Category Archives: Spring Training 2015

MiLB Spring Training 2015; April 3rd v. Blue Jays

The Phillies minor league squads played their final spring training games today against teams from the Blue Jays organization.  I watched Greg Legg’s group win a well-pitched, well-played game by a 4-1 score.  Before I report on the game, here’s some roster rumors based on some real good conversations, but not yet verified.

I came right out and asked Coach Legg if today’s line up was pretty much what we could expect of the Clearwater roster.  He replied, “Yeah, pretty much”.  As an afterthought, I introduced myself as a reporter and he clarified his statement with, “Of course, camp doesn’t end until tomorrow morning (Saturday), there could still be some changes”.

When the players took the field, one of the coaches or players exhorted them with the line, “You’re no longer Group Three, you’re Threshers”.  So with that in mind, here is today’s Clearwater Threshers line up –

  • Jesmuel Valentin, 2B
  • Willians Astudillo, 1B
  • Andrew Knapp, C
  • Dylan Cozens, LF
  • Zach Green, 3B
  • Aaron Brown, CF
  • Andrew Pullin, DH
  • Drew Stankiewicz, SS
  • Chace Harris, RF
  • Mitch Walding, Bench
  • Devin Lohman, Bench
  • Angelo Mora, Bench
  • Jose Mayorga, not listed on line up card but he replaced Knapp
  • Miguel Nunez, SP
  • Colin Kleven, RP
  • Edubray Ramos, RP

I heard that Aaron Altherr is beginning the season in Reading with Roman Quinn and Brian Pointer.  Brock Stassi started in the outfield today for the AA team.

I heard that J.P. Crawford new a couple weeks ago that he would start the season in Clearwater.  That would explain the acquisition of Devin Lohman and his placement in Clearwater after Crawford suffered his oblique injury.

I heard that Nunez and Cleven would start games 4 and 5 for the Threshers and that the first 3 games would be started by new Threshers.  In all likelihood, that would be Matt Imhof, Brandon Leibrandt, and David Whitehead.

If any/most of this is accurate, then we will see  –

  • Knapp, Astudillo, and Mayorga sharing catching duties,
  • Astudillo and Green sharing innings at first base,
  • Green and Walding sharing innngs at third base,
  • Stankiewicz, Lohman, Mora, and Valentin sharing innings at the middle infield, positions until Crawford returns and claims shortstop before moving on to Reading,
  • Cozens, Brown, Pullin, and Harris in the outfield,
  • Imhof, Kleven, Nunez, Leibrandt, and Whitehead in the rotation with Mark Leiter poised to step in when needed.

If the Clearwater roster is “set”, then it follows that today’s other game would constitute the Lakewood roster –

  • Miguel Canelo, SS
  • Jiandio Tromp, RF (homered today)
  • Carlos Tocci, CF
  • Rhys Hoskins, 1B
  • Cord Sandberg, LF
  • Deivy Grullon (homered today)
  • Damek Tomscha, DH
  • Derek Campbell, 3B
  • Grenny Cumana, 2B
  • Chris Oliver, SP
  • Herlis Rodriguez, Bench
  • Tim Zeir, Bench
  • Joel Fisher, Bench (homered 2 days ago, base hit in AAA/AA game yesterday)
  • Corey Bass, Bench
  • Yacksel Rios, RP
  • Calvin Rayburn, RP

Now for today’s game.

Miguel Nunez pitched 4 strong innings.  He allowed only 3 base runners on 2 walks and a single.  One was erased by Knapp on a steal attempt, another on a double play.

Colin Kleven followed with 4 strong innings of his own.  He allowed 4 base runners and a run on 2 walks and 2 hits.  But he responded to the Jays RBI single with bac-to-back strike outs to end the inning.  Kleven’s repetoire includes a 4-seamer, 2-seamer, slider, and a cutter.  His fastball was 92-93mph, his cutter was 88-89 mph.

