Spring Training 2019 (March 25th)

I understand your annoyance at my inability to get my hands on the Phillies’ minor league work groups.  I understand a similar annoyance at my inability to get my hands on the affiliates’ roster assignments.  I share you annoyance.

So let me share what happened today when the Yankees arrived at the Complex for games against two of the Phillies’ work groups.

A coach disembarked from the team bus and approached a group of fans and asked, “Want a souvenir line up?”.  He handed out a bunch of game line ups until he ran out.  As you can see, it even includes the starting pitcher.

I walked over to the Phillies’ dugout and asked the manager who would be pitching for us.  His reply was, “I don’t know, I’ll have to check with my pitching coach.”  I even said please and thank you.  I recognize when I’m being blown off.  Can you imagine a manager 5-10 minutes before game time not knowing who would be pitching?

This is what we’ve had to deal with down here the past couple years.

By the way, the Yankees have provided line ups for the XST and GCL games I’ve attended at their minor league complex.

On my own, I was able to figure out that Nick Pivetta was pitching on the back field.  My network of spies identified Andrew Knapp and Roman Quinn also on the back field.  I watched an inning of Pivetta throw mostly off speed pitches.  The couple FB he threw were 92 mph.  Quinn played 4 innings in CF and then was done for the day.

Over on Ashburn, I identified Robertson as the starting pitcher.  It was easy as the minor league uniform is gray pants and the major leaguers come over wearing their white, pinstriped pants.  Maybe, I’ll pass that along to the coach.  Robertson pitched well.  His only base runner reached on an error and was erased on an inning-ending double play started by Alec Bohm.

JoJo Romero pitched innings two thru five.  He struck out four batters and his FB was in the low 90s.  Bailey Falter pitched the final four innings.  He also struck out four.  (In a personal message to a family member, his foot was pointed correctly on each pitch.  I watched for you.)  His FB topped out at 90 mph.  He threw a CB around 73-74, and a SL or CH around 79-81.  Both pitches froze the Thunder batters.

Somebody gave up a run, I can’t remember which pitcher. I don’t recall any walks.  I think there were just two hits.

Our guys fared a little better.  Mickey Moniak had an RBI single and Alec Bohm added a SF.  They added a run in the ninth after having already chalked up a 2-1 victory.  Darick Hall had 3 hits including a double.

There were a mix of AA and A+ guys in the line up.  Scheiner played first.  Grullon caught.  Moniak played CF.  Bohm played 3B.  Randolph and Vierling were the corner OF.  Hall was DH.  Brito played 2B.  I forget played SS and I think Luke Williams was the other DH.  Antequera might have been in the mix some place.

Roster movement.

The Phillies re-signed SS Andrew Romine to an MiLB contract and assigned him to Lehigh Valley.

Tuesday, there will be 196 players in the minor league camp – 109 pitchers, 20 catchers, 42 infielders, and 25 outfielders.

After the affiliated teams go north or move across the Complex, XST will be augmented with about 20 players from the Dominican Academy. Subtract 100+ and add 20+ and the remaining 120 or so players might each get their own locker in the club house.

Well, that’s all until tomorrow.


46 thoughts on “Spring Training 2019 (March 25th)

  1. “Scheiner played first. Grullon caught. Moniak played CF. Bohm played 1B.”

    Did both Scheiner play first? Or did one of them play third?

  2. I could never get annoyed with you Jim. Your coverage helps kickoff my morning each day.You’re even allowed to post a misprint once in a while in my mind…keep up the great work!

  3. “Can you imagine a manager 5-10 minutes before game time not knowing who would be pitching?………This is what we’ve had to deal with down here the past couple years.”

    …….apparently ,sounds like a organizational philosophy Gabe has brought with him from the Dodger org. and instill into the Phillies Way.

  4. I am hopeful Darick Hall has a season that propels him into national spotlight.
    As KLaw has said last year….’he is a one trick pony’….but that trick is something else.
    This year, with tips he received from Mets’ Pete Alonso when they were in the AFL a few months ago , on the adjusted timing in his load, he may be turning the corner on his overall hit tool. Maybe it will pay off with a break out season overall at the plate. Once he makes more two-strike contact and putting the ball in play, he could rise up some prospect charts.

