Phillies Catchers and Pitchers Have Reported!

The Phillies catchers and pitchers have reported to the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater.  On Wednesday we watched three groups of pitchers went through the ever popular pitchers fielding practice and bunting drills.  The catchers were doing drills down the left field line on Schmidt Field. Aaron Nola was getting his bullpen in before his press conference on the half field next to Spectrum Field while batting practice among the early reporting position players was taking place inside Spectrum Field.

We focused on several pitchers doing PFPs on the back fields and live batting practice which took place on Ashburn Field. Two pitchers stood out, Edgar Garcia and Jake Arrieta.  Garcia looked big and strong doing his drills and Arrieta showed no ill effects from reported knee surgery over the winter. Watch HERE. Drew Anderson received extra attention from Manager Gabe Kapler as he pitched live batting practice to Nick Williams and Rhys Hoskins.

Edgar Garcia

Garcia has been mentioned in the Phillies media as this year’s Seranthony Dominguez out of the pen.  In last year’s spring training Dominguez impressed in the spring training and by mid-season he was called up and was outstanding in the Phillies pen.  Garcia did not throw yesterday but Edgar looked ready to challenge for a spot in the Phillies bullpen much like Dominguez did last season. Watch Garcia do PFPs with Jake Arrieta HERE.

Drew Anderson pitches batting practice under the watchful eye of Gabe Kapler

The most interesting of the workouts was Anderson pitching live batting practice on the mound at Ashburn Field. With Kapler standing right behind him, Drew looked sharp with his fastball location and breaking stuff to Nick Williams and Rhys Hoskins. Not much has been said about Anderson but look for him to get early work starting in spring training action.  Watch Drew pitch to Williams and Hoskins HERE.

Rhys Hoskins

Baseball Betsy has posted the spring training roster and the minor league schedule HERE.  Though many minor league players are already in camp, the official their camp opens officially for pitchers and catchers on February 27th  and position players on March 4rh. The four Phillies minor full season teams open 13 games spring training schedules on March 13th and finish up on March 29th.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in 2019, February, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do The Phillies Have Enough Starting Pitching to Win the N.L. East?

The really big question remains “Do the Phillies have Enough Starting Pitching to Win the N.L. East?  Philly,com Bob Brookover asked that question in today’s Extra Innings column, Read HERE.

Brookover points out that the current projected Phillies starting pitching had an ERA of 3.93 in 2018 which ranks fourth among the projected starters of the five teams in the N.L. East.  We can only hope that the Phillies starters can lower their ERA with another year of experience this season.  Today, we learned that starters Jake Arrieta had knee surgery on his left knee over the winter and Jerad Eickhoff still is bothered by carpal tunnel syndrome which sidelined him most of last season.

Now that J.T. Realmuto is signed, sealed and delivered the offense is taking shape.  The signing of Bryce Harper would fill a big hole in right field where the current placeholder in right field, Nick Williams, hit only .224 last season with runners in scoring position.  Still, it is the starting pitching that will likely hold the key to the Phillies hopes of playing in the post season.

The Phillies have invited several interesting minor league roster starting pitchers to the major league camp including lefties, Cole Irvin, AAA and JoJo Romero, AA. Adonis Medina, High A, who is on the 40-man roster will also get a look.

David Parkinson

In my opinion, three more starters also were equally impressive in 2018 but were not invited to the major league camp. They can be called over to the big league spring camp on a game-by-game basis. They include RHP Mauricio Llovera, High A,  LHP David Parkinson, High A and RHP Spencer Howard, Low A.

All three of these guys will end the 2019 season at baseball age 23.  Even though they were not invited to the major league spring training camp, at some point during the upcoming season I would hope to see at least one of them get “the call to the Show”!  The major league call came for 22-year-old Kyle Kendrick in the middle of the 2007 season.  In his rookie season, he went 10-4 for the Phillies. He also started a game in the 2007 NLDS.  He was not invited to that year’s Phillies major league spring training camp.

