and the pitchers started the inning from scratch.
Young gave up one run on 2 hits, walked none, and struck out three. Danny Mayer led off the second with a double to the left center field gap off a fastball. He scored on a two-out, line drive single to right by Luke Miller. His FB was 85-88, t 89-90. His SL was 74-76.
Lindow gave up zero runs on zero hits, walked none, and struck out four. The only base runner he allowed reached second on a throwing error by the catcher on a ball topped in front of the plate. The runner advanced to third with one out on a passed ball. But, he was erased on an ill-advised attempt to score on a fly out to shallow, center field (Simon Muzziotti, I think). They move players around freely, but usually leave CF alone.).
Lindow’s FB was 87-88. His change up was 79-80. I’m pretty sure he threw a CB in the low 70s. And he threw a few pitches at 84-85 with some movement. Cutter?
James McArthur and Carlos Francisco came on afterwards. McArthur went 4.0 innings. His FB was 91-93 in his first inning. Francisco pitched at least 2.0 innings, but I had retreated out of the sun and away from the guns. Madison Stokes hit a HR to RF, I don’t recall the pitcher. I had to leave before the conclusion of the game.
One play stood out. In the fourth inning, Mitchell Edwards ground a ball back through the box. Lindow reacted quick enough to slow the ball and it trickled behind the mound. As it reached the grass cutout in front of second base, the second baseman scooped it bare-handed and immediately threw across his bent body to first for the out. The second baseman, Luis Garcia. I thought Garcia started the game at short. I think he and Jonathan Guzman flipped positions after the third inning. Also of note, Cole Stobbe played first base and Luke Miller played third base.
During the morning drills, Dylan Cozens played first and Darick Hall played outfield.
I stopped briefly at the other game. I was told that Mickey Moniak had doubled earlier in the game. He lifted a deep fly ball to the LF fence while I was there. Darick Hall had hit a deep HR to right center earlier, too.
Any assignments that came out of Saturday’s meeting were not visibly obvious, other than the Parkinson bunting thing I mentioned above. I’ve got hearsay assignments from family and agents that I’m not prepared to take public. There were no apparent releases, and it looks like my guess yesterday that the Phillies might make judicious use of XST could come to fruition. However, it also appears that my guess that a AAAA guy would be the 25th man on the major league roster is wrong. For now.
Before the Phillies game in Spectrum Field, the Phillies recognized the stand out players from the minor league camp. OF James Smith received the Bill Giles Award which is given to the best American-born player and C Rafael Marchan received the Larry Rojas Award which is given to the best international-born player. The players got to sit in the Phillies dugout during the game. Catching instructor Ernie Whitt received the John Vukovich Award for outstanding coaching.
Come Tuesday, with the expected addition of Josh Martin, Rob Brantly, and Sean Rodriguez, 195 players will be in the minor league camp – 109 pitchers, 20 catchers, 41 infielders, and 25 outfielders.
Well, that’s all until tomorrow.