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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

4/5/24 : Minor League Roundup

International League ( AAA ) - Lehigh Valley (1-2) Rochester (2-1)

Rochester, NY - Innovative Field

Postponed - inclement weather

By the Ages :

The International League consists of 20 teams - the current average active roster age is 27 years old.  Jackson Holiday of the Norfolk Tides (Orioles) and Junior Caminero of the Durham Bulls (Rays) are the youngest players in the loop at 20 years old.  The three oldest players are pitchers Richard Bleier of Rochester (Nationals), Paolo Espino of Buffalo (Blue Jays) and Lucas Luetge of Worcester (Red Sox) at 37 years of age.  Lehigh Valley’s average player age is 28.1 which is the third oldest average in the league.  Teams at the AAA level are generally void of “younger” players but rather consist of veteran players who can generally become short term contributors at the major league level if needed and are in “stay ready” mode while in the minor leagues.  - data information source - Baseball Reference

The Triple A “Inexperience” :

Did ya know that Alec Bohm has played in just 15 AAA level games and that they all came after he made his major league debut?  Or that Brandon Marsh played in just 24 AAA contests before debuting with the Angels or that Bryson Stott has played in only 19 AAA level games, nine of which came after his big league debut or that Aaron Nola made just 6 AAA starts before joining the Phillies ?  Point is that it’s not an absolute that every player plays extensively or for that matter at all at the AAA level, plenty of young players have honed their craft while playing in major league games - player development isn’t a cookie cutter process - just sayin 🤓.

Eastern League ( AA ) - Reading 5 (1-0) Bowie 2 (0-1)

Bowie, MD - Prince George’s Stadium

Summary :

Bowie scored a first inning run on a single, error, wild pitch and ground out.

Gabriel Rincones Jr homered to lead off the fourth inning.  It was a no doubt about-er to right field - the fielders didn’t even move 🤓. Two walks were followed by an RBI single by Carson Taylor to tie the score.

A single, stolen base and single scored a Bowie run in the fifth.

In the top of the ninth inning Baron Radcliff singled, Trevor Schwecke pinch ran for him and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Casey Martin reached on a throwing error by the shortstop, Schwecke scored.  Marcus Lee Sang reached on a throwing error by the second baseman.  Carlos De La Cruz singled to score two runs.

On The Hill : 2 R, 5H, 1 BB,13 K’s

Matt Osterberg went 3.2 IP (1 unearned R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K’s - 72 pitches - 45 strikes). Konnor Ash went 1.1 IP (1 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K’s). Beau Burrows went 1.1 innings (0 R, 1 H).  Jordi Martinez dominated (1.2 IP, retired all five batters faced - 4 K’s 🔥).  Max Lazar struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning to close it.

At Bat : 5 R, 7 H, 6 BB, 16 K’s

Carlos De La Cruz was 2 for 5 (singles) with two RBIs.  Gabriel Rincones Jr homered.  Caleb Ricketts walked twice in five plate appearances and scored a run.

Did Ya Know 🧐 :

“The Fightin Phils and Bowie Baysox didn’t play each other last season, but Reading took five-of-six games against Bowie in their lone 2022 series. This will be Reading’s first trip to Bowie since May 11-16, 2021 - a series in which Bowie took all six games from the Fightin Phils.” - Jake Starr - Reading Fightin Phils PR/Media Relations Manager and broadcaster.

South Atlantic League ( High A )  - Jersey Shore 3 (1-0) Aberdeen 2 (0-1)

Lakewood, NJ - ShoreTown BallPark

Summary :

Leandro Pineda tripled off the right center field wall to lead off the bottom of the second inning. William Bergolla scored him with a sacrifice fly.

Aberdeen scored a run on the third on a single, sac bunt and fielding error.  Creed Willems went yard for them in the top of the seventh.

Jordan Dissin walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth - Cade Fergus pinch ran for him and stole second base.  Emaarion Boyd tripled to right center field to score him and tie the score!  Justin Crawford walked and stole second base. With two outs Leandro Pineda was intentionally walked - a wild pitch then enabled Boyd to score the walk off winning run!

On The Hill : 2 R, 6 H, 4 BB, 10 K’s.

Sam Aldegheri had a good first outing of the year - he went 4.1 IP (1 unearned R, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K’s - 74 pitches -40 strikes) - on a very cold night he threw all of his pitches and showed the feel for the game we’ve come to expect each time he’s out there.  Eiberson Castellano pitched well - he went 2.2 innings (1 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K’s).  Wesley Moore threw a scoreless frame (1  H, 3 K’s).  Andrew Walling pitched a perfect ninth inning striking out one batter.

