One starting pitcher, Aaron Nola the seventh overall pick in the recent draft, got the call- up Sunday to AA and another starting pitcher, Colin Kleven, is still toiling for a weak Clearwater Threshers team in high A. He is still stuck there though he pitched a seven strikeout, six inning shutout Sunday afternoon at Bright House. That’s life and that’s how Phillies minor league baseball works for better or worse.
Kleven was sharp today against then St. Lucie Mets in Florida State League action. He left with the Threshers up 5-0 in a game they would win 5-1. Aaron Nola had already left for Reading after he was called up earlier in the day.
Interestingly, they both have somewhat similar records in the second half of the FSL. Kleven has pitched in 45.1 innings, given up three homers, a 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 3.57 ERA for a 3-1 record. Nola had pitched 31.1 innings, gave up four homers, had a 6-1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 3.16 ERA for a 2-3 record.
A major difference in the two pitchers’ records is that Kleven has a 1.58 air out to ground out ratio while Nola is a fly ball pitchers at a 0.61 air out to fly out ratio. Also Nola is more of a strike thrower with his higher strikeout to walk ratio.
Now baseball age 23, Kleven was drafted 33rd by the Phillies in 2009 out of a high school in British Columbia. The 21 year-old Nola was a number one pick back in June out of LSU. Clearly, if Nola can go to AA so should have Kleven.
Today, Kleven pitched a brilliant game at Bright House. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on. In his sixth and final inning, the first two Mets batters led off with soft contact base hits to the outfield. With runners on first and second and no outs, the tall 6’5″ right handed Kleven struck out two left-handed Mets hitters and went on to get out of the inning to keep his shutout. SEE HERE, SEE HERE.
Kleven showed in Sunday afternoon’s game against a good hitting team that he belongs at the next level. Currently the Mets have the highest team batting average and OPS in the FSL this season.
Several other events of note took place in today’s game as well . Threshers DH for the game Art Charles smoked a bases empty home run to right for his 12th of the year. That topped his total for all of last year of 11 in 80 more at bats for Lakewood.
After Charles went yard in the fifth, the next batter up catcher Corey Bass hit his first professional home run when he clubbed a high fast ball on to the berm in left. The ball was retrieved from a young fan by the one of the guys in the Threshers bullpen for Corey.
Right fielder Brian Pointer stole his tenth base of the season to become the first outfielder in the entire Phillies organization to have double digits in stolen bases, home runs and outfield assists with one team this season. Pete Lavin who started the season with the Threshers stole his fifth base for Reading on Saturday night to accomplish the outfielder’s triple- double but with two teams. He had five steals also with the Threshers earlier in the season.
Even with a team that is now only 39 games under .500 for the season there are always interesting baseball angles to look for in each game. That’s why we go.