Yesterday was another frustrating day in the world of Phillies baseball. The major league team lost again in extra innings and all four farm team lost. My least favorite Phillies player Phillippe Aumont was given yet another chance to play in the big leagues and imploded yet again on the mound giving up a game winning home run to the Mets Lucas Duda.
We spent the afternoon watching the Clearwater Threshers go down to defeat for the 23rd time in 27 games at home this season. It was not a good afternoon for Phillies baseball at all levels. But what else is new!
When we arrived at Bright House Field yesterday we saw a new number 47 on the field and some excitement came to us in while otherwise anticipating another dull and boring game. It was our favorite Phillies extended spring training prospect Herlis Rodriguez in a Threshers uniform and excitement spread across our faces.
But our excitement soon waned as he was not in the starting line and found himself serving as an emergency spare outfielder talking on the bench with fellow Venezuelan countryman, backup catcher for the day Gabriel Lino. Our spirits rose when Herlis went out on the field but it was only to coach first base coach with a stop watch in hand.
Rodriquez is one of the most fundamentally sound young players that we have seen in the extended spring camp but to be added to the hopeless Threshers roster to coach first base was a bit much even for this organization. You see Herlis turns only 20 on June 10th, yet in the Threshers defense he plays the game like a seasoned veteran and could probably teach them a thing or two about baseball.
It would be too much to expect him to actually play for this pathetic team. A team with a free agent released from other team, a player from independent ball and players having do overs from the Threshers 2013 and even the 2012 rosters. In fact starting pitcher Ethan Stewart pitch a gem in picking up the loss in the game is in his second year with the Threshers.
In any event it was good to see Herlis get his chance to be assigned to the High A roster even it was only for coaching first base. As anyone who has followed this blog knows I will go to extend spring games just to watch him play. He alway does something that amazes me from hitting the long ball, to making sliding catches in the outfield, to stealing a bag, to just working a count, he has been the most impressive, fundamentally sound player in the Phillies extended spring camp this season.
Signed as a 17 year-old Rodriquez is in his fourth season in the Phillies organization and will soon have to be protected on the 40 man roster from the Rule-Five draft. He is the type of young player an up coming major league organization would take a chance on in the Rule-Five because of his youth and skill set. Why the Phillies do not give him a chance to play at a higher level to see what they have in him mystifies me.
We are going again tonight to see if the Threshers can improve upon its 4-23 home record. But the real reason I am going is to see if Herlis Rodriquez, or H-Rod as we call him, can break into the lineup.
Herlis did get his first start in the Florida State League Monday night in the Threshers 5-0 loss to the Bradenton Marauders. He played left field, batted ninth in the lineup and went hitless in three at bats.