  5. Dear Phillies organization,

    Jim is your most honest and loyal unpaid reporter. If you tell him something but don’t want it reported yet, he won’t report it. He doesn’t need a scoop. If you tell him, “Nothings etched in stone”, he reports it that way. If you said to him, “Here are the very preliminary roster assignments.”, he’d report it just that way. He’d emphasize that guys may move up or move down based on how they are playing or if someone else is showing something that affects their spot in the org. I’ve never know Jim to say, “Hey, you said this guy was going to CLW but he ended up in LKW.” That’s the nature of competition. Jim understands it and in fact supports it. He tells us, on this site, what he sees. Maybe a guy is working on something and is getting racked around. He talks to the coaches and players to find out what their working on. You don’t have many guys like that doing the reporting. Most of us, on this site, see only the box scores. We notice a guy going 0 ‘fer 10 and start talking negatively. Jim often says that he’s changing his load and is still feeling uncomfortable by it. Or maybe he’s not seeing the ball that well and they’re checking his eye sight or whatever. Loyal and honest are two of the greatest qualities there are in life. Jim has both of these qualities in abundance.

    Thank you,

    All the Phillies Minor League Fans

    1. Ditto and exclamation points to everything Bellman said.

      In an additional note to the Phillies brass: Being uncooperative and non-transparent with fans is ALWAYS a bad policy, and violates the spirt the Phillies have achieved and have prided themselves on in the modern era.

  6. Jim,

    You are a treasure to the Phillies’ fans. You never have to apologize for in your reporting. You have made this an enjoyable off season and spring training.

    Thanks for all you do!!!!

  7. Hi Jim,

    I’m putting together my AAA roster with player capsules, and if I remember correctly, Gilmael Troya will need to be at AAA due to Rule 5 requirements. Is that right? Have you seen him around? Sorry if I missed it in a previous report, the dude totally slipped my mind,


    1. re-reading the AAA Rule 5 regulations and I guess he only needed to be AAA for the off-season roster and can now be assigned anywhere without being returned. Good thing because that kid would have a tough time finding room in AAA right now.

      1. Yes. I was just going to start researching this. I recall that they did away with AAA and AA rule 5 drafts and just did one minor league draft with no restriction on starting assignment the following season.

    2. Yes, I’ve seen him. Monday, he was doing PFPs with the group I normally would have considered the Lehigh group. But, so was a second year pitcher out of HS.

  8. Jim, As usual it was great seeing you again last week during me and my friends 1 week visit during St Patty’s. You always give the story straight and to the point. I know you will still under the weather but TY for taking the time to talk with me. My group of friends were so impressed with the Carpenter Complex and watching Harper and Realmuto bat 4 times was amazing. Just a big TY for your continued insight.

  9. Jim, You are invaluable to us. If anyone in the Phillies’ FO is reading this, treat Jim with the respect he deserves.

    On another matter, I think Listi’s number were impressive last year. Shouldn’t he be in the LHV outfield?

    1. What are peoples’ opinions on assigning lower level MLB players on AAA rosters; i.e. Sean Rodriguez, Romine, Lane Adams, Gift Nyobi, S. Robinson, etc?

      I think it is a waste of roster spaces if you get too many of these players. Last year we had Dean Ana, the 2 Meneses, Cowgill, Nick Rickles, Danny Ortiz, Ploufle, Danny Espinoza, etc. None of these added any value and only Ploufle was called up and only hit a home run against a non-pitcher.
      Think we need more highly talented players at our highest level in the minors.

      1. actually disagree about menses, think it was bs he didn’t get a call up. he played great and earned it. hope he crushes it in korea or wherever he just signed

        1. He was great and we didn’t call him up. Think this was a mistake. Sent bad message in organization.

          1. He was great, and I’m glad he got $1M to play in Japan. But he’s pretty much 1B only, and last August the Phillies were still in it and he wasn’t better than Carlos Santana or Rhys Hoskins. It was unfortunate–but he did pass through waivers before he signed overseas, so no one else wanted to give him a chance, either, really. I was just writing today that it reminded me of when Brandon Moss spent the entire 2011 season in Allentown.

      2. Don’t have a problem if they are not blocking prospects. Didn’t see evidence of that happening last year or to start 2019…

      3. Hi Denny, welcome to AAA baseball.

        A couple things: First, with Scott Kingery as the only INF backup in Philadelphia, the Phillies have kept Gosselin, Rodriguez and Romine at AAA as depth. You hope you don’t need them, but if you do you should have someone who is experienced on the MLB level at those positions. If they don’t perform or you have a prospect that needs space, then you move on (see also: Amarista, Alexi 2018 / Plouffe, Trever 2019). I’m not sure Malquin Canelo or Arquimedes Gamboa are ready for that stage just yet–and nothing I saw in the MLB spring games changed my mind.

