Big day today, doubleheader at the Complex and a Mick Abel start at the Ballpark. I’m a little wiped out, so the recaps will be short.
Lehigh Valley lost in a walk-off. Reading blew their game late. Jersey Shore won in a blowout. And, Clearwater won a game but watched their top prospect leave the game early. The FCL Phillies swept a doubleheader. The DSL teams both lost in weather-shortened games.
Lehigh Valley (26-36) lost to Buffalo, 6-5.
Mark Appel got shelled giving up 4 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in 2.1 innings. Mickey Moniak went 1-4 with a HR (9) and 2 RBI. Darick Hall went 2-4 with a HR (5) and 2 RBI.
Reading (26-37) lost to Portland, 3-2.
Francisco Morales pitched six innings of one-hit, shutout ball. He walked 4 and struck out five. Aneurys Zabala blew the save and win with 3 runs in the eighth. Arquimedes Gamboa went 2-3 with an inside-the-park home run (6).
Jersey Shore (28-35) beat Brooklyn, 13-3.
Dominic Pipkin pitched five innings and gave up one run on 3 hits and 3 walks. He struck out five. Hunter Hearn went 2-3 with a solo HR (2). DJ Stewart went 2-5 with a HR (36) and 3 RBI. Jhailyn Ortiz went 2-4 with a solo HR (11).
Clearwater (32-30) beat Dunedin, 3-1.
Mick Abel pitched three-plus innings. He didn’t allow a run, gave up a bunt base hit, walked two, hit two more, and struck out five. He left the game after a hit batter and walk in the fourth inning, 68 pitches, and 41 strikes. Leonel Aponte stranded the two base runners and pitched three scoreless, no-hit innings walking two and striking out one. for his first Low-A win.
The Threshers scored a run in the third on Juan Aparicio’s sacrifice fly. They added 2 runs in the fourth on Luis Garcia’s RBI single and a fielder’s choice on a Johan Rojas ground ball. Rojas went 2-4 with a double. Marcus Lee Sang went 2-3 with a walk.
The Threshers were helped in the fourth when the Jays attempted a double steal. Luis Garcia cut off the throw to second and gunned down the runner at the plate. Catcher Abrahan Gutierrez announced his presence with authority when the runner tried to score standing up. The firm tag drew a look but no action toward the burly catcher.
As you may have read on social media, I reported that “Phillies top prospect Mick Abel was removed from Thursday’s Threshers game in the 4th inning. He appeared to have some discomfort. A coach and trainer visited the mound to assess his condition. Hopefully, his removal was precautionary. It did not appear to be his shoulder or arm“.
I noticed Abel twisting his body from left to right at the waist in the second or third inning. It was an unnatural move for Abel during his normal mound actions. He did the same in the fourth inning only a little more pronounced. A trainer and the pitching coach hurried to the mound.
Abel normally has impeccable command. The unusual movement came after he hit one batter and walked another. He hit both batters trying to go inside with 95 mph fastballs. The first time on an 0-2 count (GameDay says 1-2, but it’s wrong, the guy counted the one as the actual hit by pitch). The second on a 3-2 pitch.
I recognized Abel’s actions as those that we do when we have a stiff back. I’m certain that this is in no way arm or shoulder related. Removing Abel from the game is what you would expect the Phillies or any team to do. It’s mostly a precaution until he can be checked out further. Young players never want to come out of a game. It’s up to the team to protect them from themselves. The Phillies are verrrrry good at being careful.
If it was some tweak or spasm in his back, that would explain his uncharacteristic loss of command. If the Phillies stay true to form, this is the last we’ll here of this until Abel pitches again or mysteriously and quietly goes onto the IL.
FCL Phillies (7-5) swept a doubleheader from FCL Blue Jays, 10-3 and 6-4.
In game one, Sam Jacobsak pitched two scoreless innings, scattering 5 hits and striking out four. Jamari Baylor and Felix Reyes stroked their first professional home runs, Reyes’ was a grand slam.
In game two, Wilson Gherbaz pitched two no-hit innings allowing just two walks. Juan Herrera (.333) and Alexies Azuaje had 2 RBIs each.
7/15/2021 – Jersey Shore sent OF Hunter Markwardt on a rehab assignment to FCL Phillies
7/15/2021 – Douglas Mijares assigned to DSL Red from DSL White