Wow! The Toronto Blue Jays swept away the Phillies in Toronto last night while the Dunedin Blue Jays did the same thing to the Threshers at Bright House Field in Clearwater Florida. It was an ugly night of baseball for the most part in the Phillies organization from top to bottom. Four of the five Philadelphia teams lost and only the Lehigh Valley IronPigs won despite another poor effort by Phillippe Aumont out of the pen.
But yesterday afternoon under the blazing 90 degree heat of the Florida sun I actually saw some good Philadelphia Phillies organization baseball. It was provided on Ashburn Field at the Carpenter Complex in an extended spring training game by Roman Quinn and Herlis Rodriquez.
Quinn was brilliant at short stop charging a slowly hit ground ball in front of the second base bag and in one fluid motion threw a strike to first to get the runner. It was a bang bang major league play all the way. In an at bat Quinn worked a walk and stole second against an Pirates extended team catcher. In those two plays it showed why Roman Quinn is still a top Phillies major league prospect and he is back in top form!
The other guy who I alway enjoy watching play the game of baseball is center fielder Herlis Rodriquez. The guy is so entertaining. He has all the tools. Plays hard every play and I only wonder what he is doing in extended spring training and not on a team somewhere in the Phillies organization. H-Rod as we call him is too good to waste his talent in extended spring training games.
Yesterday on Ashburn Field I felt privileged to have caught H-Rod’s play in the brief time I was able to be at the game. His first major league quality play took place with a Pirates runner on second who rounded third and broke for home on a base hit to center. There Rodriquez charged the ground ball and in one motion threw a laser to the third base side of home plate which set up catcher Chace Numata to tag out the runner trying to score. The throw barely was more than six to eight feet off the ground as it was fired from centerfield. It was a thing of beauty just the opposite of the centerfield play of the major league team which I saw on TV the night before in Toronto.
The next play was Rodriguez at the bat. He dropped the barrel head on ball and drove it to right. The ball jumped off his bat like a rocket and feel between the right fielder and the foul line. There went H-Rod exploding out from the left-handers batter box. It was a no doubt about it triple. You just knew he was going to end up at third base and he did.
Last night was another bad night of baseball for the most part from the top to bottom of the Phillies system but if you dig deep enough, all the way to depth of the system at extended spring training you will find some gems. I found them yesterday in Roman Quinn and Herlis Rodriquez. They made my day and made watching Phillies baseball so worth while for another day despite the constant losing that is characterizing the Phillies organization this season.