Read about and watch the pitching of Llovera, HERE, Parkinson, HERE and Howard, HERE.

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, February | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mickey Moniak Is Getting All the Recent “Pub”, But Don’t Forget About Other Phillies Prospects!

Former No.1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak is getting all kinds of big “write ups” and invites. NBC Sports Philadelphia, read HERE, devoted a recent story to Moniak.  The Phillies have invited him to major league spring training camp and a recent Prospects Education program at CBP.

Mickey Moniak

Good for Mickey! He earned it after having a strong second half for the Clearwater where he hit .286 with 4 homers and 29 RBIs in the last 60 regular season games. On the season he hit .295 with 3 homers and 50 RBIs with runners in scoring position. We look for big things from him in 2019 in Reading.

I still can’t figure out why top first base prospect Darick Hall was not invited to the major league spring training camp. Hopefully, he will get called over from the minor league camp for a few swings with the big boys in the major league camp! They could use a left handed power bat since Harper has yet if ever to sign with the Phillies.  The 23-year-old Hall hit .322 with 11 homers and 76 RBIs combined in 155 at bats with runners in scoring position in 146 games in the 2018 season. This includes Darick’s play with Clearwater, Reading and in the Arizona Fall League. Overall in 2018, he led the entire Phillies organization with 99 RBIs and came in second in home runs with 30 to Rhys Hoskins’ 34 homers.

Three of our blogs from the 2018 season show the power in the Phillies farm system from the players who played at some point in Clearwater last year.  They include homers by Moniak and Hall along with other top Phillies power prospects. Read and watch the contents of the three blogs HERE, HERE and HERE. These blogs provide examples of the home run pop in the Phillies farm system from the 2018 season.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, February | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Phillies Need J.T. Realmuto! UPDATED

Some Phillies fans may be impress by the acquisition of a .250 hitter on the downside of his career to play left field or a shortstop who will playing for his fifth MLB team in the last five years but I am not!

But, I am impressed that the Phillies might acquire catcher J.T. Realmuto from the Miami Marlins.  He is the best younger catcher in baseball.  If they can get him, the Phils would control his contract for the next two years before he can become a free agent. Read HERE and HERE.

They would get a top-of-the-line position player in Realmuto.  Giving up Sixto Sanchez and catcher Jorge Alfaro would be a small price to play for two years of Realmuto. The Phillies have long term depth at both the catching and starting pitcher spots.

As anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about the depth of the Phillies minor league pitching.  My favorite is Mauricio Ll0vera who went 6-0 down the stretch over his last nine starts for the Clearwater Threshers averaging better than a strikeout an inning.

The Phillies are loaded with strong young catching prospects led by Rodolfo Duran and Mitch Edwards. They should be near MLB ready once the Realmuto control ends.

In the six SAL playoff games back in September for Lakewood, Duran caught a no-hitter, hit three homers and threw out runners in 4 of 6 base stealing attempts. All Edwards did was hit .321 to lead all catchers in batting average in the recently concluded Australian Baseball League season.

Make the Realmuto deal happen and get the Phillies spring training started off in a positive direction! And they just did it!

 

Edited to Add: 2:45 p.m. According to Jim Salisbury of nbcsports.com, it’s a “done deal” with Sanchez, Alfaro and LHP Will Stewart along with international cap money going to the Marlins for Realmuto.

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, February | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Time To Think “Outside the Box” With Harper Looking Less Likely To Sign With the Phillies

No way can the Phillies go into the season with a right fielder who hit .224 with a .654 OPS with runners inspiring position as they did in 2018. Now, all indications are pointing to Bryce Harper either staying with the Nationals or going elsewhere. Read HERE.

We say let’s think outside the box.  What about platooning two prospects in right field.  Dylan Cozens can hit right handed pitching with his .936 OPS with runners in scoring position against RHP at AAA.  This speaks to the production the Phillies need from a corner outfielder.

What about when a LHP is on the mound where Cozens struggles?  Then, platoon Cozens with a right handed bat in Jan Hernandez.  Jan put up a 1.069 OPS against left handed pitchers last season with runners in scoring position with Reading.

