Playoff Recap – 9/4/2019

Spencer Howard threw seven innings of two-hit ball last night.  This was three days short of the anniversary of his nine-inning no-hitter for Lakewood last season in the playoffs.  Last night he was equally impressive as he recorded twelve strike outs.

The two base hits Howard allowed never left the infield.  The first was a soft roller to third baseman Alec Bohm.  He attempted to bare hand the ball, but came up empty.  The broadcast crew didn’t think he had a play even if he fielded the ball cleanly.  The second hit was right at shortstop Nick Maton.  But, it took a high hop off the grass seam and handcuffed him.  He was able to keep the ball close, but not in time to record the out.

Howard’s only other base runners reached on a lead off walk in the second inning and a one out walk in the sixth.  That walk hurt because it came around to score, aided by a wild pitch.

Howard was in the mid 90’s touching 98 mph.

Howard was still throwing 95 mph in the seventh inning.

All 12 Ks in 31 seconds.  Eleven swinging and the last one looking.  Nine Ks were against left-handed batters, eight swinging.

Reading (42-31, 80-59)  lost to Trenton, 4-3 in the first game of their divisional playoffs.  Spencer Howard pitched seven excellent innings.  He allowed one run on 2 infield hits and walked two.  He struck out TWELVE.  He threw 99 pitches, 66 for strikes (66.7).  He turned over a 3-1 lead to the bullpen who needed to get the final six outs.

Before the Jeff Singer and Garrett Cleavinger could record three outs the Phils trailed by one run.  Singer coughed up a run on a strike out wild pitch and two singles.  A force out allowed the tying run to score.  Then he walked a guy before leaving with runners on first and second.  Cleavinger walked his first batter, then struck out the next guy for the second out.  He then walked in the go ahead run on 4 pitches.  He finally got the third out on the third strike out of the inning.

The Phils scored 2 runs in the third inning on Mickey Moniak’s sac fly and Darick Hall’s RBI double.  They added a third run in the fourth on Arquimedes Gamboa’s sac fly.

After Henri Lartigue was caught stealing to end the fourth (busted hit-and-run?), the Phils managed just one base runner – Darick Hall’s sixth inning lead off single.  He was erased on an inning-ending double play.

Hall went 3-4 with a double and RBI.  Lartigue, Bohm, Williams, and Maton had the Phils other 4 hits, all singles.

Here’s the Reading box score from MiLB.

And this is how Reading’s MLB Top Thirty did –

  • #1. Alec Bohm, 3B/1B (.269): went 1-4 with a run scored
  • #4. Spencer Howard, RHP (1-0, 2.35): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
  • #8. Mickey Moniak, OF (.252): 0-3 with an RBI, SF
  • #14. Nick Maton, SS/2B (.210): went 1-3 with a run scored
  • #15. Mauricio Llovera, RHP (3-4, 4.55): placed on the 7-day IL, elbow
  • #18. David Parkinson, LHP (10-9, 4.08): DNP
  • #22. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS (.188): went 0-2 with an RBI, sac fly
  • #28. Cornelius Randolph, OF (.247): went 0-3 with a BB
  • #30. Connor Seabold, RHP (3-1, 2.25): DNP

Clearwater (32-38, 68-68)  Finished the second half in fourth place.  Finished the first half in second place.  Finished the season with the second best overall record in the division.

Lehigh Valley (66-74) Finished in fifth place, 9.5 games back.  They started out well and hit well all season.  But, they never really survived the constant flow of players back and forth with the big leagues, especially the pitchers.

Lakewood (29-39, 58-80) Finished in last place, 12.5 games back.  They finished in a virtual tie for last place in the first half, .002 ahead of the other team.  They had the worst overall record in their division.

Williamsport (32-43) Finished in fifth place, 8.5 games behind the first place team.

GCL Phillies East (21-27)  Finished in fifth place, 12.0 games behind the GCL Phillies West.

GCL Phillies West (31-15)  Finished first in their division.

DSL Phillies Red (38-25, .603)  Finished third, 4.5 games back.

DSL Phillies White (41-30, .577)  Finished second, 3.5 games back.

