Threshers’ and Affiliates’ Recap – 5/4/2021

Finally, minor league baseball.  Our guys all opened at home.  They split 2-2.  Clearwater got some promising pitching, but a 6-run inning and some shoddy outfield play hurt.  Lehigh Valley got some solid pitching and an overtime win on Scott Kingery’s 2-run base hit.  Reading lost big but got HRs from Gamboa, Miller, and Guthrie.  Jersey Shore got a stellar start from Ben Brown, some solid relief, and excellent run support provided by Jhailyn Ortiz and Logan O’Hoppe.

Clearwater (0-1) lost to the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 8-2.

This was a nice game for three innings.  Gunner Mayer was dealin’ in a 1-2-3 first inning.

Casey Martin worked a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning and stole second.

Mayer caught a bad break in the second when RF Corbin Williams dropped a one-out fly ball.  The ball must have hit the palm of his glove as it entered and popped out.  A single brought the unearned run home.  The next batter reached on a hit-by-pitch that barely nicked his jersey.  Mayer bore down and struck out the next two batters on 8 pitches, 7 of them strikes.

Abrahan Gutierrez singled sharply to lead off the second but was wiped out on a double play.

Mayer breezed through the third with a strikeout, walk, and double play.

Johan Rojas started the action in the third with a two-out double to center.  Luis Garcia singled him home to tie the game.  He took second on a wild pitch and scored on Martin’s double to right-center.  DJ Stewart walked but the rally would end on the next batter.  Garcia’s single was a ground ball that he aimed through a gaping hole where the second baseman would have been but for the shift.  Martin’s double also looked aimed at the vast space in right-center due to a shift.

And, that’s when the game turned from enjoyable to a chore.

The fourth started innocently when Mayer nicked another batter, this one on a 1-2 count.  Innocence ended with the next batter.  He launched a ball to right field that should have been caught.  Williams broke in a couple steps and then retreated awkwardly and slowly before he sped up too late.  Mayer threw a wild pitch on the next pitch to allow a run to score.  The next batter crushed a 3-0 pitch deep onto the RF berm for a 4-2 lead.

Mayer was mercifully relieved by Tyler Adams.  But, there was no mercy for the fans after Adams recorded the first out with a strikeout.  He walked a batter, hit a batter, and walked two more, forcing in a run.  His night was over after 24 pitches, 7 strikes.

Carlo Reyes entered the bases-loaded situation.  He gave up a sac fly to left then reloaded the bases with a walk.  He brought in another run with a wild pitch before getting a deep fly ball to end the inning.

In all, three pitchers threw 49 pitches in the fourth inning, 20 strikes, 29 balls, hit 2 batters, walked 4 batters, 3 wild pitches, 6 runs, 2 hits.

The Threshers were retired quickly on 12 pitches.

The second half of the piggyback, Christian Hernandez, started the fifth with the Threshers trailing 7-2.  He gave up a leadoff single that was erased by catcher Abrahan Gutierrez on a failed steal attempt.  Hernandez threw 5 more pitches, all strikes to record two strikeouts.

Williams led off the fifth with a double down the leftfield line.  Then he got thrown out trying to steal third as Johan Rojas struck out.  To add insult to injury, Garcia doubled and Martin walked later in the scoreless inning.  The third out was a towering blast by Stewart that was caught against the CF wall.  The steal attempt trailing 7-2 was a mistake.  Can’t get thrown out in that situation.

In the sixth, Hernandez hit a batter (I think we got four of them) with two out and gave up a single before getting the third out – a great catch by Rojas, leaping against the centerfield wall.

Ben Pelletier was stranded after a one-out double.

Hernandez opened the seventh with a walk, single, strikeout, bases-loading single.  He gave way to Gabriel Yanez who ended the threat with two strikeouts.

Yanez continued with a one-hit eight that included 2 strikeouts.

Stewart singled with one out, Pelletier walked with two out.  Nada.

JP Woodward pitched the ninth.  A one-out walk and two singles loaded the bases.  A run-scoring force out on a softly hit ball to short allowed the walked batter to score.  A ground out ended the inning.

Rojas got a two-out single after a couple of weak outs.  Final 8-2.

There was no stadium gun to display pitch velocity.  My stadium contact was surprised but had no answer.  I wondered if it was a level thing.  We were High-A in 2019.  Did they post pitch velo in Lakewood and Williamsport in 2019?  Anyone remember?

