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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

3/17/22 : Today at the complex - Minor League ST

Spring Training first Minor League Game Day as the Blue Jays AA & AAA designated contingent arrived at Carpenter Complex for a 1 PM contest. Conversely the Phillies sent their High A and A groups on two busses over to Dunedin. We stationed ourselves on Roberts Field to watch the AA game - primarily because there’s some shade there 😎.

The games today were seven inning contests and were played with the Fall Instructs allowance of rolling innings where pitchers reached pitch limits. The Blue Jays prevailed on Roberts Field by a count of 4-3 with the Phillies winning on Ashburn Field 6 to 4.

Morning Practice :

RH Buddy Hayward, RH Victor Vargas & LH Ethan Evanko threw live BP sessions. Reportedly by a fellow highly educated baseball fan Mr. Vargas looked sharp - the 21 year old from Colombia excels with pinpoint pitches - is very efficient and masterful on the mound. IF McCarthy Tatum homered in live BP on Carlton Field.

Roberts Field Highlights :

RH Julian Garcia got the start and pitched two scoreless innings allowing just two walks while posting three strikeouts. Julian split time primarily between Reading and Lehigh Valley last season, the 26 year old was the club’s 10th round selection in the 2016 draft. RH Tyler Carr pitched a scoreless third inning allowing just a single but then erasing it with a 4-6-3 Taylor made double play grounder. LH Nick Lackney had a rough go of it yielding three runs on five hits in a rolled fourth inning with two outs recorded, he’ll bounce back. RH Andrew Schultz popped the mitt in the 94-96 range in the fifth allowing a run on a triple and sac fly, he punched out one batter. RH Andrew Brown was excellent as he struck out the side in the sixth with swing and miss secondaries and a solid heater. LH Gabriel Yanez allowed just a walk in the seventh getting two groundouts and a strikeout.

CF Hunter Markwardt led off the bottom of the first with a ground rule double over the left center field fence, he scored on a double down the left field line by third baseman DJ Stewart. Carlos De La Cruz hit a monstrous two run home run in the seventh inning that clanked off the top of the scoreboard in left center field. We’ve seen that kind of power from the 22 year old before, last season was a rough go for Carlos - looking to show what he’s capable of this year - today was a good start 👍. Carlos subbed into the game for Markwardt in center field - in addition to the home run he walked in his second plate appearance.

First Baseman Joe Genord hit the ball hard twice - one was caught by the Jays center fielder, he singled on a liner to right his second AB and walked in his third appearance. Freylin Minyety lined a single to center in his only AB of the game - every time we’ve seen him play the 22 year old makes solid contact - has excellent bat to ball skills.

Ashburn Field Highlights :

I didn’t see the action on Ashburn as I parked myself on Roberts but fellow fans came and told me the following :

OF Ethan Wilson tripled to the opposite field early in the game. OF Matt Kroon hit a two run double and IF Drew Maggi went yard over the left field fence.

RH Adam Leverett started on the bump and pitched two scoreless frames, LH Zach Warren had a strong outing throwing a scoreless inning.

Things ya only see on the backfields :

The Blue Jays had a pitcher that they wanted to throw who didn’t get into the scheduled seven innings on Roberts Field. To accommodate him we witnessed an oddity - after the game concluded the Phillies took the field behind a Blue Jays battery ( pitcher and catcher ) and provided the defense as the hurler pitched against - get this - his fellow Blue Jays teammates 😳. Only on the backfields do ya see stuff like that 🥸.

Baycare Ballpark :

The Tiki Bar was open from one to seven this afternoon and a crowd was there to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The big league Phillies practiced on the field while the party was going on in the left field concourse area. St. Patrick’s Day is normally a highly attended game in Spring Training at the ballpark - at least a semblance of it was enabled today for those who chose to attend.

Former Phillie sighting :

We met and got to chat with Shane Turner today, he’s a scout for the San Francisco Giants. Mr. Turner was a member of the 1988 Phillies appearing in 18 games. He had been acquired in a trade with the Yankees in 1987 along with Chester County native Keith Hughes in exchange for Mike Easler. He played infield for Reading and Maine in ‘87 and ‘88 before joining the Phillies big league club in 1988. The following season he was traded to the Orioles. Always fun to chat with baseball people. The Phillies treat visiting scouts well - even bring them cold water bottles - meanwhile old wanna be writers are on a bring your own basis 😂.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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