And this is how the MLB Top Thirty did –

  1. Alec Bohm, 3B/1B (.269): went 1-4 with a run scored
  2. Adonis Medina: (7-7, 4.94) 105.2IP, 41BB, 82K, 1.363WHIP, 3.5BB9, 7.0K9, 2.00K/BB
  3. Bryson Stott, SS (.274): 182PA, 27R, 43H, 15 XBH(5 HR), 24RBI, 12.1%BB, 21.4%K, .274/.370/.446/.816
  4. Spencer Howard, RHP (1-0, 2.35): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
  5. Luis Garcia, SS/2B (.188): 524PA, 36R, 87H, 21XBH(4HR), 36RBI, 8.4%BB, 25.2%K .186/.261/.255/.516
  6. Francisco Morales, RHP (1-8, 3.82): DNP
  7. Enyel De Los Santos, RHP (5-7, 4.40): DNP
  8. Mickey Moniak, OF (.252): 0-3 with an RBI, SF
  9. Erik Miller, LHP (0-0, 2.08): DNP
  10. JoJo Romero, LHP (3-5, 6.88):  DNP
  11. Muzziotti: 465PA, 52R, 122H, 27XBH, 28RBI, 6.9%BB, 12.9%K, 21SB(63.6%), .287/.337/.372/.709
  12. Jhailyn Ortiz: 478PA, 57R, 86H, 37XBH(19HR), 65RBI, 7.5%BB, 31.2%K, .200/.272/.381/.653
  13. Rafael Marchan: 86PA, 6R, 18H, 4 XBH, 6BB, 8K, .231/.291/.282/.573
  14. Nick Maton, SS/2B (.210): went 1-3 with a run scored
  15. Mauricio Llovera, RHP (3-4, 4.55): placed on the 7-day IL, elbow
  16. Cole Irvin: (6-1, 3.94), 93.2IP, 14BB, 65K, 1.356WHIP, 1.3BB9, 6.2K9, 4.64K/BB
  17. Rodolfo Duran: 245PA, 25R, 56H, 17XBH(6HR), 23RBI, 4.1%BB, 21.6%K, .240/.273/.369/.643
  18. David Parkinson, LHP (10-9, 4.08): DNP
  19. Deivy Grullon: 457PA, 55R, 115H, 45XBH(21HR), 77RBI, 9.6%BB, 29.1K%, .283/.354/.496/.851
  20. Damon Jones, LHP (0-1, 7.39): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
  21. Kyle Young: (1-3, 4.29), 21.0IP, 1BB, 25K, 1.048WHIP, 0.4BB9, 10.7K9, 25.00K/BB
  22. Arquimedes Gamboa, SS (.188): went 0-2 with an RBI, sac fly
  23. Daniel Brito: 379PA, 37R, 83H, 19XBH(4HR), 32RBI, 5.8%BB, 19.3%K, .243/.296/.325/.621
  24. Kyle Dohy, LHP (6-5, 6.19): DNP
  25. Dominic Pipkin, RHP (3-4, 5.15): placed on the 7-day IL on 8/26, shoulder
  26. Kevin Gowdy, RHP (0-6, 4.68): DNP
  27. Jamari Baylor: 12PA, 4R, 3H, 2XBH, 0RBI, 1BB, 2K, .273/.333/.455/.788
  28. Cornelius Randolph, OF (.247): went 0-3 with a BB
  29. Victor Santos, RHP (5-10, 4.02): DNP
  30. Connor Seabold, RHP (3-1, 2.25): DNP

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

The rosters and lists are up to date as of September 1st … 399 players in the org

Today’s Transactions (newest transactions in bold text)
9/3/19 – Phillies recalled RHP Nick Pivetta from Lehigh Valley
9/3/19 – Phillies recalled LF Jose Pirela from Lehigh Valley
9/2/19 – Phillies released RHP Drew Anderson
9/2/19 – Phillies sent RHP Edubray Ramos on a rehab assignment to Reading
9/2/19 – Phillies recalled LF Nick Williams from Lehigh Valley
9/2/19 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP JoJo Romero from the TIL
9/1/19 – Phillies selected the contract of INF Phil Gosselin from Lehigh Valley
9/1/19 – Phillies selected the contract of C Deivy Grullon from Lehigh Valley
9/1/19 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Nick Vincent from Lehigh Valley
9/1/19 – Phillies recalled LHP Cole Irvin from Lehigh Valley
9/1/19 – Phillies activated OF Jay Bruce from the 10-day IL
9/1/19 – Phillies transferred LHP Adam Morgan from the 10- to the 60-day IL
9/1/19 – Phillies placed RHP Jerad Eickhoff on the 60-day IL, finger
9/1/19 – Phillies designated RHP Drew Anderson for assignment
9/1/19 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Kyle Dohy from the TIL
9/1/19 – Lehigh Valley activated C Matt McBride from the 7-day IL
9/1/19 – SS Raul Rivas assigned to Lehigh Valley from Clearwater
9/1/19 – Jose Antequera assigned to Lehigh Valley from Reading

