Phillies Cameron Perkins and Hector Neris Have Big Games In Winter Ball

The Phillies major league spring training camp is only five weeks away but a couple of players look ready to report right now.

Cameron Perkins (Photo courtesy of the Gigantes del Cibao Facebook Page)

Cameron Perkins  (Photo courtesy of the Gigantes del Cibao Facebook Page)

Yesterday, in the Dominican Winter League clean-up hitter Cameron Perkins went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs to lead the Gigantes to a must win in the Round Robin round of the playoffs.  In the other playoff game Hector Neris picked up his first save of the playoffs with a 1.2 innings save with three strikeouts in Escodigo’s 5-3 win.

Both teams are fighting for a spot in the Finals of the DWL. With four games to go, the Gigantes are a half game out and Escogido is 1.5 games out of making the Finals.

Perkins is having a strong playoff series so far hitting .364 ( 14 for 38, .888 OPS) in ten games.  Watch his home run earlier in the playoffs HERE.

The Phillies closer job is likely open for the upcoming season after the collapse of Jeanmar Gomez late in the 2016 season in that role. Hector Neris is a leading candidate.  He had two saves last season pitching primarily in a set-up role.  Last night Neris came on for Escodigo in a must win and pitched 1.2 inning to finish the game, striking out three for the save.

Two players to watch in spring training are Cameron Perkins and Hector Neris.  One fighting to make the Phillies roster as an extra outfielder and the other trying to prove he can close in the major leagues.

 

 

Posted in 2017, January | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies Logan Moore Has A Career Game In The Dominican Winter League Playoffs

Logan Moore hits a home run for Licey. (Photo courtesy of Tigres del Licey Facebook Page)

Logan Moore hits a second home run in the game for Licey. (Photo courtesy of Tigres del Licey Facebook Page)

Logan Moore has always been one of out favorites.  He is a rare left-handed hitting catcher who has a strong arm behind the plate.  The last two seasons he has split his time catching for Lehigh Valley and Reading.

For the last two off-seasons Moore has been playing winter ball in the Dominican Winter League. Last night he made his debut in the round robin, semi-final playoffs for the Tigres del Licey.

What a debut it was.  He hit two, two-run homers and drove in a fifth run with a base hit to lead Licey to a 6-3 win.   He went 3 for 4 with 5 RBIs as the team is battling for the second spot in the finals.

Watch his first and second two-run homers HERE and his post-game interview HERE.

In my opinion Moore would make an excellent major league catcher coming off the bench for defense or offense. And he can hit the long ball against left-handed pitching too as he did last night.  After not having caught for several weeks, he gets the start, goes deep twice, drives in five runs and leads his team to a must win before a big crowd in the DWL playoffs.

 

Posted in 2017, January | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good New From Phillies Guys Cameron Perkins and Grenny Cumana Still Playing Winter Ball

A few Phillies prospects still remain playing winter ball.  Several of them are coming into their own as the winter season winds down.  They are Cameron Perkins in the Dominican Winter League and Grenny Cumana in winter ball in Columbia had break out games last night.

Grenny Cumana (Photo Courtesy of the Toros de Sincelejo)

Grenny Cumana (Photo Courtesy of the Toros de Sincelejo)

Perkins listed on the Phillies AAA roster went 4 for 5 for the Gigantes in the playoffs.  Cam leads the DWL playoffs in hitting with a .435 average (10 for 23 with a homer).  During the regular DWL season he hit .346 against right-handed pitching even though he is a right-handed bat. He hit .292 against all pitching last season for AAA, Lehigh Valley playing primarily left field.

Cameron Perkins

Cameron Perkins last season in the minor league camp

Joining him in the Gigantes lineup for the playoffs is Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco.  But Franco is off to slow start hitting only .154 after the first week of playoff action.

Franco struggled last season hitting only .255, 25 points less than he hit for the Phillies in 2015.

Grenny Cumana

Grenny Cumana

Second baseman Cumana went 3 for 5 with 3 RBIs yesterday for the Toros in the Columbian Winter League where he is hitting .313 (52 for  166 with one homer).  He played for Lakewood last season hitting .291 in the SAL.

Though Perkins is not yet listed on the non-roster invitees list to the Phillies major league spring camp, he should have earned an invite with his winter ball play.  Cumana will most likely start the season in the minor league spring camp and start the season with the high A, Clearwater Threshers.

 

 

Posted in 2017, January | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phillies Just Might Have The Two Of The Top Young Left-handed Starting Pitchers in The Minors, Eniery Garcia and Denny Martinez.

