Today was the first full squad practice of the spring. Over 190 minor leaguers took to the fields at the Carpenter Complex.
The position players came out first. They came out in small groups similar to the pitchers yesterday and proceeded in the same fashion. The first group went to left field on Roberts Field and did their exercises and running. They proceeded to Carlton Field and long tossed in right field. Meanwhile, a second group went out to Roberts Field to begin their workout. I noticed a new player in one of the groups – Cash Case.
The guys on Carlton moved to the infield for fielding practice with trailing groups following. At the same time, a group of pitchers (looked like Monday’s group two) went down the left field line for long toss. There were some new faces in the group – Mick Abel and Gunner Mayer.
It’s early, but the coaches with each group appear to be the complete staff from an affiliate. We’ll pay particular attention to these groupings in the coming days.
Meanwhile, two groups of pitchers had begun doing PFPs on Ashburn.
At this point, we headed over to BayCare Ballpark to watch a scrimmage between our guys and some Tigers’ prospects.
We were fortunate that the Phillies opened the stadium to the public at no charge. They had to bear the cost of additional security, but I believe it was worth it to them. Over a hundred people (including some Phillies’ and Tigers’ personnel) walked over from the Complex to watch the game. The people I talked to were happy to see baseball being played.
I tweeted out the game inning by inning. If you didn’t see them, here they are.
Rojas single was hit hard. Rojas was running on the pitch (and had a heckuva a jump) when O’Hoppe crushed a drive over the centerfielder that landed on the warning track. Rojas was past second base and stopped to make sure the ball wasn’t caught. He still scored without a throw.
My mistake, bottom of the second.
Looked like Dohy had good stuff just had difficulty locating. O’Hoppe’s error came on a 3-1 pitch that was ball four. A slow call by the umpire induced the unnecessary throw into center field.
O’Hoppe smoked hi HR into the Tiki Terrace. It got out quick. Rojas beat a good throw at second, stole second off the pitcher. The third strike on Stott almost hit him. Not a very good call. By now it was apparent that the strike zone was lower and more inside than it should have been. Strikes in the upper part of the zone were not called as consistently as they should have been. Can’t wait for the ABS to make its way to the majors.
The play at second was close, the plat at the plate wasn’t.
Our guys worked some deep counts. I worried that as Hall’s AB grew longer that pitch count would cause the Tigers to roll the inning. It did.
It looked like the lead runner lost track of the count and took off on a 2-2 pitch. When he heard “Ball” he seemed to slow up and didn’t slide. We’ll take it, right?
The play on Viars was close but looked correct. The big guy surprised everybody.
Torres’ catch was probably the defensive play of the game, bumping Stott’s earlier play from the hole. The ball was flared into no man’s land in shallow right-center field. Yhoswar Garcia is fast but was playing deep. Nicolas Torres has been primarily an infielder but has seen some time in the outfield. He covered a lot of ground and made a diving catch that saved a run. It seems a more difficult play for a right-handed outfielder, catching the ball on his backhand. Then he held on through impact with the ground and rolling over his extended arm. Great play.
O’Hoppe and Rojas were the offensive stars. Rojas went 1-2 with a walk, 2 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases. O’Hoppe went 2-2 with a run scored, walk, double, HR, and 3 RBI.
It’s early and only one inning each. But, a couple of these pitchers have laid the groundwork to contend for the Phillies bullpen or Lehigh Valley at the very least. Good to have added veteran depth for Joe.