        Second, you have to play 140 competitive baseball games at AAA, with less off-days compared with the big leagues. Guys have to play their positions and the level of play has to be commensurate with the expected level so as to provide the appropriate environment for prospects who are developing. You also want the clubhouse environment to reflect the organization if possible so that when prospects do graduate they are appropriately prepared for the next level. Let’s take Adam Haseley for example. I think he might start at AAA, or arrive here shortly, and I want him in an environment that is as close as possible to the MLB, to get him ready.

        Finally, I know winning isn’t the main thing in the minors–much to my chagrin–but still, the IronPigs have made the playoffs the past three seasons and exposure to not only the playoff games themselves, but the run up to the clinching provides some valuable experience as well. Would it be great to have more prospects at each level or to have them playing together? Perhaps you could contract a level or two. But I’m not sure a pro/rel system like soccer or a direct system like football, or a basketball or hockey system would fit the nature of baseball development as well as our current one.

        Plus, it’s a lot of fun. Get out to a game near you if you can–pick AA if you want to see more prospects and fewer veterans.

        1. Thanks for the great analysis/explanation.

          Living within the Durham Bulls I get to see lots of prospects and very few older vets playing for the Bulls. Guess I’m spoiled and maybe frustrated that we don’t have enough high level talent to put on the LV roster.

          1. Ahh, Durham. Yeah now I know where you’re coming from. Not every organization can pull off the quality prospects/cheap MLB model Tampa is using. Plus you’ve had a good manager there for a while. They’ve got the hardware to prove it. But most AAA clubs are more like the Phillies/IronPigs. Hopefully the “grow pitchers/buy bats” and general system health will keep AAA in good shape for years to come. Let no prospects be blocked.

      4. Denny – Signing non-roster players serves the purpose of depth. The Phillies have a stud catcher, but little else. Remember that Knapp is coming off of a bad year. What if JTR gets injured? The catchers that the Phillies brought in give them more options (and maybe pushed Knapp).
        Having said all of that, I believe that you bring up the best 25 players, and I believe that Gosselin played well enough to make the team. If Kingery is forced into the lineup due to an injury, Gosselin (and not Rodriguez) should be called up.

        1. Wawa…Goss had a good spring.
          Hopefully he can continue that into the LHV season.
          But ST results are not always he best indicator of future MLB performance…case in point…Kingery last year …which was two consecutive outstanding STs
          This year his ST was so-so….picked up a little at the end…..he probably smoke this year. Development is not always linear.

          1. Romus – My point is that Gosselin earned the right of 1st IF call up in case of an emergency (over Rodriguez).

            1. Wawa…well i cannot argue with you on that….I think he did out play the other replacement hopefuls. We wil have to see what the Phillies decide to do…..LHV does not open up until next Thursday so things could change before then.

            2. If Rodriguez gets the 1st call over ANYBODY, an investigation needs to take place. He would have to have compromising photos of someone in his possession, no?

            3. Yes.
              He really did not impress in ST.
              But not sure what Gabe is looking for in the 24th/25th guy on the roster.

        2. I do agree that Gosselin is in line for 1st call-up depending on need much more than Rodriguez. R is not more than a versatile player that can’t hit and is a close friend/former teammate of Kap. Romine would be next after Gosselin.

          1. Managers seem to delight in picking that 24th/25th that they can dream on….Mini Mart seem to be a regular every year fav of Charlie’s….. to everyone’s disbelief.
            So maybe Gabe likes Sean Rodriguez for his own reasoning.

          2. The thing is, Gosselin is mostly a 2B—although he does have a modicum of flexibility. If Kingery is playing every day due to an injury, and you want a bench guy with flexibility, then Rodriguez or Romine might be a better bet from the defensive standpoint. We’re not looking for a guy who has to bat that often. (No disrespect to Gosselin, of course, whom I’m looking forward to watching every day in Allentown)

        3. 4A players also help during the year in terms of the 40 man roster. They take a spot during an injury but are simply released when that player returns. It makes it easier to manage the 40.

    1. Good video clips….D.Hall said he made some slight changes to his load and timing….but I just cannot detect it.
      From last year:
      From yesterday:

      1. It’s hard to tell from the angle of the first video, but his arms look higher last year. Also, his leg lift appears to be more pronounced.

        1. Yeah…..you have to stop it and repeat it many times.
          But he said in a recent interview session he is comfortable with the change and looking forward to see what kind of results he can get with it.
          If it means making more contact with two strikes….then all the power to him and wish him success.

  10. You are valuable asset to us fans. Keep on giving us info, point of views and valuable information
    Thank you

  11. Thanks for your hard work, Jim. Sorry to hear about the road blocks you’re running into in covering the farm.

  12. Jim thanks for your outstanding coverage of spring training 2019, your detailed accounts made me feel like I was there. Looking forward to a great minor league season and hopefully a few trips to Reading.

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