The other day, I was watching the MLB channel and they were talking about the Pirates and their lack of a left-handed starter.  They are not the only team without a lefty in its rotation.  The Phillies have 16 starting pitchers on their 40-man roster.  Only Adam Morgan and Elniery Garcia are southpaws but are not projected to make its MLB opening day starting rotation.

Add five right-handed starters, who are listed on the Reading roster, the Phillies have 21 starting pitchers and only two of them are lefties. Not to mention RHP Franklyn Kilome who fired 20 straight shutout innings to end last season with Lakewood.

To start the 2017 baseball season blog, let’s take a look at Phillies left handed starting pitching help that might be on the way some day down the road.

The Phillies might have two of the top younger left-handed starters in the minor leagues.  In 2016, the 22-year-old Garcia went 13-4 for Clearwater and Reading. Another interesting southpaw, 20-year Denny Martinez was 9-2 pitching in the Dominican Summer League.

Elniery Garcia in his first AA game. (Photo courtesy of MiLB.com)

Elniery Garcia in his first AA game. (Photo courtesy of MiLB.com)

Combined, these two lefties went 22-6 in the Phillies organization in 2016.   Not too many other MLB organizations can boost such numbers by young lefty starters!

Both of them finished strong. Garcia went 3-0 allowing only four earned runs and striking out 22 in his last 20 innings in his final three starts at A+ and AA, including playing the stopper role in two games with playoff elimination implications.

Martinez went 8-1 over his last ten starts in the DSL with a 1.33 ERA, striking out 60 in 54.1 innings.

Watch HERE, when Garcia struck out 11 in seven innings in his final Florida State League start against Dunedin.  Then he went on and struck out the side in turn in the second inning of his winning debut in the Eastern League Playoffs against Trenton. Watch HERE.

Martinez caught our attention when he struck out Joey Curletta in a Fall Instructs game.  Watch HERE.   The Phillies acquired Curletta in the Carlos Ruiz deal last Fall from the Dodgers. He finished up last season in the AA, Texas League.

The Phillies have several other starting left-handed pitchers who pitched rookie ball and are worth watching when minor league spring training opens up.  They include:

Bailey Falter

Bailey Falter

Bailey Falter. Watch HERE, Falter get a ground out in a Fall Instructs game.

Nick Fanti

Nick Fanti

Nick Fanti. Watch, HERE, Fanti get a strike out in the GCL Finals against the GCL Cardinals.

Kyle Young

Kyle Young

Kyle Young.  Watch HERE, as one of the tallest pitchers in baseball, the 6’10” Young gets several strikeouts in the GCL Finals.

Manuel Silva.  Watch HERE, the 18- year-old who pitched in the DSL gets a pop out in a Fall Instructs game.

So when you come to Clearwater for Spring Training keep a eye out for the Phillies left-handed starting pitching prospects. The team has a need!  Since Garcia is on the 40-man roster he could pitch in the first game against the University of Tampa on February 23rd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2017, January | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phillies Are Loaded With 16 Starting Pitchers On 40-man Roster, But Can They Score Runs?

Something’s gotta give.  The Phillies have loaded up with starting pitching and continue to add with the trade for Clay Buchholz on Monday.

This list does not include Franklyn Kilome who turns 22-years-old in June.  He may be the best of the younger starters in the minor league system. He pitched 20 straight shutout innings, striking out 24 over his final three starts going 3-0 for Lakewood to close out the 2016 season.  He did not need to be protected on the 40-man.

Below are listed the starting pitching from last season on the Phillies 40-man roster with the number of starts and classification:

Drew Anderson (15, A-, A+), Mark Appel ( 8, AAA), Alec Asher ( 5 MLB, 12, AAA, AA, Rookie), Clay Buchholz ( 21, MLB), Zach Eflin ( 11, MLB, 11 AAA),  Jerad Eickhoff  ( 33, MLB),  Elniery Garcia ( 1, AA, 19, A+), Jeremy Hellickson ( 32, MLB), Ben Lively ( 20, AAA, 9, AA), Adam Morgan ( 21, MLB), Aaron Nola, ( 20, MLB), Ricardo Pinto, ( 25, AA), Nick Pivetta ( 5, AAA,  22, AA), Jake Thompson ( 10,MLB, 21 AAA), Alberto Tirado ( 11, A-), Vince  Velasquez ( 24, MLB).

In addition to the 16 starters on the 40-man roster, the Phillie have five more starters listed on the current Reading AA roster including Tom Eschelman, Mark Leiter, Will Morris, John Richy and Tyler Viza.

Not counting Kilome, they have 21 starting pitchers who can be considered starting pitchers at the upper levels of the organization.

