It was like “Cy Current” vs. “Cy Future” this afternoon at Englebert Field in Dunedin in a AAA game with the Phillies and the Blue Jays. Two, two run home runs, one by Cody Overbeck and the other by rehabbing Delmon Young off of reigning Cy Young pitcher R.A. Dickey, in part staked Biddle to a 5-0 lead after two innings and he went on to shut out the AAA Blue Jays in his four innings of work, giving up three hits, two walks and striking out seven. Biddle was masterful with all his pitches working including a good change up, his patented curve and his fastball location. Three of his seven strikeouts were called third strikes. As with most knuckleballers Dickey got stronger as the game went on and he shut down the AAA Phillies over the next seven innings. The AAA Blue Jays eventually won the game 6-5.
The real story was the workman like fashion that Biddle went through the AAA lineup of the Blue Jays. He struck out the last two batters he faced in the second and struck out the side in the third and the first batter he faced in fourth . Only then in his final inning in the fourth did the Blue Jay threaten on a double and a walk but Derrick Mitchell chased down a long fly ball to center for the final out to preserve Biddle’s four shutout inning start. In three spring starts Biddle has pitched 11 innings giving up only one run, six hits, three walks and striking out 17.
Over in the AA game the big story was the start in left field of catcher Sebastian Valle. The Phillies are hurting for outfielders with outfielders Jiwan James seen yesterday at the Carpenter Complex on crutches and Kelly Dugan believed to be bothered by back problems. Valle did play left field several years ago in the Mexican Pacific winter League for his hometown team. It will be one way to get both Rupp and Valle in the Reading lineup at the same time. It did appear that Valle homered in the AA game which also ended in a 6-5 Blue Jays win. One of the runs was knocked in on a Harold Martinez double. Martinez appears to be slated for first base in Reading to alternate with Jim Murphy. Big Jim drove in a run on a base hit as a DH in the game. Roman Quinn continues to bat lead off in the AA games. In today’s game he led it off with a triple down the right field line and scored the AA team’s first run.
All in all it was a great day for the prospects in the Phillies farm system. Jesse Biddle out pitched a Cy Young award winner in the AAA game. Then in the major league game against the Braves Adam Morgan started and pitched 4.1 innings of one run ball striking out five and Darin Ruf wins the game with a walk off home run over the Tiki Bar at Brighthouse. Not bad for the 27th rated farm system by ESPN in major league baseball!