26 thoughts on “Playoff Recap – 9/4/2019

  1. Great performance from Spencer Howard is overshadowed by the implosion from the bullpen. But nevertheless, it was a performance against a Yankees farm team, and it bodes extremely well for the Phillies in the near future. Howard better be given a legitimate chance to make the Phils rotation during spring training.

    1. In all likelihood, Howard starts next season in extended spring training. He’s never thrown more than 112 innings in a season (professional or college), and the Phillies will want to cap his 2020 usage to probably no more than 140 IP. If all goes well, he throws a couple of AAA games in May, and then gets called up in mid to late May. That’s the way I see it. Better to have him for the end of next season than the beginning.

      1. Starting in the minors also keeps his major league service clock from running and if he stays down long enough, postpones his free agency until after the 2026 season

      2. Hinkie, you are probably correct about Howard. It’s just a shame that if he proves capable and ready for the majors that he would be held back while the Phillies rotation consists of Nola, Arrieta(meh), probably Efflin (meh), either Vargas or Smyly( double meh), and Vinnie V( triple meh). Too me, that leaves the probability of giving away too many games early in the year and putting the big club behind the eight ball, as well as Atlanta and Washington. That will be tough to stomach.

  2. Spencer Howard is a special prospect. Electric stuff, great scouting reports and elite stats/performance. Kids got it all. And he deserves a real shot at the 5th starter position. If they start next year relying on him to be anything more than that as a rookie then they are doing him a disservice. Keep the pressure off him. Let him yo-yo between AAA and Majors if needed without materially affecting the mlb staff. It will be good for his development. But I think that we have a special one here. Hat tip to Almaraz. He nailed this pick.

    1. When you watch him pitch it’s very, very hard to imagine that he wasn’t recruited to play college ball (or at least not heavily) and that he was a hair’s breath away from not being invited back to the team for his sophomore year in college. He truly has ace potential – and that’s not hyperbole.

  3. Howard pitches great last night with a live fast ball. However, watching on tv, it looked like he was throwing it right down the middle but batters couldn’t catch up to it. I’m worried that major league hitters will be able to catch up to it. He will need to learn to improve his location, something he has t had to worry about in the minors to date. Also his curve came around but wasn’t good early in the game. His change up was very good and he used it more later in the game. Again, he’ll have to locate it better to get major league hitters out. Let’s not rush the kid, let him develop more in the minors before we throw him into the fire. The AFL should help him as will time in LHV next season.
    The Yankees’ Trenton team is older than our team and they have legit pitching prospects also, in addition to rehabbing major leaguers (Jordan Montgomery started last night). Series will be tough to win.

    1. Agree. It seems he needs to develop consistency with the slider and curveball. The fastball and change up may be ML ready but some other things probably need work.

  4. They will want Howard to work in games with the ML ball so between ST and starting April in AAA he will have the chance to get adjusted and assuming he pitches well, will be ready to join the big club sometime in May.

    Also agree with Hinkie that they want to control his innings and will start him slowly.

    1. He will get in approx 20/25 innings of live action with the MLB ball starting in a two weeks in Arizona.
      However, the ball may have yet another production design change this off-season in anticipation of the 2020 season.
      So it all may be a moot point come March.
      I suppose the players can stay tuned.

        1. Probably because they want similar results to what they did to get there, especially the pitchers. The juiced ball may distort how they see players have developed. But yet, it’s the ball they will eventually use when they reach the Show…or is it? Might they change back to previous specs? Another disparity under the watch of the empty suit running MLB.

    2. “They will want Howard to work in games with the ML ball so between ST and starting April in AAA he will have the chance to get adjusted …”

      When did this become a “thing”. Oh, yeah, this season. But, never, ever, did a minor league pitcher throw a major league ball in a minor league game until this season when the major league ball was used for the first time in AAA.

      For decades, minor league pitchers moved from AAA and even AA to the major leagues having only touched a major league ball in major league spring training. Now, we’re supposed to believe that we can’t promote a pitcher without an obligatory stop in AAA?