Only Anderson and Tirado did not have at least one start above A ball in 2016.

Only Garcia and Morgan are lefties.  In Garcia’s last three starts in 20 innings at the A+ and AA levels to end the 2016 season, he went 3-0 striking out 22.

The Phillies had ten different pitchers who started for them in 2016.

Going into spring training it looks like Hellickson, Buchholz, Eickhoff and Velasquez are locks for four of the five starting spots in the Phillies rotation.  Along with Aaron Nola, Alec Asher should be in the hunt to battle for the fifth spot to start the season.

Alec Asher

Alec Asher

Asher has just finished up his stint in the Dominican Winter League regular season where he led all starting pitchers with a 0.76 WHIP in eight starts for the first place winner, the Gigantes del Cibao.

Alec Asher pitching (Photo Courtesy of the Gigantes)

Alec Asher pitching (Photo Courtesy of the Gigantes)

Clearly, the Phillies are over running with starting pitching candidates at the upper levels in the organization.  Read HERE.

Last season at the A ball level the Phillies went with six-man rotations and five-man rotations at the MLB, AAA and AA levels.  Ten different pitchers started games for the Phillies in 2016.

The real problem in 2017 will be scoring runs as it was last season. The Phillies were dead last in scoring runs in all of major league baseball in 2016.  Subtract Ryan Howard’s 59 RBIs and replace him with Howie Kendrick’s 40 RBIs from last season in the lineup this season and the run scoring situation appears to only get worse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016, December, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Wish Josh Tobias Well With The Boston Red Sox

We hope the Red Sox give Josh Tobias a chance to move up in their organization.  He has a chance to play in Show someday if given that chance.  The Phillies sent him to Boston in the recent Clay Buchholz deal. In addition the Phillies will be taking on the $13.5 million 2017 salary that Buchholz is owed.

We were able to watch Tobias in spring training and end of this year’s Clearwater Threshers season.   Watch HERE to see Josh hit a homer at Dunedin in the Florida State League in what has turned out to be his final game in the Phillies organization during the regular season.

Tobias had been playing in the Columbian Winter League were he was hitting .282 with two homers and nine RBIs in 85 at bats before the trade.

The Red Sox seem to value Tobias more than the Phillies ever did.  The Phillies ranked second basemen Scott Kingery and Jesmuel Valentin ahead of him at the time of the trade.

Read an interesting story about Tobias from the Red Sox perspective HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2016, December | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Will The Phillies Invite Rhys Hoskins To The Major League Spring Training Camp?

First baseman Rhys Hoskins had another great minor league 2016 season.  But the question remains will he be invited to the Phillies major league spring training camp?

You see Hoskins has played in the Phillies system for only three years after he was taken in the fifth round in the 2014 amateur draft out of Sacramento State.  They can protect him for four years before he would need to be put on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Hoskins is no spring chicken if you will.  He turns 24-years old in March and looks to start the 2017 season at AAA Lehigh Valley.

Rhys Hoskins homers-Photo Courtesy of MLB.com

Rhys Hoskins homers in Futures game-Photo Courtesy of MLB.com

 

Hoskins had a great 2016 year.

To wit: Starting in January when he hit three homers and and 14 RBIs in the Australian Baseball league.

To wit: He wound up in the minor league camp and in the end of March he homered in the Phillies Future game at Citizens Bank Park.  Watch HERE.

To wit: Then he went on to hit 38 home runs and drive-in 116 runs for Reading.

To wit: For good measure he homered in the Eastern League All-Star game.

To wit: Then he went deep in the E.L. playoffs and picked up 2 more RBIs.

To wit: He finished up in November with four more homers and 16 RBIs in the Dominican Winter League.

Rhys Hoskins was truly one of the great power hitters and run producers in all of baseball at any level in 2016, hitting 48 home runs and knocking in 150 runs when you add them all up.

It remains to be seen if he will be invited to the major league camp.  He is not yet listed as a non-roster invitees to the camp on the Phillies website.

The only report I have seen is that Tommy Joseph has been promised the Phillies first base job going into the 2017 season.  Tommy struggled in 2016 sharing time at first with the now released Ryan Howard.  Tommy did hit 21 home runs but hit only .202 with three homers,  25 RBIs for a .612 OPS with runner in scoring position last season.

On the other hand with Reading during the regular season, Hoskins hit 9 homers, drove in 80 runs including 9 rbi sac. flies for a 1.003 OPS with runners in scoring position.

It will be interesting to see what will happen but for me Rhys Hoskins has earned at least a look in the major league camp for the job as the Phillies opening day first baseman even though he has never played a game at first base in AAA!

 

Posted in 2016, December | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment