Phillies baseball never ends. The World Series Game Three might start between the Tigers and Giants tonight but for Phillies fans more important games are now taking place in places like Australia, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Arizona.
Yesterday Tim Kennelly, fresh off his stint in the Florida Instructional League, earned the win for Team Australia pitching a scoreless ninth inning by striking out all three batters he faced in an exhibition series down under. He looks to be the closer for Team Australia in the upcoming World Baseball Classic in March. Baseball is just starting up in Australia as opening day approaches next weekend in the Australia Baseball League.
The Venezuelan Winter League is loaded with Phillies prospects. Several 40 Man roster guys like Freddy Galvis is playing shortstop and hitting over .300; Darin Ruf is playing first base, left field and for some reason as a DH, is one of the league leaders in home runs with six and has a couple of outfield assists throwing out runners trying to run on him in left; the Phillies center fielder of the future Tyson Gillies is hitting well over .300 there and Cesar Hernandez is playing some middle infield as well.
In Mexico highly rated catcher Sebastian Valle returned to his home town of Los Mochis to play for them for the fourth year in the Mexican Pacific league. Valle has hit a couple of long balls at the bat and he shares catching duties there as he gets ready for pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater in the middle of February.
In the Dominican several young highly rated minor leaguers are getting their first taste of top level Winter ball there. Young pitchers like Lisalverto Bonilla with the big slider that we saw with the Clearwater Threshers, Manaure Martinez who we saw with the GCL Phillies and power pitcher Hector Neris of the Threshers are getting a look. Third baseman Maikel Franco from Lakewood and outfielder Leandro Castro of the Reading Phillies are getting spot duty in their first year in the DWL.
The Phillies sent seven players to the Arizona Fall League who are playing for Peoria Javelinas under Reading Phillies manager Dusty Wathan. Cody Asche is fighting to show that he is ready for the Show at third base. Tommy Joseph is doing some catching as he will be battling with Valle and Cameron Rupp to be the Phillies No. 1 catcher of the future in spring training. Kyle Simon acquired in the Jim Thome deal is learning to be a starter after relieving effectively with the Threshers and R-Phillies. Every team can use a side arming lefty reliever like Jay Johnson. Tyler Knigge is working to get in the mix out of the Phillies bullpen next spring as a power reliever. Outfielder Zach Collier and pitcher Colby Shreve are getting one last look to see if the Phillies want to add them to the 40 man roster to protect them from the Rule Five draft coming up the first week in December.
Baseball is endless. The game never ends til it’s over and its season goes on forever. The days and months on the calendar may change but some where in the world Phillies will be always playing baseball.