Baseball Betsy and I were up early on Saturday morning to watch the final workout Phillies minor league camp before camp broke and three of the teams, Lehigh Valley, Reading and Lakewood headed for the Tampa airport and the Clearwater Threshers headed over to the clubhouse at Brighouse just vacated by the Phillies. We in particular wanted to see big Seth Rosin get in five innings of work in the final intrasquad game of the camp. He was acquired in the Hunter Pence deal along with Tommy Joseph and looks to be a key in the Reading starting rotation. He looked strong in the early going on Schmidt Field striking out the likes of Aaron Altherr, Harold Martinez and Bob Stumpo. In the last two innings he gave up several runs but is still stretching out his arm after sitting out much of last season with an injury after he joined the Phillies system. Colin Kleven was the starter against Rosin and is expected to be the top ace for the Clearwater Threshers.
Over on Ashburn Field Brian Rosenberg was throwing hard for the AAA team and looks ready to be the fifth man in the Lehigh Valley rotation. Let’s see if he can stay a starter after spending most of his time in the bullpen in previous years. Pitching for the AA lineup Tyler Cloyd, who will be pitching at AAA, gave up a two run rbi double by Darin Ruf who drove in Cody Asche and Delmon Young both of whom had earlier hits in the inning. Justin DeFratus who looks like the closer for AAA finished up the 5 1/2 inning game.
At AAA the starting rotation looks like Cloyd, Jonathan Pettibone, Ethan Martin, Adam Morgan and Rosenberg. Veteran lefty starter from last season at Lehigh Valley Tom Cochran is expected to stay behind in extended spring training in case of need at the AAA or AA levels. The extended games get started a week from Tuesday when the Phillies take on the Yankee extenders over in Tampa. The Phillies extenders will battle the Yankees, Blue Jays and Pirates extenders in a 47 game schedule that ends in the first week of June. The team will be made up of young prospects including some of my favorite prospect positions players Larry Greene, Dylan Cozens, Andrew Pullin and Zach Green plus veterans like suspended Carlos Ruiz and rehabbing Delmon Young. These games played during the day at the Carpenter Complex and the evening Thresher games at Brighthouse will keep us busy this spring.
At the AA Reading level it looks like the starting rotation will be Rosin, returning David Buchanan and Brody Colvin who will be joined by lefty newcomers Jesse Biddle and Austin Wright. We saw both Biddle and Wright pitch at Clearwater last season. Jesse had a strong spring camp. Unofficially I had him in four starts giving up only two runs and striking out 20 in 17 innings. We watched Austin in his final start on Friday and he pitched five strong innings.
A lot a baseball awaits us and we are ready. The “two a days” are tough but Baseball Betsy and I hope to be there for many of the Thresher games and extended spring games from Clearwater as possible because it is where the “stars of tomorrow play today”.