I went to the Complex Saturday to watch my second Instructional League game between the Phillies and Blue Jays. I was one of SIX people in attendance – my friend Steve Potter and his wife and daughter, my friend and photo contributor Mark Wylie, me, and Mike from Harrisburg. Mike read last week’s account of the game and flew in Friday to join us Saturday behind the left center field fence on Roberts Field. Sort of a Clearwater branch of the Phandemic Krew.
The game was held on Roberts Field. I must have seen 60 people enjoying the walking and bike path. Only two people wore masks, a walker who arrived when I did and a bike rider who thanked me for wearing one. No one else (outside of my group) wore a mask. Not even those walking in groups of two or more. Florida. SMH.
The Phillies fielded the following starting line up –
- 6, Jamari Baylor
- 3, Herbert Iser
- 2, Edgar Cabral
- 9, Johan Rojas
- 8, Matt Vierling
- 5, Guarner Dipre
- DH Jose Tortolero
- 4, Luis Garcia
- DH, Jonathan Guzman
- DH, Nicolas Torres
- 7, Marcus Lee Sang (did not bat but pinch ran, his thumb is wrapped)
- 1, Dominic Pipkin
We go t to see eight Phillies’ pitchers including a couple of rehabbers and a few of the new guys. Mixed results on all but Bailey Falter.
Photos provided by Mark Wylie.
First Inning. Pipkin opened with a walk. The runner was erased on a steal attempt, but Pipkin walked the next batter, too. He finished the inning with a strike out and a fly out to right.
In the bottom of the first, Baylor and Iser struck out swinging. Cabral popped out to the catcher.
Second inning. Pipkin gave up a ground rule double that bounced over the fence to our right. The ball seemed like it was in the air for a long time. We noticed then that the Phillies shift every batter and they position the center fielder on the non-pull side of second base. ALL. THE. TIME. EVERY. BATTER. Didn’t make any sense to us.
After a pop up to second, a walk, and a wild pitch, another right-handed batter lifted a ground rule double to the same spot as the lead off batter. SAME. SHIFT. Two runs scored. After another walk, the Phillies rolled the inning railing 0-2.
In the bottom of the second, Rojas grounded out to short, Vierling struck out looking, and Dipre flew out to right.
Third Inning. Jhordany Mezquita pitching. Mezquita started the inning with a strike out. The next batter lined a single to right. The runner advanced when Mezquita threw a pickoff attempt past Iser at first. He walked the next batter then retired the next two batters on strike outs.
In the bottom of the third, the Phillies finally got a base runner when Tortolero walked. He was caught stealing. Garcia grounded out to second, Baylor walked, and Torres struck out looking.
Fourth inning. NDFA Blake Brown pitching. Rough outing. Single to the second baseman, walk, wild pitch, walk, RBI single. The Phillies rolled the inning trailing 0-3.
In the bottom of the fourth, Baylor got the Phillies first hit on a ground single. Iser popped up to short, Cabral flied out to left (the same spot where two Jays’ fly balls bounced over the fence), and Rojas grounded out to third.
Fifth inning. NDFA Billy Sullivan pitching. Sullivan hit his first batter and walked his second. The next batter lined a single to center. The runner on second hesitated and took third. The runner on first didn’t hesitate and rounded second in a big way. Garcia took the throw in a relay position and walked in to apply the tag to the runner hung up between bases. Sullivan settled down and got the next two batters on a pop up to first and a strike out.
In the bottom of the fifth, Vierling led off with a strike out. Dipre doubled down the left field line and scored on Tortolero’s line drive single to center with the aid of a fielding error by the center fielder. Garcia walked and the Jays rolled the inning after Guzman struck out. Phillies close within 1-3.
Changes: Guzman to short, Edgar Made to third, Abraham Gutierrez to first, Iser to catcher, Torres to left, and Vierling and Rojas switched positions.
Sixth inning. Nick Fanti pitching. Fanti gave up a leadoff single. That runner was erased on a 6-4 fielder’s choice. The new runner stole second while Fanti recorded a strike out. A walk and a double into the left field corner plated two runs before the inning was rolled with two outs and the Jays ahead 1-5.
In the bottom of the sixth, Torres struck out swinging and Made grounded out back to the pitcher. Cabral added a run with a blast to left. Rojas struck out swinging to end the inning. Phillies trailing 2-5.
Seventh inning. Fanti came out again which was encouraging. I haven’t seen him pitch since June 2018. He seemed to be rebounding from some early season injury when he was pulled from a game in Bradenton and placed on the DL on the 20th. Fanti pitched much better in the seventh. He induced a ground out, walked a batter and got the final two batters to strike out swinging.
In the bottom of the seventh, Vierling struck out looking, Dipre grounded out to short, and Tortolero struck out swinging.