Both Cozens and Hernandez have strong arms and showed they can play right field at a  high level last season in the high minors. We would like to see them be given a good long look in right field in spring training, if Harper signs elsewhere.

Will these two get much of a shot? Probably not. Hernandez has not even been invited to the major league camp. On the other hand, the Phillies can not afford another year of Nick Williams playing right field racking up only a .654 OPS with RISP, which he put up last season amid the never ending lineup juggling by the manager.

Jan Hernandez (Photo from Santruce Facebook Page)

Dylan Cozens

Hernandez is still playing baseball.  His team won the Puerto Rico Winter League Championship Finals last week sweeping the best of seven, 4-0, to qualify for the Caribbean Series. The series will be played in Panama City starting on Monday. See schedule HERE.  In those finals, Jan went 7 for 17 with four doubles, a triple and drove in seven runs  including going 4 for 6 against left handed pitching.

We will be watching on ESPN Deportes to see if Hernandez can come up “big” for Team Puerto Rico in de Serie de Caribe 2019 starting Monday at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jan Hernandez is the Baseball Betsy/Ross, Phillies “Player of the 2018-2019 Off-season”

The Phillies seem unable to sign Bryce Harper to play right field at Citizens Bank Park but Phillies minor league right fielder Jan Hernandez looks like he is increasingly able to take over right field for Lehigh Valley at AAA in the 2019 season.

Just last week, Hernandez led the way hitting .412 ( 7 for 17) with seven RBIs for the Cangrejeros de Santurce  in a four-game sweep of the Championship Series in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente.

Jan crushed left-handed pitching in the Series going 4 for 6 with 4 RBIs. He also threw out a runner at the plate which helped win the second game.

We give the Baseball Betsy/Ross “Player of the Off Season” to Jan Hernandez for his play in the Puerto Rico winter league championship series.  He is the only member of the Phillies organization to be a member of  a league championship team in the 2018-2019 season.

Jan Hernandez gets another hit against a LHP in the Series as he times up an offspeed pitch. (Photo courtesy of Santruce Facebook page)

Jan Hernandez urging his teammates on after hitting a two-run double, moving to third on the throw in Game 3 where he went 4 for 5 with 4 RBIs. (Photo courtesy of Santruce Facebook page)

Jan Hernandez holding the LBPRC trophy (Photo courtesy of Santruce Facebook page)

Jan Hernandez, No. 8, celebrating on the victory parade float (Photo courtesy of Santruce Facebook page)

Posted in 2019, January | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Phillies Right Field Prospect, Jan Hernandez, Keeps “Banging The Walls” In The Playoffs

A post season star is born in the Liga de Beisbel Profesional Roberto Clemente playoffs in Puerto Rico. The Phillies right field prospect, Jan Hernandez, is turning out to be Mr. January by driving in four runs in Game Three of the post season final series. Last night he went 4 for 5 with three doubles. He drove in the first, four runs for Santurce on a two-run single in the first and double in the third as they defeated Mayaguez 8-3 to go up 3-0 in games with Game Four tonight.

Jan Hernandez keeps driving in runs in the LBPRC playoff Final Series (Photo from Santurce Facebook Page)

In 11 playoff games including the round robin semi-finals, Jan is hitting .310 with 7 doubles, a triple and one home run among his 13 hits.  He has driven in 12 runs. He leads all post season hitters in the LBPRC in doubles with 7, RBIs 12, Slugging .595 and OPS .936.

Hernandez has turned it up a notch in the last two games by going 6 for 9 with 4 doubles, a triple and 7 RBIs.  In the last two games he has banged the walls by hitting his triple off the bottom of the center field wall in Wednesday’s game.  Last night he hit this double off the left field wall, watch HERE. (Go to the point in the video when there is 20:38 left).

Jan is one of the prospects to check out in spring training.  He is earning his shot at the Show!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2019, January | Tagged , , | Leave a comment