They were not watching the National and Cardinals battle in the NLDS. Or in Arizona yet watching Cody Asche hit two doubles or Tyler Knigge pitch a clean inning in the the Arizona Fall League as those two did on Wednesday. But they were out in force on Wednesday at Englebert Field in Dunedin Florida watching the Phillies Instructs battle the Blue Jays Instructs. There was General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. with former GM Ed Wade, now a Phillies scout. We could see the white head hairs flowing in the afternoon breeze from the only two Phillies managers ever to win a World Series, Charlie Manuel and Dallas Green, while they were sitting side by side on the Phillies side of the field.
What did the high command all see you might ask? They saw a lot of young players all of whom are many years away from ever playing in Citizens Bank Park. But they could hit. I unofficially counted nine runs on about 17 hits for the Phillies Instructs. First baseman William Carmona hit a three run homer to left in the second to account for one of his three hits. They saw left fielder Larry Greene hit another triple over the center fielders head. Right fielder Samuel Hiciano, DH Deiber Olivera, third baseman Zach Green and shortstop Angelo Mora all had multi hit games.
But watching the pitching was a different story. Starter Jessen Therrien went three innings and gave up two runs. Big 6’4″ Ronald Mendez showed potential but was touched up for two runs in his two innings. One of my favorite pitchers I have seen at Instructs then came on for a couple of innings and the Blue Jays Instructs could not get the ball out of the infield on young lefty Erick Cedeno. But he could not get the ball over the plate either and gave up a couple of runs on six walks and a couple of infield hits. Lefty Hoby Milner pitched the final two innings and gave up a couple of more runs in a game what I think was a 9-9 tie after nine innings. Seems like the Blue Jays scoreboard operator had the day off again.
Only two more games remain on the Instructs schedule. I hope to make the final game on Friday as baseball finally come to a close in Florida until pitchers and catcher report in mid February. But baseball never ends. It now shifts to the Arizona Fall League and the Venezuelan Winter League for the top Phillies prospects. I would not be surprised to see GM Ruben Amaro Jr.. and his entourage head west and south to scout the young Phillies prospects in Arizona and Venezuela in preparation for the Winter Baseball Meetings in December.