Yesterday was another embarrassing day for the punchless Phillies in Grapefruit League action at Bright House Field but it was another great day over at the minor league complex. We were walking into the Carpenter Complex and several Phillies of the future were walking back from batting practice on DiMaggio Field. Baseball Betsy hollered out her customary “hola” to Grenny Cumana and there was power hitting first baseman Rhys Hoskins among others walking by as well.
We got there just in time to watch the best foursome not playing golf hitting on Carlton Field: Dylan Cozens, Andrew Pullin, Cord Sandberg and Carlos Tocci. Pullin was driving the ball hard and put one into an old tree just lurking just over the right field fence. Tocci lined a couple of drives to the base of the left field wall. He was driving the ball so hard that on one pitch BP pitcher Rob Ducey had to back him off the plate a bit with one down and in.
Then, I wondered over to Schmidt Field to watch an infield practice taking place. There was J.P. Crawford at short, Cumana at second and Hoskins at first taking ground balls and turning double plays. Right before my eyes was the Phillies infield of the future.
It was noon time and some of the pitchers were finished for the day. Baseball Betsy and I ran into three of our buddies. And we decided to have lunch at the Latinos Supermarket which is the best Dominican restaurant in Clearwater and it might the be the only one. We all piled into my Jeep and headed down Drew Street for a mile or two to enjoy some good eating and were not disappointed.
On the way down we learned from one of the guys that the food is so good there that the Market is Blue Jays’ shortstop Jose Reyes “place to eat”. He makes the short trip down from the Jays camp in Dunedin. The Market may have only 9 or 10 seats for a sit down lunch but it should be part of any fans Phillies spring training experience.
Every day is a good day at the Phillies minor league camp at the Carpenter Complex where the Phillies stars of tomorrow are quickly mastering the fundamentals of the game every day. And I might add, it can’t be too soon! And they also know good places to eat too!