The future is bright but likely not for the next two years for the Phillies. That’s the conclusion I took from this week after watching the Phillies on MLB-TV and first week of Phillies instruct games at Roberts and Bright House Fields here in Clearwater.
The big team is basically stuck with post prime players for the next two years. They simply have to many core players who have compiled the same under .500 record now for two straight seasons.
Expect the same record at best for the next two years since the Phillies have most of these same players under contract for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. As we saw at the trading deadline no other team wants any of these veterans for the price it would cost to acquire them.
After watching the first week of Instructs games hope springs eternal for the Phillies post 2016 seasons. I can see at Citizens Bank Park someday the likes of Rhys Hoskins at first base; Grenny Cumana teaming with J.P. Crawford as the keystone combination up the middle; Jan Hernandez as a right handed power bat at third; Aaron Brown and Roman Quinn in the outfield and lefties Adam Morgan making a comeback on the mound and Elniery Garcia’s sharp breaking ball racking up strikeouts. Edubray Ramos has been impressive in relief with his tailing movement on his mid-90’s heat.
I watched three instruct games this week and the talent is there. I believe in the old adage “you know it when you see it”.
I saw it when Hoskins hit a ball on the Tiki Bar roof for a two-run homer; when Cumana lined a hit up the middle and called for a pop up from second in shallow right field; when Hernandez lined a hit down the left field line and when Aaron Brown went the other way with a double and single to left.
We hope for the best for Adam Morgan. A better person would be hard to find. He was simply brilliant in his first inning of pitching in the intrasquad game after his long layoff.
Garcia, what can I say about my friend Elniery. When I talked with him after the intrasquad game he was still excited after firing a 92 mph sinker for a strike in the previous game against the Yankees when he was told he could not do it. Don’t tell a 19 year-old he can’t do something. That’s what instructs are all about.
The Orioles instruct team makes their only scheduled visit to Bright House Field Saturday morning. So who knows what we will see. That’s part that makes instructional baseball interesting.
Whatever happens I can guarantee it will be more exciting than watching the Phillies and the Braves end the major league season in Philadelphia on Sunday where the sun will set and finally turn out the lights on the dismal 2014 major league season in Philadelphia.
On the other hand, the sun will rise to light up the field Saturday morning down here on a game in the Florida Instructional League which will shine the way to a bright future for these young Phillies in the Florida Instructional League.