Without the stadium gun, it’s impossible to gauge pitcher velocity.  So, in spite of that, Mayer looked to be throwing hard.  I hesitate to suggest that circumstances got under his skin.  I had seen Adams in 2019 Instructs.  I knew then that he was a hard thrower, but with directional problems.  I had heard that Reyes, Yanez, and especially Hernandez were hard throwers.  They lived up to their billing.  I heard nothing about Woodward, and have to admit that my attention lapsed at the end. So, I will offer nothing, rather than speculate on what I think I may have seen.

There is no pitch clock.  The ABS worked well.  Only noticed a couple pauses on strike calls.  No noticeable delays.  The batters seem unaffected, no discussions with the umpire.  Catchers are still framing for the ABS.  Sillies.  I wonder if the pitchers are affected by the new system.  That hadn’t occurred to me until I started this paragraph.

Piggyback continues with –

  • 5/5 – Abel/Castaneda
  • 5/6 – Segovia/Vargas
  • 5/7 – Castillo/Marcano
  • 5/8 – Jordi Martinez/Rodolfo Sanchez
  • 5/9 – Mayer/Hernandez (again)
  • 5/10 – Monday, off day

Lehigh Valley (1-0) defeated the Rochester Red Wings 6-5 in 11 innings on Scott Kingery’s two-out, two-run triple.

Adonis Medina (0-0, 9.00) started and pitched 3.0 innings.  He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits, a walk, and struck out two.  Ramon Rosso (0-0, 0.00) pitched a one-walk inning, facing the minimum.  Christopher Sanchez (0-0, 0.00) pitched 2.0 innings striking out two and facing the minimum.  Mauricio Llovera (0-0, 0.00) pitched a perfect inning striking out one.  David Paulino (0-0, 0.00) pitched to the end of regulation, going two, one-hit innings striking out two.

Rafael Marchan (2-4, R, BB) singled and Travis Jankowski (1-4, R, BB)walked with one out in the second inning.  Luke Williams’ (2-5, R, 2 RBI) two-run double scored both and gave the IronPigs the lead.  In the fifth inning, Jean Segura and Ronald Torreyes singled with one out.  Cornelius Randolph (0-2, 2 R) pinch ran for Segura.  Austin Listi’s single drove in Randolph and tied the game.

Segura and Torreyes were playing in a rehab situation to get ready to return to the Phillies.  They each got 3 at bats with Segura getting 2 hits and Torreyes one.

The bullpen shut down the Red Wings and the game went into overtime with the score tied 3-3. JD Hammer (0-0, 0.00) came in for the tenth inning and allowed the ghost runner to score on a two-out single.

After a wild pitch moved the ghost runner to third, CJ Chatham (0-1, RBI) lofted a sac fly to tie the score in the bottom half of the inning.  An error on the catch allowed Chatham to reach second.  The Wings escaped further damage with an intentional walk, double play, and a ten-pitch strikeout on a 1-2 pitch.

Jeff Singer (1-0, 0.00) pitched the eleventh.  The leadoff batter reached on a fielder’s choice that left runners on first and second.  A single gave the Wings the lead.  A sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position.  An intentional walk set up a double-play situation.  Singer got a strikeout and force out to escape any more damage.

Trailing by a run, Luke Williams singled with two out to put runners on the corners.  Scott Kingery (1-1, 2 RBI) came through with a first-pitch triple to left that provided the walk-off victory.  Kingery entered the game as part of a double switch in the top of the eleventh inning.

Williams also had an outfield assist at the plate.

Reading (0-1) lost to the Erie SeaWolves, 12-4,

Reading took an early lead on Arquimedes Gamboa’s (1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, HR) solo HR in the first inning.  They tied the game on Luke Miller’s (1-4, R, RBI, HR) solo HR in the third.  They took a short-lived lead on Dalton Guthrie’s (1-4, R, RBI, HR) solo HR in the fourth.  After the game was out of control, Reading added a run in the eighth when Gamboa walked, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on Matt Vierling’s (3-4, RBI) RBI single.

Ethan Lindow (0-0, 6.00) started and pitched 3.0 innings. He gave up2 runs on 2 hits, a walk, and 4 strikeouts.  Ethan Evanko (0-0, 0.00) pitched a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout.  Julian Garcia (0-1, BS, 16.20) got rocked for 6 runs in 1.2 innings on 6 hits, a walk, and 2 strikeouts.  Only 3 of the runs were earned.  Austin Ross (0-0, 6.75) relieved. stranded 2 inherited runners, and gave up one run in 1.1 innings on one hit, one walk, and a strikeout.  Andrew Brown (0-0, 13.50) pitched the final 2.0 innings and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks, and a strikeout.