      I call bullsquat!

      The only reason Howard should start in AAA next season is if he isn’t ready to start 30+ major league games. Throwing the major league ball in AAA should just be one of the perks of starting in AAA while preparing for the major league season.

      We should not fall lock-step into believing that an apprenticeship in AAA is required because of the ball. To do so would be to allow major league organizations to further obscure their efforts to delay a prospect’s major league service clock.

      1. I would disagree with this Jim only because this appears to be the first year where there is a significant difference between the balls used in the majors/AAA and the ones used in the rest of the minors.

        Yes, there have always been different major league labeled baseballs and ones labeled for the minors but they varied little beyond the identifying marking. As the jump in AAA numbers show, there is now a noticeable difference.

        Your correct that teams can and do promote pitchers to the majors without a stop in AAA but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference. Guys with years of major league service have noticed.

        As for delaying calling up a player to gain a year of service time, teams are going to do that regardless of what reason they use to justify the decision. Vlad Jr. certainly wasn’t impacted by the ball but still seemed to not be ready until mid May for some reason.

        IF the players don’t like the rules of the current agreement they can negotiate to change them under the next agreement. Until then, teams are going to take advantage of whatever they can find ways to have longer player control..

      2. i makes no sense to me that we even have to have this debate…why would they use different balls at different levels? it is illogical. why even have to have this issue at all? are minor league balls cheaper? is it a money saving thing?

        1. Agreed. Imo, the mlb baseball model is here to stay … basically the steroid era results for hitters… without the steroids. Next year I foresee all of the minors using the same
          Style ball as the majors, if the mlb decides to continue using this “new” style baseball. Will see. I like last years better, it seems to have to Great of an affect on the pitchers, it terms of ball movement.

          1. MLB will probably look into the results from the ‘de-juiced’ Korean balls used this season in the KBO. Stats ,across the board reflect an offensive decline…ISO 2018-.164……2019–.119.
            I cannot see the Commissioner not changing the specs on the balls….too many pitchers have complained and if Verlander gets to the WS again…he will have center stage to voice his opinion once again…..and he will.

        2. Yes, there is a big difference in the cost of major and minor league balls. Major league balls cost twice as much, per Baseball America – $100/dozen v $50/dozen.

          Using major league balls in AAA was expected to increase costs an additional $1M.

          FWIW, earlier this season, I heard they were considering extending the use of MLB baseballs to AA next year. That could certainly have changed with the results they observed in AAA this season.

    1. Practice!!! We’re talking about Practice!!! 🙂

      Yes, throwing bullpen sessions with the new ball is good but using it in game situations is entirely different.

  5. SH definitely Top Prospect but more time needed to develop . Thank goodness someone else see that 97-98 down the middle works in the minors. Minor league hitters are just that. Did they adjust? SH went thru the lineup once not using his other stuff, or had no feel. Once established is hard stuff he made adjustment and started using his offspeed but by then minor league hitters we’re guessing. Give him some time, don’t hurry him. Give him some ST and AAA ball and develop .
    As discussed on MLB network. Difference between MLB Team systems is Do they know how to develop their Top Prospect or MLB Teams just letting their Top Prospects play and learn for game situations. Two levels of MLB philosophy . Dodgers, Yankees, Boston as developing. Haseley one example of developing. Let’s be one of the premier MLB Systems just not push prospects.

  6. I am starting to think the Phillies may indeed bring up Howard mid September if they are in the WC chase. Will create some excitement in the fan base and in the big league team. I’m sure the players would want to have a pitcher that could really help in September. And there is no way to know if Howard can help unless he is given the opportunity.

    1. Hunch of the day – based on the way his dad responded to a post of mine last week, my guess is that he would get the call if the Phillies were within a certain number of games by a certain date. Just my gut….

      1. That makes sense. If he’s the possible difference between a wild card and no wild card, then why not?

        1. Need to accept the Phils’ goal needs to be that they end up with a winning record, the wild card is a pipe dream. Howard will not be up until next June at the earliest.
          Reading goes down again showing they can’t really hit good left handed pitching. The R Phils start 5 left handed hitters plus 2 automatic outs. It’s tough to beat good left handed pitching test way. Parkinson pitched great though. Tomorrow night will likely end the season as they’re facing Severino and Bettances too.

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