Edubray Ramos picked up the save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Domonic Brown batted third in each of the first 4 innings.  When he reached base, Mitch Walding came in to pinch run for him.  brown went 1-2 with a single, walk, sacrifice fly, and an RBI.

The Phillies scored first in the third inning.  Stankiewicz opened with a line drive single to right center field.  He moved to third on Harris’ single to right.  He scored on Brown’s sac fly.  Harris moved to third on two stolen bases but was stranded there.

The Phillies scored another run in the fourth inning.  Knapp led off with a single.  He moved to second on a ground out and scored on Green’s double down the left field line.

The Blue Jays closed the gap in the sixth to 2-1.  The Phillies opened up a three run lead in the bottom of the eighth inning.  Stankiewicz led off with a walk.  He stole second and moved to third on Harris’ bunt for a base hit.  Stankiewicz scored on a sacrifice fly by Devin Lohman.  Harris stole third and scored on Mayorga’s line drive single to center.

Today’s box score –

  • Valentin:           1-3; K
  •    Lohman:        0-1; RBI, SF
  • Astudillo:          2-4; SB
  •    Mayorga:        1-1; RBI
  • Knapp:               1-2; R, BB
  • Cozens:              1-4; 2B, 2 K
  • Green:                2-2; RBI, BB
  • A. Brown:          0-2; BB
  • Pullin:                 0-3; K
  • Stankiewicz:    1-2; 2 R, BB, K, SB
  • Harris:                 2-2; R, K, 3 SB
  • D. Brown:          1-2; RBI, BB, SF
  •    Walding:         0-0; SB


  • Nunez:    4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Kleven:   4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Ramos:   1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

The Threshers ran themselves out of a scoring opportunity in the sixth inning. With one out and Valentin on first, Astudillo singled to right. Valentin tried to go to third but was gunned out by the right fielder. Astudillo was thrown out at second following the play. A rare 9-5-4 double play on a base hit.

Camp breaks tomorrow.

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 31st vs. Yankees

The Phillies minor league teams played the Yankees again today.  The A teams were at Carpenter Complex.  There was an interesting mix of prospects among the line ups posted on Roberts and Ashburn Fields.  The Clearwater coaches were on Ashburn, the Lakewood coaches on Roberts.  Matt Imhof was warming up for Ashburn, and that fact made up my mind.

The Lakewood coaches were fielding the following players – Sandberg RF, Canelo, SS, Tocci CF, Hoskins DH, Hiciano LF, Tomscha 1B, Campbell 3B, Grullon C, Zier 2B, Harris DH, Zgardowski SP, Tromp/Mayorga/Fisher – Bench, Rios/Ramos/and maybe Therrien – relief.

The Clearwater line up was re-ordered when Domonic Brown came out to DH.  He would bat third in each of the first four innings. Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 31st vs. Yankees

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 30th vs. Yankees

I saw another sign today that spring training is almost over – the Lehigh Valley coaches were with Group 1 and the Reading coaches were with Group 2.  That led to speculation that the line ups we saw today are close to reaching their final iterations.  That thought lasted only a few minutes until I saw Revere and Hererra listed as the first 2 batters for the AAA squad.  However, the AA line up is pretty close to what can be expected in Reading.  That led to some wild and ecstatic speculation about the Clearwater line up.  Can’t wait to see that group tomorrow.  An added bonus today was that Aaron Judge was playing with the Yankees’ AA team. Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 30th vs. Yankees

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 28th vs. Blue Jays

I arrived at the Complex to find the Blue Jays warming up on the mounds between Schmidt and Ashburn Fields, mounds that are usually reserved for the Phillies’ pitchers.  The heavy rain last night must have made Ashburn unplayable.  I’ve noticed in the past that right field doesn’t drain particularly well after heavy rain.  So, the Group 1 game was moved to Roberts Field.  This had several ramifications – Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 28th vs. Blue Jays

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 26th vs. Yankees

We’ve reached the point where enough guys have been reassigned to the minor league camp from major league spring training that the groups are becoming confusing.  There are several players crossing between groups, and the lines that define groups are becoming blurred.  Even though the Reading and Clearwater staffs are managing Groups 1 and 2, they are starting to look like the rosters that will become Lehigh Valley and Reading.