At Bat : 3 R, 7 H, 7 BB, 9 K’s

Emaarion Boyd went 2 for 5 (single, triple) with an RBI, run scored and stolen base.  Hendry Mendez was 2 for 3 (singles) with a walk.  Leandro Pineda tripled and walked in five plate appearances.  Jordan Dissin drew two walks in four plate appearances.

Did Ya Know 🧐 :

“Tonight was the coldest home opener since it was 41 degrees at first pitch in 2015 (the BlueClaws won 2-1 on a walk-off ninth inning single from Carlos Tocci.  Since 2005, the first pitch temperature of the home opener has been lower than 50 degrees on six occasions (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2015 [the coldest on record]).” - Greg Giombarrese - Vice President - Communications - Jersey Shore BlueClaws

Florida State League ( Low A )  - Clearwater 5 (1-0) Bradenton 2 (0-1)

Bradenton, FL - LECOM Park

Summary :

Bradenton scored twice in the third inning on four walks and two wild pitches.

In the top of the fifth inning Avery Owusu-Asiedu singled, stole second and scored on a single by Aidan Miller.

Bryson Ware singled in the sixth inning, stole second and scored on a single by Pierce Bennett.

Jordan Viars walked in the eighth inning and advanced to third on a single by Bryson Ware. Pierce Bennett singled to score Viars and send Ware to third base.  Ware scored on a Keaton Anthony ground out. Luis Caicuto doubled to score Anthony who had reached on a fielders choice.

On The Hill : 2 R, 5 H, 9 BB, 14 K’s

Jake Eddington struck out the side in a perfect first inning.  He later battled command a bit and exited after 2.2 IP (2 R, 1 H, 5 BB, 4 K’s).  Braydon Tucker went 2.1 innings of scoreless relief using a big curve as an out maker (2 H, 2 BB, 3 K’s).  Paxton Thompson went 1.2 scoreless innings allowing just one hit.  Orion Kerkering went 1.1 scoreless IP (0 H, 1 HB, 4 K’s) - the sweeping slider (mid 80’s) was moving and the heater was hot (97-98 mph).  Saul Teran closed it (1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K’s).

At Bat : 5 R,10 H, 3 BB, 15 K’s

Avery Owusu-Asiedu had two hits (single & double) and a stolen base, he scored a run. Bryson Ware and Pierce Bennett each had two hits (singles) - Bennett had two RBIs.  Luis Caicuto doubled. Ware scored twice.

Defensive Gem :

Right fielder Raylin Heredia made a diving catch on a sinking line drive in the third inning.  One thing we noticed in spring camp and again watching tonight is that catcher Luis Caicuto is a take charge receiver, he’s a presence behind the dish - good stuff. Luis threw out a would be base stealer at second base in the 7th inning.

Did Ya Know 🧐 :

“MEN OF THE WORLD: The Threshers return 15 players from their regular season champion 2023 squad, and RHP Micah Ottenbreit was a Thresher in 2022 as well.  Jaydenn Estanista and Jordan Viars are the only two repeat players on the 2024 Opening Day roster from a season ago, with 18 players coming from the Phillies 2023 draft class (including undrafted free agents). Five different countries (USA, Canada, Australia, Dominican Republic, and Curaçao) are represented on Clearwater’s Opening Day roster with the majority hailing from the United States.”  - Josh Sperber - Clearwater Threshers Broadcaster

Today At the Complex :

The Player Development Center contingent played a four inning scrimmage on Roberts Field this morning.  Shortstop Starlyn Caba stood out, his electric enthusiasm is contagious and truly fun to watch.  In the bottom of the first inning of the contest Angel Mata hit a sharp one hopper between the third and short hole - Caba leaped horizontally into the air and snagged the baseball which was seemingly behind him in short left field, quickly got to his feet and threw to first - he was irritated that Mata barely beat the throw for a hit 🤓.   It was perhaps the funnest play to watch I’ve seen all spring - my friend Jim Peyton said that Caba’s charisma and approach reminded him of Jimmy Rollins - that’s a spot on comparison - the young man is a bundle of energy and has tremendous skills to boot - it’s gonna be great watching him develop.

On The Hill :

David Parkinson is a very smart pitcher, he reads hitters well and uses their aggressiveness to his advantage.  Today we saw that on a couple occasions where he threw changeups that baffled the young hitters he was facing. David is here to stay stretched out for an eventual upper level assignment - he went four scoreless frames but actually recorded fifteen outs as innings were stretched to reach the desired pitch count - he struck out four batters, walked none and allowed three hits.   