In addition to his 3 hits, Vierling had an outfield assist.

Jersey Shore( 1-0) beat the Hudson Valley Renegades, 6-2.

Ben Brown (0-0, 0.00) got the start and one-hit the Renegades for 4.0 innings.  He walked one and struck out six.  Tyler McKay (0-0, 9.00) followed with a busy inning that surrendered the game’s first run on 2 hits, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts.  Braden Zarbniskey (1-0, 0.00) scooped the win with two, one-hit innings.  He walked 2 and struck out two.  Dominic Pipkin (0-0, 4.50) pitched the final 2.0 innings and gave up a run on a solo HR with two out in the ninth.  He walked one and struck out three.

The BlueClaws answered the Renegades run in the fifth with 4 of their own in the bottom of the inning.  Jhailyn Ortiz’ (2-3, 2 R, 3 RBI) 2-run single scored Jonathan Guzman (0-3, 2 R, 2 BB) and Bryson Stott (0-3, R, BB).  Logan O’Hoppe (2-4, R, 3 RBI) followed with a 2-run HR.  They added 2 more runs in the seventh on Ortiz’ RBI single that scored Guzman and O’Hoppe’s RBI double that plated Ortiz.

Jersey Shore only collected 5 hits -Ortiz and O’Hoppe had 2 each and Rudy Rott (1-2, 2 BB)had the other.  Rott also stole a base (he’s a big guy, really) and Guzman nabbed two.  Eighteen Claws struck out.  Three guys went 0-11 with 11 Ks.  Ouch!

And this is how the MLB Top Thirty did –

It’s a little too early to start this.  I have to get back in the swing of things.  My game ran late.  I’ve combined the MLB Top 30 and our Reader Top 30 with a bunch of players I want to track and have 60 or more.  Over eighty when the Complex league starts.  So gimme about a week to talk myself out of doing so many.  (Question.  Is that an appropriate use of “the” before MLB in the fourth sentence?  I think it is!)

GCL Phillies East and GCL Phillies West (runs 6/28 thru 9/12)

DSL Phillies Red and DSL Phillies White (starts 5/30)

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

The rosters and lists are up to date as of May 2nd … there are 303 players in the org

Today’s Transactions 

There are a lot of transactions that were released as teams filled their roster on the third and fourth.  They’ll be in the Open Discussion.  These few matter, however. They may not be in the files above.
5/04/2021 – Phillies optioned LHP Cristopher Sanchez to Lehigh Valley
5/04/2021 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP Enyel De Los Santos from Lehigh Valley
5/04/2021 – Phillies sent SS Ronald Torreyes on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
5/04/2021 – Phillies sent SS Jean Segura on a rehab assignment to Lehigh Valley
5/03/2021 – Phillies released Greg Garcia after he opts out of MiLB contract
5/03/2021 – Phillies optioned INF Scott Kingery to the Training Site
5/03/2021 – Phillies recalled LHP Cristopher Sanchez from Training Site
5/03/2021 – LHP Jose Alvarado roster status changed by Phillies
5/03/2021 – RHP Luke Leftwich granted release
4/29/2021 – Phillies Organization released RHP Jaylen Eichler

42 thoughts on “Threshers’ and Affiliates’ Recap – 5/4/2021

  1. Good to see O’Hoppe and Ortiz starting off fast. Hope they can keep that up for a few months, and then maybe a promo to Reading in July or August.

      1. Here’s what used to happen to Anthony Hewitt.

        For the first two weeks of every season, he was hotter than a stove top. He saw lots of fastballs and crushed them. Then he started seeing a lot of breaking balls, and couldn’t hit them. At all.

        That may be what has happened to Ortiz.

      2. Yep….same with Matt Vierling …he was my ‘5th round guy’ find a few years ago.
        I thought, if the Cardinals can draft a guy like that out of HS, then he goes to Notre Dame and does well there over three years….he may be another Howard/Hoskins 5th round gem..
        But…..then he either tires or just cannot adjust and starts slumping as a season wears on.

  2. Nice first day! Ben Brown plus the top of the order in Clearwater were my highlights. Jersey SHORE (check first paragraph..) got a nice win plus Kingery with a big hit which could really help his confidence.

