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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

4/12/24 : Today at the Complex

Today the Player Development Center (PDC) players played a three frame intra-squad scrimmage.  I call them frames rather than innings because it was a simulated game event where runners were often intentionally placed on base ahead of the action and in some frames more than three outs were intentionally recorded - in other words, a working game practice with umpires 🤓.  I was the only “fan” in attendance today, no autograph seekers on hand - just me and the employees of the organization watching, I’m indeed an oddity. 🤪

On The Hill :

Right hander Enrique Segura pitched three frames, he can be very impressive with both stuff and delivery - when he struggles I’ve noticed that he tends to short-arm his pitches which causes a glove side pull and balls that sail on him.  He’s often compared to Aaron Nola in his mechanics and with his breaking pitches which vary from a vertical sharp breaking hook to a horizontal slider.  He also has pop in the heater.  The 19 year old got a bit frustrated after his outing as a few wild pitches allowed runners to advance and in some instances cross the plate. To me that shows he truly cares and has a will to improve.  He has really good stuff - posted 4 K’s when he held his balance and delivery.  There’s a bright future here - just had to keep grinding and learning.

I saw 23 year old lefty Benony Robles for the first time - tall and lanky - he recorded four outs in his “inning” allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one batter.  He has some pop, can envision him contributing at an affiliate (perhaps Reading) once he gets his footing.  Also watched right-hander Eury Ramos - the 26 year old recorded four outs in his outing - no runs, one hit and one strikeout - showed a fade away change up that had hitters lunging.

Perhaps the most impressive outing was delivered by right hander Luis Avila.  The twenty year old showed a power arm (probably mid 90’s - first time I’ve seen him in person) and what looked to me like an old fashioned hook that had plenty of vertical drop.  He faced four hitters and retired them all, one strikeout.  He was fun to watch, am anxious to see more outings from him.

At Bat :

Jerffson Pena (20 yrs old) had the hit of the scrimmage - he was hit by a pitch and requested to continue his AB rather than take first base - on the next delivery he smoked the ball over the right center field fence for a two run home run!  Other players who had hits included Aroon Escobar, Manolfi Jimenez, Diego Gonzalez Jorge Mendez and Ezra Farmer - they each singled.

Defensive Gems :

I was impressed by 18 year old Guillermo Rosario’s instincts and mechanics behind the plate at the catcher position.  He seems to take charge and at 6’2” 190 has a strong build - one to watch as he progresses.   Right fielder Yemal Flores threw a runner out at the plate in the first inning on a ground ball single hit to him, the runner was attempting to score from second base on the play.   Third baseman Aroon Escobar made a couple nice plays, one on a slow roller he came in to get and throw the runner out at first and another on a sharply hit grounder deep down the third base line that he fielded and threw across the diamond - the 19 year old from what I’ve seen has a very strong arm - he can also swing the bat.

Yesterday the Extended Spring Training game schedule began - the Yankees visited Carpenter Complex to play the Phillies - it was a rain shortened contest.

4/11/24 : Yankees 8 Phillies 7 - six innings

On The Hill : 9 R, 4 H, 8 BB, 4 K’s

Christian McGowan started and pitched three innings (2 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K’s - 53 pitches - 32 strikes - FB topped at 95 mph) and Alexis De La Cruz pitched three innings (6 R, 2 H, 6 BB, 1 K - 51 pitches - 19 strikes - FB topped at 94 mph).

At Bat :  8 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K’s

Second baseman Aroon Escobar went 2 for 2 (double,triple) with an RBI.  Shortstop Starlyn Caba, DH Angel Mata, RF Manolfi Jimenez and CF Jerffson Pena each singled.  Caba stole a base.  DH Guillermo Rosario had a sacrifice fly RBI.

Note :

I often feel out of place watching the games and practices on the backfields - often times I’m the only one in attendance who’s just a fan.  One thing about this year’s Phillies group that stands out is their energy - they’ve shown a true love for playing baseball that’s readily evident in just the few times I’ve watched so far.  It brings a smile to my face to see the interaction and bond these fellas seem to have - also noted is the enthusiasm of players like Starlyn Caba and Nolan Beltran - they actually thank an old goofball like me for coming to watch them - really good and nice young men.  Caba seemingly is always the first one at the field every time I’m there - he really enjoys playing baseball.  So albeit I’m likely out of place in my sideline chair and perhaps there are some misgivings about my presence I truly enjoy watching the young players develop and sharing what I see with the folks who might be here with me if they could.  Hopefully that comes thru.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

Today’s intra-squad scrimmage

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