Christian McGowan went two scoreless frames however akin to Parkinson actually recorded nine outs as the innings were similarly stretched - he struck out four, walked none and allowed one hit.  Christian’s sinking fastball is a weapon, as it gets near the plate it darts and jumps with added life, it’s already quick (my guess is mid to upper nineties) but the added life we once again witnessed today makes it an out-maker, plus-plus pitch in my view.

Enrique Segura went two frames, I noticed his windup is streamlined as compared to when I saw him last season, he’s more in a stretch mode now than an elongated wind up - still has the Nola like leg kick and arm slot but it’s a different look than before, at least from what I recall.  Enrique went two frames (actually recording seven outs in stretched innings) yielding a couple runs on two hits, an error and a walk.

At Bat :

Starlyn Caba had two hits (singles) in three AB’s with two RBIs and a stolen base, he’s got really quick hands and very good bat to ball skills - could have had a third knock on a liner to left field but it was caught.  Angel Mata, Jerffson Pena, Eduardo Tait and Diego Gonzalez each had singles.  Tait’s approach continues to impress, he holds his hands low and has no wasted motion in his swing - aggressive hitter, Parkinson used that aggressiveness to get him to punch out on a change up in one of his AB’s but I guarantee that the young hitter took that AB to the knowledge bank - he’s really good.

Fielding :

Besides the Caba play previously mentioned a couple more stood out - second baseman Aroon Escobar took a high hopper and turned it into a 4-6-3 double play with Caba taking the throw at second base and firing a bullet to first - yeah the kid has a gun as well.  First baseman Jarol Martinez has stood out both in defensive drills we watched the other day and in today’s scrimmage with soft hands and the ability to dig low throws out of the dirt - we’ve seen a couple plays that’s he’s made look easy that were far from that.

Other Notes :

I get the feeling that this group of players that will likely formulate the FCL Phillies is a special one, they play with great spirit and hustle.  We’ve only watched a couple practices and today’s scrimmage but the energy is engulfing.  There’s both talent and desire which from my perspective is a formula for success.  I think Manager Shawn Williams who is an energetic person in his own right has a strong group to work with this season - should be fun on the backfields!

System Transactions :

The Phillies acquired shortstop Jose Rodriquez from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations.  He was DFA’d by Chicago and will go on the Phillies 40 man roster.  Rodriquez (22 years old) was optioned to Reading.  He hit 21 home runs last season in the minor leagues at the AA (18 dingers) and AAA levels.

LHV : INF Rodolfo Castro placed on the 7-day IL (retroactive to 4/3) with Left Shoulder Subscapular Bursitis.  RHP Orion Kerkering's ML rehab assignment transferred to Clearwater.  INF Esteban Quiroz reinstated off the development list.

Reading :  RHP Christian McGowan placed on the Development ListRHP Matt Russell placed on the Development List.  C Arturo De Freitas placed on the Development List.  RHP Cristian Hernandez placed on the 7-day IL (R Forearm Strain; 3/5/24)INF Otto Kemp placed on the 7-day IL (L Oblique Strain; 3/18/24).  OF Ethan Wilson placed on the 7-day IL (Appendectomy Surgery; 3/19/24).  RHP Andrew Painter placed on the 60-day IL (R Elbow UCL Surgery; 7/25/23).  RHP Dominic Pipkin placed on the 60-day IL (R Shoulder Arthroscopy Surgery; 12/22/23).

Jersey Shore : RHP Starlyn Castillo placed on the Development List.  C Ryan Leitch placed on the Development List. RHP Josh Bortka placed on the 7-day IL (R Shoulder Strain; 3/3/24).  RHP Jonh Henriquez placed on the 7-day IL (R Shoulder Labrum Tear; 3/4/24).  C Jared Thomas placed on the 7-day IL (R Hand Hamate Excision Surgery; 2/19/24).  LHP Erubiel Armenta placed on the 60-day IL (L Elbow UCL Surgery; 11/3/23).  LHP Jordan Fowler placed on the 60-day IL (Low Back Pain; 1/19/24).  RHP Alex Garbrick placed on the 60-day IL (R Elbow UCL Surgery; 6/14/23).  RHP Wen-Hui Pan placed on the 60-day IL (R Pinky Finger Surgery; 2/22/24).


Clearwater : RHP Orion Kerkering (PHI) began a major league rehab assignment with the Threshers. OF Ricardo Rosario (JS IL) began a minor league rehab assignment with the Threshers.  RHP Chase Hopewell was placed on the Development List.  C Lou Albrechtwas placed on the Development List.  RHP's Marty Gair, Alex McFarlane, Giussepe Velásquez, and OF Jorge Garcia will begin the season on the Threshers' 60-Day Injured list.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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