Dusty Wathan’s  Group 1 fielded the following line up –

  • Quinn CF,
  • Mastroianni RF,
  • Altherr LF (Pointer as his 6th inning replacement),
  • Franco 3B,
  • Moore C (Bass in the 6th),
  • Tyler Greene SS,
  • Joseph DH,
  • d’Arnaud 2B,
  • Stassi 1B,
  • Perkins bench.

Greg Legg’s Group 2 fielded the following line up –

  • Tocci CF,
  • Valentin (Alonso 6th),
  • Knapp DH,
  • Cozens RF (Harris 7th),
  • Henson LF,
  • Pierre 3B (Charles 1B),
  • Serna SS,
  • Lino C (Mayorga 7th),
  • Martinez 1B (3B in the 6th).

I watched the Group 2 game where Ben Lively started but first I have a bunch of random information from the Group 1 game –

  • Chad Billingsley pitched 2 innings.  He gave up one hit and induced 5 ground balls.  His fast ball was 90-91 mph.
  • Adam Morgan pitched 4 innings.  He looked good, his fastball was 89-90 mph and his curve and slider were really working.  I think he opened the 1st inning with a K, then a 1B and an inning-ending double play.  He struck out the side in the second inning.  He induced 3 ground ball outs in the third inning which included a one-out, line drive double.  In the 4th inning he he gave up a long fly out to left that the wind probably kept in the park, a single and two more Ks.
  • Roman Quinn batted left-handed and gapped a triple to right center field.
  • Seve Gonzalez was on hand to bunt lead off base runners over to second.  He was success in the one attempt I saw.
  • Ben Revere got 6 or 7 at bats switching between games and totallly wrecked my score card.

In the Group 2 game, Lively pitched 3 innings –

1st inning

  • Fly out, F8
  • K, looking
  • 2B over the RF’s head
  • 3B over the CF’s head
  • K

2nd inning

  • K
  • Line drive 1B to CF
  • Pop out, P3
  • Ground out, 6-3

3rd inning

  • K
  • Hustle 2B to shallow RCF
  • K, looking
  • 2B over the LF’s head
  • Home run to RF
  • K (and left the mound with an “expletive deleted!”

Lively had an inconsistent outing.  He struck out 6 and didn’t walk anybody, but 5 of the 6 hits he allowed went for extra bases.  He threw about 63 pitches, 41 for strikes.  He faced Aaron Judge twice, striking him out looking in the first inning.  In his second AB, Judge flared a ball into shallow right center that the wind knocked down as Dylan Cozens tried a diving catch.  Judge busted out of the box and never broke stride.  When Cozens left his feet, Judge continued on to second beating Tocci’s soft throw by a wide margin.  Lively was clearly aggravated with himself as he left the mound after finishing the 3rd inning with a K after allowing the home run.

Reinier Roibal pitched the next 2 innings.

4th inning

  • Ground out 4-3
  • BB
  • Stolen base
  • Stolen base
  • BB
  • Fielder’s choice, 6-4
  • Stolen base
  • K

5th inning

  • K, looking
  • Pop out, P3
  • K

Roibal struck out Judge to end the 4th inning.  It was Judge’s last AB for the day.  He finished 1-3 with 2 Ks.  The Yankees stole at will during his appearance.  They must have spotted something in his wind up.  They didn’t try to run on Lino when Lively, Stewart, and Ridenhour were on the mound.

Ethen Stewart pitched a scoreless 6th inning that included a strike out, walk, and a successful pick off.

Lee Ridenhour pitched 2 scoreless innings.

7th innng

  • Ground out, 5-3
  • Fly out, F8
  • K

8th inning

  • Fly out, F8
  • Ground out, 3-1
  • Fly out, F7

When Ridenhour’s first fast ball popped the mitt, a friend asked me how fast Ridenhour threw.  I don’t know how fast any of the pitchers were on Schmidt Field were throwing today.  They moved the guns to the other side of the cage where we can’t see them.  Regardless of speed, Ridenhour looked effective.

