Turned on MLB-TV at 5:30 A.M. this morning to watch the end of the first game of the best of three Finals for the Australian Baseball League Championship. It was just in time to watch the Perth Heat go down to 3-2 defeat against the Adelaide Bite. Phillies prospect Brian Pointer grounded into a game ending 4-6-3 double play with the tying run on third base in the top of the ninth to seal the loss for the Heat.
Hours earlier, the Dominican Republic won 3-2 by scoring two runs in the top of the ninth to defeat Mexico in the Caribbean Series from San Juan, Puerto Rico. It been a Series for Maikel Franco to forget so far. Batting in the three hole in each of the first three games of the Series, he has gone 1 for 15 hitting .067. Still his Dominica team is in second place in the round robin tournament with a 2-1 record.
Perth goes back at it at 3;30 A.M. ET, Saturday morning in a must win game against Adelaide. Should they win, the rubber match will be Sunday morning at the same time. The Dominican Republic plays host Puerto Rico this evening at 6:30 on ESPN Deportes. If the DR win, they will play in a semi-final elimination game on Saturday and if they win that game, then on to the winner take all Caribbean Final Championship game on Sunday evening at 6:30 P.M. ET.
It’s amazing Pointer and Franco are still playing baseball from the 2014 season. They still have chances to come up big in their respective tournaments but so far nothing good has happened to them at the plate.
February 24th is the date when the position players on the 40 man roster report for the first full squad work out in the Phillies major league camp. The first exhibition game is slated on Sunday March 1st against the University of Tampa and the Grapefruit League kicks off on Tuesday March 3rd against the Yankees. Both games are at Brighthouse Field. As we can see Franco will not have much time to recover from the 2014 season.
Phillies minor league pitcher Matt Hockenberry tweeted yesterday that he will be at the Carpenter Complex on March 5th when minor league pitchers and catchers report. The first Phillies minor league spring training games are slated to start Tuesday, March 17th. So Brian Pointer will have a few weeks off before he has to get ready for the 2015 spring training season.
Earlier this week General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that the young prospects, not on the 40 man roster will not be in the major league camp. This leave little incentive to go to major league spring training games. We have no interest in the seventeen, 30-year old something, free agents that the Phillies have listed as non-roster invitees who will play at AAA this season.
We do hope to see in Grapefruit games some of the younger players who are on the 40 man roster in camp such as pitchers, Evis Araujo, Jesse Biddle, Adam Morgan, Hector Neris, Nefi Ogando, Andy Oliver (Rule Five), and Joely Rodriquez along with young position players who have limited or no major league experience such as Tommy Joseph, Franco, Odubel Herrera (Rule Five), Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan. And it will be also interesting to see if Cody Asche gets playing time in left field.
We will be watching closely for any young players that we have been following in the Phillies minor league system who do come over from the minor league camp to play in major league spring training games. The Phillies need young arms and position players from the minor league camp from time to time when they play split-squad games.
In the meantime, Phillies baseball right now is all about Maikel Franco in the Caribbean Series and Brian Pointer in the ABL Championship Series this weekend.