3/23/22 : Today at the Complex
Arrived at the complex just in time this morning to see a few side bullpen sessions from the rehab group of pitchers. Albertus Barber, Keylan Kilgore, Brett Schulze and Jordi Martinez each threw in their progressions to return to action. We watched Jordi’s session up close and he was letting it fly - looks nearly ready to return from our view. Each of the others threw the ball well also, minor league baseball is a grind in its own right but fighting back from injury takes tremendous perseverance. We learned that another of our favorites Trevor Bettencourt threw a side bullpen yesterday. As per usual when a pitcher throws a bullpen from the rehab group the other players rehabbing come to watch and cheer when it’s completed, really classy and great team spirit.
We then walked up to the stadium and went inside to watch the Phillies and Blue Jays play Grapefruit League game number six.
The Game : Phillies 8 Blue Jays 7
The Phillies scored six runs in the first three innings and never trailed en-route to their third win of the spring training season. JT Realmuto had two hits including a solo home run and two RBIs. Rhys Hoskins, Matt Vierling and Didi Gregorius each had two hit games. Hoskins, Justin Williams, Mickey Moniak and Gregorius each hit doubles. Jean Segura had a hit and two RBIs, Vierling also had two RBIs.
First baseman Darick Hall made the defensive play of the game - a liner was hit to center fielder Mickey Moniak with a runner on first base - the runner broke for second, Moniak made the catch and threw back to Hall at first base. Darick made an acrobatic catch and tag on the runner sliding in to record a double play.
The Phillies used seven pitchers in the game. Lefty starter Christopher Sanchez threw two scoreless frames allowing just a walk while striking out three batters. He featured a sinker, slider and changeup with the sinker being the delivery on 21 of his 26 pitches - velo range of 91 to 95 on the sinker.
Right-hander Nick Nelson tossed two shutout innings allowing no hits or walks while striking out three. He threw 31 pitches - 17 change-ups ( 87-89 mph ), 1 curve ball ( 78 mph ) and 13 four seamers ( 93-96 mph ) - very solid outing.
Twenty two year old RH Francisco Morales made a great impression in his final 2022 Grapefruit League appearance ( he was optioned to minor league camp after the game ) by striking out the side in a scoreless ninth inning. Two runners had reached base on a walk and bunt single but he closed it out for the save regardless. His four seam fastballs and sinkers were popping in the 95 to 97 mph range and he also threw a nasty cutter ( 86 to 90 mph ) and slider ( 86 to 87 mph ). When the young man stays tight and consistent mechanically he’s got overpowering stuff.
My daughter Michelle and wife Barb enjoying a cold beverage at today’s game.
The Minor League Games :
The Triple A and Double A teams took bus rides to Lakeland to play the Tigers - Johan Rojas, Jhailyn Ortiz, Logan O’Hoppe, Luis Garcia, Dalton Guthrie, DJ Stewart and Ethan Wilson were all in the lineups today. Adam Leverett, Andrew Schultz, Bubby Rossman, Jason Ruffcorn, Nick Lackney, Andrew Baker, Julian Garcia, Jhordany Mezquita, Aidan Anderson, Matt Seelinger and Cam Wynne were the scheduled pitchers.
At Carpenter Complex the High A and Low A designated squads played. Rafael Marchan stayed back and participated as the DH in the game on Ashburn Field. Rixon Wingrove hit a two run home run on Ashburn. Scheduled pitchers included Mick Abel, Rafael Marcano, Fernando Lozano, Manuel Urias, Gunner Mayer, Gabriel Cotto, Tommy McCollum, Malik Binns, Jose Ulloa and Tyler Adams.
Weather permitting ( there’s a high likelihood of rain ) the A level group will play the Blue Jays tomorrow at the Complex while the AAA/AA groups are scheduled to go to Dunedin.
Mick Abel delivers a pitch on Ashburn Field - photo by Cheryl Pursell
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️