Mark Leiter pitched a scoreless 9th inning, recording a pop up to short and 2 swinging strike outs.

Offensively, the Phillies managed 4 hits.  Tocci singled to lead off the 1st inning and was erased when Ben revere grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.  Casey Serna grounded a double down the left field line with one out in the 3rd inning.  He scored when Gabriel Lino popped out down the right field line and the fielder threw wildly to third base when Serna faked a tag.  He was awarded home when the ball left the field of play.  The final 2 hits and runs came on solo home runs to left by Andrew Knapp.  Both balls were hit well and didn’t appear to be aided by the wind that was blowing from right to the third base line.

The complete box score is too sad to print, here are the highlights –

  • Tocci:      1-3
  • Knapp:   2-3; R, 2 RBI, 2 HR
  • Serna:     1-2; 2B
  • Only 3 Phillies struck out – Tocci, Alonso, Martinez, none walked
  • 5 Phillies’ pitchers recorded 13 Ks and walked 3
  • 4 Phillies’ relievers held the Yankees hitless over the last 6 innings
  • Lively:             3.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
  • Roibal:            2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Stewart:         1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Ridenhour:   2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Leiter:             1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

I’m going to the Phillies’ game against the Yankees Friday, no minor league report.  Aaron Nola is scheduled to pitch 3 innings.  I hope the monsoon outside my window stops in time for the field to drain.  I saw a few players in a restaurant last night.  One of our group approached a player I recognized and asked how he injured his oblique.  He was told that it happened while fielding a batted ball.

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 24th vs. Pirates

Today Aaron Harang started for Shawn Williams’ group.  He brought along Carlos Ruiz as his battery mate.  While I would much prefer watching prospects pitch, at least the game offered a chance to see some prospects in the line up.  Unfortunately, Chooch knocked Deivy Grullon out of the start.  He wouldn’t enter the game until the 6th inning.

The line up showed a little shuffling among the groups.  Willians Astudillo, Zach Green, Drew Stankiewicz, and Cord Sandberg dropped down from Greg Legg’s group for today’s game.  Jan Hernandez and Chase Harris moved up from the lower group.  Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 24th vs. Pirates

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 20th vs. Blue Jays

Coach Wathan and Coach Legg took their charges to Dunedin today.  Prior to the games, rumors that the Jays newly signed FA, LHP was warming up and would be pitching during the AAA game.  Alas, Randy Wolf completed his throwing and was finished for the day.  Later, I saw him making the rounds and greeting his friends among the Phillies’ staff.

Sean O’Sullivan was scheduled to start the AAA game, Ben Lively the AA game.  Since the AA group contains players who will possibly start the season in Clearwater, I took up a position on Field Two.  Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 20th vs. Blue Jays

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 18th vs. Pirates

Two A games at the Complex today. Lakewood manager Shawn Williams’ group was on the bad end of a 12-2 decision.  I posted the following line up on twitter, but in these games the line up is often just a suggestion.  Changes came earlier than in the 6th inning and for players not scheduled to be replaced.  Oh well, that happens a lot down here.

Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 18th vs. Pirates

MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 17th vs. the Blue Jays

I arrived at the Carpenter Complex as the teams took the field. I was drawn to Ashburn Field, traditionally the AAA field, when I thought I saw Carlos Alonso at shortstop, not a normal position for Carlos. Turns out it was free agent signee Tyler Greene. But since Ethan Martin was on the mound, I chose to stay. I recognized Aaron Brown, Cameron Perkins, and Roman Quinn in the outfield and was satisfied with my game selection.

Ethan Martin started and retired 3 of 4 batters fairly easily. The only base runner reached on a softly hit flare to shallow left field. There were no scouts around the cage, so I don’t have any velocity on his fast ball. Continue reading MiLB Spring Training 2015; March 17th vs. the Blue Jays