Eighth inning. Bailey Falter pitching. Falter was dominant. He commanded the strike zone and overwhelmed the Jays batters. He had been shut down in July of 2019, but looked like his old self Saturday. He retired the Jays in order on a strike out looking, strike out swinging, and a two-strike ground out to short. Here are a few photos. The final one is for his aunt who may still follow us here. He seems to look directly at the camera and has let his hair grow out.
In the bottom of the eighth, Garcia, Guzman, and Torres all struck out.
Ninth inning. Fourth round pick Carson Ragsdale pitching. The 6’8 righty out of USF (located in Tampa), induced a comebacker, single to center, pop up to third, walk, and pop up to first.
In the bottom of the ninth, Iser led off with a double to right. Oskar Gonzalez pinch hit and grounded out to short. Cesar Rodriguez also pinch hit and struck out. I missed the other out in the inning.
Tenth inning. NDFA Braden Zarbnisky pitching. Zarbnisky pitched to four batter to get his work. He got a pop up that he caught in foul territory when the fielder tripped. He struck out the second batter and gave up a single to the third. The runner was caught stealing and the at bat continued until Zarbnisky recorded a strike out for the fourth out.
The series of pictures below show how Guzman deked the runner with a late catch and tag. Note the indifferent stance in the first photo and the flight of the ball.
Here are a couple more random at bats by Garcia and Rojas.
One more game next week, maybe. The Phillies may break camp Saturday. Hope it’s after a game.
In other news, the Phillies didn’t renew the contracts of seven scouts including Pete Mackanin and Dave Hollins. Five of the seven, including Mackanin and Hollins scouted professional teams. Only two were involved in amateur scouting. However, that doesn’t mean that more cuts aren’t coming.
Here’s a thought for your GM search. What if Girardi has a “Joe Maddon” clause? What if he gets to walk if he doesn’t like the next GM or doesn’t like the interim situation? What if the White Sox job looks better to him? What if?
No transactions this week, but expect them to begin in the days and weeks after game seven (or six). Now that MLB’s plans to streamline the minor leagues seems like a fait accompli, look for a lot of players to be released by all organizations. Assuming that the majors return to 26 players on their rosters; and that AAA, AA, A+, A and the Complex teams are permitted to remain at 35 players on their reserve rosters that’s 201 players in an organization. Thirty-five for a DSL team would bump that number up to 236 players. The Phillies have over 300 players in their organization. A second GCL and DSL team would salvage another 70 players (that’s not guaranteed, yet), but the 30 or so players on futures contracts have to placed on rosters (or released after a 2-week invitation to spring training) within a season of having been signed.
The discussion on whom to protect from the Rule 5 Draft should heat up. Here’s a thought. If the Phillies don’t put Bailey Falter on the 40-man roster, they will lose him to another team. I’d hate to see this happen. But, if the Phillies aren’t interested, I’m sure other teams are.
This is the Phuture Phillies Open Discussion for Phillies and other baseball topics.
- September 30, 2020 – Expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and MiLB
- October 15, 2020, 5:00 PM EDT – Close of the 2019 international signing period
- October 25-29, 2020 – Trading resumes, day after the World Series ends
- October 30 – November 3, 2020, five days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their eligible former players who became free agents
- November 8-13, 2020, fifteen days after the conclusion of the World Series – Deadline for free agents to accept qualifying offers
- November TBA – GM Meetings (Nov. 11-14, Scottsdale, AZ in 2019)
- November TBA – Owners meetings (Nov. 19-21, Arlington, TX in 2019)
- November 20, 2020 – Rosters set for Rule 5 Draft
- November TBA – MLBPA executive board meeting (Nov. 26-29 in Irving, TX in 2018)
- December 2, 2019 – Last day for teams to offer 2021 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters
- December 6-10, 2020 – Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas, at the Omni Dallas Hotel and Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas, held in conjunction with the Baseball Trade Show and PBEO Job Fair.
- December 10, 2020 – Rule 5 Draft
- January TBA – Rookie Career Development Program
- January 15, 2021, 9:00 AM EST – Start of the 2020 international signing period
The rosters and lists are up to date as of October 26th … 333 players in the org
10/15/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes elected free agency
10/14/2020 – RHP Deolis Guerra elected free agency
10/06/2020 – DSL Phillies Red released RHP Jhostyn Marin
10/01/2020 – 3B Luke Williams assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – 2B Ronald Torreyes assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – LHP Jeff Singer assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Reggie McClain assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP JD Hammer assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Deolis Guerra assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Enyel De Los Santos assigned to Lehigh Valley from Training Site
10/01/2020 – CF Mikie Mahtook assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – LF Nick Martini assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Jonathan Lucroy assigned to Lehigh Valley from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Nick Maton assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – RHP Joel Cesar assigned to Reading
10/01/2020 – LHP Damon Jones assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Henri Lartigue assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – 1B Austin Listi assigned to Reading from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Bryson Stott assigned to Clearwater from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – C Logan O’Hoppe assigned to Lakewood from Alternate Training Site
10/01/2020 – SS Raibently Mercalina assigned to DSL Red