    1. Before the TJ surgery Ben Brown was emerging as a very intriguing prospect. Good to see him picking up where he left off.

      On the flip side – it’s pretty darned frustrating to see other teams coach up young pitchers we discarded. Cole Irvin pitched 8 innings and struck out 9 but we didn’t see enough in him to tender him a contract when we desperately needed a lefty starter. Pretty outrageous.

        1. Irvin is enjoying the large A’s field and taking advantage of that situation..
          Away splits……..290/.319/.493…..72 batters faced …WHIP-1.4
          Home splits…….209/.264/.239……72 batters faced….WHIP-0.8

          1. True again Pitchers park and new balls. Stats are front and center on how poorly the offense league wide has been.

        2. It’s probably a combination of things. Obviously, park factor is one relevant consideration, but that’s not to say we’ve been doing a great job coaching up our pitchers up to this year.

    2. Murray, my only defense is that was the last paragraph I wrote at about 2:00 AM. I made the same mistake in a conversation in the press box last night, too.

  3. Thank you so much, Jim, for this wonderful reporting. Do you know the level of MPH of Gunner Mayer’s typical fastballs?

  4. It’s so nice to see a daily report again..

    I saw the below on the Twitter: #Phillies have released RHP Luke Leftwich.

    1. Yes, he requested his release when he wasn’t assigned to a roster out of camp. Phillies grudgingly obliged. It’s one of the transactions that I did post.

  5. Jim thank you so much for these recaps. I will wake up to anticipation of these every morning. You are a “Godsend ” to the Phillies’ baseball junkie. Also “the” is appropriate before MLB.

    1. One of the new cost cutting measures in the Minors.

      Also BYOTP. Bring your own Toilet Paper.

  6. What real baseball fan says overtime win? It’s extra innings Jimbo.

    1. A baseball reporter who shuns the concept of placing a ghost runner on second. I’ll call it a shootout on occasion, too, or any other derogatory term I can think of. But, extra innings, no. Guess you’re a first-time reader, huh?

  7. interesting comment on the robo ump used in the clearwater game. the major league ball strike umps continue to be terrible. hope the robo ump is successful and eventually is used everywhere.

    1. The commissioner may push it thru faster to the majors…..even MLB Network is showing missed calls with those ‘square strike zone boxes’
      Umpires must be livid, having being exposed what seems to be now every night. an inordinate amount of missed and inaccurate calls

      1. From someone in the know Romus they already get instant feedback/grades after each game on their percentages…Home Plate Umps that is.

        And Jim you cannot hear it enough how great these write ups are. Thank you thank you thank you 🙂

    2. You need to remember that I’ve long been a proponent of robot umpires. So, when I comment on the system, keep in mind that may sway my comments on the system. I think I was fair in my comments, but you should at least know where I stand on the issue.

      I didn’t mention it above, but we even had a couple of emphatic “Strike threes!” last night.

      Without the possibility of a call being overturned, all those TV boxes do is infuriate me when the umpire misses call after call.

      If all baseball telecasts (local, regional, national) can use a box to show the ball passing through the strike zone, what’s the holdup? Put it in place after the season and deal with the players and umpires during the coming lockout/walkout from the CBA negotiations.

      Next target, judgement calls and getting umpires like the guy who called McCutchen out removed from baseball. Just kidding, but kinda not.

      1. A couple of things.

        First, in terms of the box always being right on TV, I’m not sure about that. Yes, I get that, from side to side over the plate you can automate that fully, but there would seem to be some discretion about how you fix the lower and upper half of the strike zone. It’s a different zone for Altuve than it is for Aaron Judge – who makes that judgment call? It’s a question, but it’s a real one.

        On getting rid of umpires, it would make me a little sad. Unlike refs in virtually all other sports, umpires are really part of the fabric of the game. There is little better in sports than an umpire ringing up a batter on a called strike three or have an ump call someone safe at home. They are a big part of the drama of the sport. It’s not an insignificant thing in baseball. Do we all get pumped up about a red light going off and declaring strike three or a green light declaring the runner was safe at home? Not for me, thanks.

        1. “It’s a different zone for Altuve than it is for Aaron Judge – who makes that judgment call? It’s a question, but it’s a real one.”

          ….that is very true, but from I have seen and read, there will be measuring system done for each player, and programmed into the software….from a guy like 5’5″ Freddie Patek to a guy like 6″10″ Randy Johnson.

