It was one of those extremely hot, muggy noon hour games for which the GCL is famous. Thunder storms and a bit of lightening were all around the Carpenter Complex. The GCL game was delayed almost an hour while the weather cleared above Ashburn Field.
But what really caught the attention attention of Baseball Betsy and I was that three rehabbing players from higher up in the Phillies organization were in the GCL Phillies starting lineup: Freddy Galvis, major league roster; Clete Thomas, Lehigh Valley roster and Tommy Joseph, Reading roster. All of these players are on the disabled lists of their respective teams.
They all played well as one would expect. Third baseman Freddy Glavis hit a long fly ball in one of his at bats; center fielder Clete Thomas drilled a single through the hole to right and catcher Tommy Joseph drove a long single down the right field line. All of them had three at bats and played five innings. Joseph’s catching and throwing stood out.
The fact that these rehabbers looked good in today’s GCL game did have a price. The likes of third baseman Damek Tomscha, outfielder Jake Sweaney and shortstop Grenny Cumana were relegated to a simulated game on Schmidt field hitting against a chubby looking, older, left-handed pitcher who may have been yet another free agent find of the Philliess, Jo Jo Reyes. He had no number or name on the back of his jersey.
Last week rehabbers Darin Ruf, who played some left field, first base and DH’d, and catcher Wil Nieves were in the daily GCL lineup again taking spots from young player development. Young catchers Jesus Posso, Gregori Rivero and recently drafted Joel Fisher have been reduced to warming up the relief pitchers in the pen awaiting their turn while Nieves and Joseph get their work in. Other GCL Phillies players took some time off from the DH role to make way for the rehabbers at times as well.
The Toronto Blue Jays train only six miles from the Carpenter Complex in Dunedin and the Yankees train about 17 miles away in Tampa and they both do rehabbing there as well. But both of those organizations have three short season rookie level teams in their organizations.
The Blue Jays have short season rookie level teams including the GCL Blue Jays; Vancouver in the Pioneer League and Bluefield in the Appalachian League. The Yankees have two teams in the GCL and one on Staten Island in the New York-Penn League. The Phillies have only two short season teams, one in the GCL and the Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League.
If the Phillies are serious about player development they might want to consider adding another rookie level team especially with all the rehabbing players that interfere with development at the Carpenter Complex. Earlier in the season we went up to the Blue Jays minor league complex several times to watch extended spring training games against the Phillies. The third Blue Jay short season team always looked so lonely on the third field up there always scrimmaging in some way among themselves. It would have been nice if the Phillies organization had a third rookie level team in camp to give them a game.
Note: the Philles are one of only five major league organizations who maintain a team in the Venezuelan Summer League. All MLB teams including the Phillies maintain at least one team in the Dominican Summer League. Most members of each of those two Phillies teams spring train in the respective countries.
Below Freddy Galvis at third and Tommy Joseph behind the plate rehabbed today on Ashburn Field against the Yankees No 1 team in GCL action: