It was another great day for baseball and Baseball Betsy and I were able to watch two more Phillies minor league spring training camp games. The two A level teams played at the Englebert Complex, the great minor league facility of the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon after taking batting practice at the Carpenter Complex only few miles down the road in the morning.
Yes, both of the A level Phillies teams won their games from the Blue Jays but in minor league camp games winning or losing is not all that important but how they played the games does matter. And both of the games were well played.
The Phillies have been working overtime on bunting and situational baseball at all level this spring but I still like the big power hitters. I was brought up on the three-run homer. In the low A game Saturday first baseman Wilmer Oberto laid down a perfect bunt base hit along the infield grass edge of the third base line. But I will always take his 400 ft. home run that I saw him belt earlier in the week. Give me the pop of a Dylan Cozens, Art Charles or Wilmer Oberto. Who needs the bunt? This is the type of power hitting that the Phillies need if they are ever to regain prominence in the National League East in future years.
Below Cozens triples to left and Charles doubles to right to get the Phillies A+ team on the board in Saturday’s action.
As Clearwater Threshers season ticket holders we just received notification yesterday that we will get to meet the 2014 edition of the Threshers at Brighthouse Field on April 2nd. We’re hoping we get to meet the power hitting tandem of Dylan Cozens and Art Charles, as starting members of the Threshers this season.
The left handed power bats of Cozens and Charles showed why they are so exciting to watch. Early in the high A game Cozens led off with a long triple to left center. He just took an easy swing and the ball jumped of his bat to the gap. He used his great speed by stretching what at first appeared to be a double into a triple by sliding safely into third just ahead of the throw. Charles then followed with a double into the gap in right center to get the A+ team on the board and on their way to the win.
Below Feliberto Sanchez shows his delivery in pitching two shutout innings in the A- game.
Later over on the adjacent field we turned and watched the low A team get good pitching all game long to down the Blue Jays 4-2. Tyler Viza started and with a fastball sitting at 89 showed why is he is a highly regarded starter. Our good friend Feliberto Sanchez then came on to pitch the next two innings with his first pitch on the Phillies speed gun sitting at 90 mph. Sanchez’s second inning of work was his best with two strikes outs. He finished by giving up two hits, no runs or walks in his two innings on the mound.
Second baseman Andrew Pullin has had a big spring camp for the A- team this week with a couple more hits in Saturday’s game including a double to left. Below he shows his stance as he gets ready to face the Blue Jays pitching in Saturday’s game.
Sunday is Pennsylvania day in Florida. The Phillies minor leaguers face their Pirate counterparts. The AAA and AA teams travel to Pirate City in Bradenton. We expect to watch the A teams battle at the Carpenter Complex while Ryne Sandberg’s major league team takes on the Pirates at the same time over on Brighthouse Field.