          1. That makes sense – perhaps each player will be “fitted” for the automated strike zone each season. That would work and would also prevent a player from “squeezing” the strike zone by crouching at the plate as Pete Rose used to do.

          2. Romus if your not doing anything , Next Thursday, i need a knee replacement, and i know you can do it for me

        2. Now, ultimately, when we get to the 22nd century or so, we can have holographic umpires like they do on the holodeck in Star Trek – I am 100 percent down with that!!!

        3. In my world I call it robo assist. I don’t want to see Umps removed from the game for the reasons you state.

          In fact I’d be happy if they had it and I didn’t even know it was happening lol

          1. Umps still have to holler out the call….the earpiece they will wear will tell them ball/strike.
            And when the batter turns around and questions the ump…..the ump can hand him the earpiece and say, “Listen for yourself buddy!” 🙂

          2. In a nutshell how the system is suppose to go.

            “TrackMan, or “robot ump,” sits up above home plate (at all eight Atlantic League ballparks), and looks like a black box from afar. In reality, the box is a 3-D Doppler radar dish that analyzes each pitch thrown. Using a three-dimensional strike zone, TrackMan is able to calibrate each batters’ size and stance, adjusting the strike zone accordingly. So, the system works so that it doesn’t allow a 6-foot-7 player to have the same strike zone as a 5-foot-7 player……Now, here’s how and when the umpire gets involved. Once TrackMan identifies a ball’s location, it’s recorded and then the call is communicated to the umpire via a coiled tube earpiece. The Atlantic League had previously tested the system using Apple AirPods, but they kept encountering issues with low battery life before the game was over. They’ve since switched to an earpiece, which is connected to an iPhone that’s clipped into the umpire’s belt buckle. It’s no longer wireless but there’s no battery issues to worry about. The iPhone is the connecting device to TrackMan’s data, and how it gets relayed to the umpire. Next, the umpire will hear a single syllable via a male voice: “ball” or “strike.”

            1. From JJ Cooper in a Baseball America article.

              “To use the new automated ball-strike (ABS) system, hitters’ strike zones will be programmed into the ABS system based on their height. The top of the zone will be 56% of the player’s height and the bottom of the strike zone will be set at 28% of the player’s height. There are no allowances for having a crouch. It’s based on a hitters’ full height, and MLB will be checking listed heights to make sure they are accurate.

              MLB will be using the Hawk-Eye visual tracking system to measure the strike zone. The strike zone will be measured as a two-dimensional box at the very front of the plate. Since this is an experiment, there is a chance that eventually it may be tweaked.

              With an automated zone you can make it whatever you want to make it. You aren’t tied to the old definitions. 2D box? Front of the plate. Mid-point of the plate? Back of the plate? All options.

              The system will not be in place in every Low-A Southeast stadium. Daytona is not an MLB spring training home and as such does not have the Hawk-Eye system installed. There, umpires will call balls and strikes the old fashioned way.” – JJ Cooper – Baseball America

            2. Ok….so they upgraded it appears from the original 2019 design/format..
              The sooner it gets implemented the better IMO.
              I would think the umps will like it….since it takes the pressure off them.

  8. Pigs win their second straight walk off. This time, the opposing pitcher in the ninth balked the runner to second base and wild pitched him to third then to home.

  9. I like the idea of automated balls and strikes. I wonder if Bohm hadn’t been racked up on a called third strike that appeared to be a ball if the Phillies might have scored more first inning runs and got Peralta out of the game tonight, for example.

    My question is whether the technology today can adequately measure depth.

    Many years ago, I did PR for a fight promoter in Wilmington and lived for about six months in the fight world.

    At boxing matches, I would sit right at the ring just like the scorers. One of my favorite stories was when a fighter named Rochelle Norris was above me into the ropes and his opponent punched him and his head spun sideways and his mouth piece flew out and hit me on the side of the face. Now, that’s being close to the action.

    The point is from that perspective I saw fights far differently from those watching on two-dimensional TV or even fans live sitting ringside. I saw, for example, a missed punch that they thought hit, or a punch that had no power that to them was effective.

    Is the technology good enough today for that kind of nuance?

    1. Frank…..from everything I read the Trackman tech is up to speed to cover all the angles.
      And you know what goes away….pitch framing…the subtle skillful art of cheating IMO.

    2. “My question is whether the technology today can adequately measure depth.”

      WhY? From my comment above – “The strike zone will be measured as a two-dimensional box at the very front of the plate”. Two dimensions have no depth. Think of the strike zone as a window at the front of home plate.

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