Spring Training 2019 (March 26th)

The Phillies left Clearwater late Monday afternoon.  Tuesday, the Complex was almost back to normal – a few Phillies’ fans, more affiliates’ fans, some players’ family members, and still a few professional autograph hounds.  We should soon see the last of that last group until after this year’s crop of newly signed draft picks make their Complex debuts.

Two games at the Complex today, the Yankees again.  The two Class A teams fielded line ups.  Vince Velasquez pitched on Ashburn Field, the venue for the lower of the two Class A games.  His catcher was one of the young catching prospects.  VV didn’t fare too well.  I heard he gave up a double down one of the foul lines in the first inning and an RBI single.  I heard his reaction to the single wasn’t very good.  I read later that he also gave up a HR or three.

I chose to watch Damon Jones on Roberts Field.  The line up looked to be a mix of mostly BlueClaws with a couple of Threshers tossed in.

  • C Edgar Cabral
  • 1B Luke Miller
  • 2B Luis Garcia
  • SS Jonathan Guzman
  • 3B Daniel Brito
  • LF Madison Stokes
  • CF Josh Stephen
  • RF Danny Mayer
  • DH Alec Bohm
  • DH Ben Aklinski

Damon Jones pitched four innings.  Five relievers each pitched an inning – Julian Garcia, Jonathan Hennigan, Oscar Marcelino, Tyler Fallwell, and Zach Warren.

Jones gave up zero runs, one hit, walked three and struck out three.  He benefited from an Edgar Cabral caught stealing on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play to end the third inning and a 5-4-3 double play to end the fourth.  His FB was 92-93 mph.

Garcia retired the side in order in the fifth ending his stint with a strike out.

Hennigan gave up an infield single and a walk to start the sixth.  The next batter lined a single to left but the lead runner took a long turn around third and was cut down by the cut off man.  Hennigan followed with a strike out and a fly out.

Marcelino struck out the first and last batters in the seventh.  A runner reached on a ball that bounced off Guzman’s foreman (scored an error), no damage for the pitcher or Guzman.

Fallwell went strike out, walk, pop up in the eighth.  A HR pulled the Yankees within a run.  The next batter beat the shift with a ground ball to left.  Fallwell walked the next batter before getting the final ourt on a ground out.

Warren (the Threshers presumptive closer) opened the ninth with a double over the center fielder’s head.  A ground ball to short kept the tying run on second.  Warren retired the next two batters via strike out, the game ender on a knee-buckling curve ball.  His FB was 92-95, SL at 88, and CB 83 mph.

Madison Stokes opened the third inning with the Phillies’ first hit, a line drive double down the left field line.  Jonathan Guzman lined a single to right.  Stokes scored the game’s first run on a fielder’s choice to the right side by Josh StephenBen Aklinski ground an RBI single to right.

Edgar Cabral opened the fourth with a line drive single to center.  He was sacrificed to second by Bailey Falter and scored on Alec Bohm’s line drive, RBI single to right.

Matt Kroon and James Smith stroked one-out singles in the eighth.  Josh Stephen walked to load the bases with two out, but the Phillies couldn’t score.

Leading 3-2, the Phillies batted in the bottom of the ninth.  Luis Garcia capped an otherwise abysmal day (3 consecutive strike outs) with a home run over the right filed fence.  The switch hitter did so batting left-handed against a right-handed pitcher.  With one out Nerluis Martinez drew a walk and the Yankees rolled the inning and the game.

Final 4-2, Phillies.

I’m assuming that Bailey Falter has made the Reading rotation.  No need for him to bunt in the FSL.  He was successful on one of two attempts.  The LHP batted right-handed to sacrifice.  A friend wondered why he would bat right-handed and expose his left arm to an opposing pitcher.  I asked him why.  Turns out he’s a natural righty.  He was taught to pitch left-handed from an early age.

One more random thought.  During the Grapefruit League season, the Phillies called up a lot of minor leaguers to sit in the dugout or bullpen.  Some, like Monday’s hero Malvin Matos, actually got to play in the games.  A friend calculated that the Phillies called up 84 different players and 295 total players to the big league games.

Roster movement.

On March 24th, Jose Pujols was to Reading from Lehigh Valley.

On the 25th, Jeff Singer was assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley, Edgar Cabral was assigned to Clearwater from Reading, and Austin Ross was assigned to Clearwater from Lakewood.

Tuesday, 196 players were in the minor league camp – 109 pitchers, 20 catchers, 42 infielders, and 25 outfielders.  There are 350 players in the otganization.

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, a camp day with a couple intrasquad games, I hope.


13 thoughts on “Spring Training 2019 (March 26th)

  1. Lets go! This is a great feeling; its always a great feeling this time of year just to have baseball back, but multiply that by a ton now that the team has the lineup it does. And through it all, the minor league system still aint too shabby, even if they did lose some of their big names. I’m pumped to have this site back in my “must visit every morning” queue. I’m also psyched that I was opportunistic enough in December to buy cheap opening day tickets in case the Phillies did sign Harper or Machado. Gonna be one heck of a scene there on Thursday.

  2. On a bleaker note, I am very out on VV. Obviously I hope he proves me wrong, but I am not convinced that Drew Anderson is not a better pitcher at this very moment

    1. I really think this season will see the Phillies high drafted Rule 4 prospect hitters explode (catchers excluded)…Moniak, Haseley, Bohm and even Randolph.
      And keeping my fingers crossed for the later drafted guys like Vierling in CLW, Pelletier, Listi and Darick Hall.

  3. Who are the 3 players that will jump up the prospect ranking by the most next year? Some random candidates – Vierling, Warren, Llovera, Marchan, Brown, OHoppe, Pipkin, Gutierrez, Holmes, Stobbe, Randolph, Torres…
    Going into the season, there are so many guys who could take a large step forward. For my three I’ll pick Holmes, Vierling, and Warren.

    1. I think you nailed it with Vierling, Holmes and Warren.
      In fact Warren could be in LHV by the end of this summer.
      Vierling this off-season cold concentrate strictly on hitting for the first time in four years, so that will be a plus for him….but will now face tougher pitching in hi-A so this will be a good test for him.
      Holmes looks so much bigger, defined and stronger than when he was drafted in 2017…he has to be over 200 lbs now. look for a higher ISO from him at Lakewood.
      I hope he is not left back in ExST for a Williamsport start in June.

    2. @Murray – jump in the ranking and stepping up might result to 2 different answers since ranking differs from one to another because of the different biases.

      If using the MLB rankings, Logan O’Hoppe is an easy answer since O’Hoppe is not in MLB’s Top 30 but has Top 30 potential all over him.

      To me the 2 prospects who can take a large step forward and make a big jump in the rankings are #23 Pipkin and #24 Gowdy. Both are high ceiling and high risk prospect whose profiles normally jumps up if they perform well.

      If proximity is a big factor in the rankings, then the older unranked prospects like Vierling, Listi, Warren can get some attention.

  4. Video of Garcia’s HR, Zach Whttps://www.youtube.com/user/TheGkita/featuredarren and Damon Jones at :

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