As you may know by now my two favorite plays in baseball are the three-run homer and the strikeout. To watch Phillies first base prospsect Rhys Hoskins hit a three-run dinger in the top of the first inning against the Blue Jays on opening day of minor league spring training games, well it just does not get any better than that!
Then, to see Matt Imhof strikeout the first Blue Jay batter in the bottom of the first with over powering stuff was just like putting a cherry on top of the sundae. Imhof would go on to strikeout four in his two innings of work.
Yesterday was a long day at Ashburn Field for me as the Phillies high-A work group team showed little offense but I did see strikeouts from my good friend Ranfi Casimiro. Casi, as the coaches call him, came on in the third and fourth innings to rack up four strikeouts in his first appearance of the spring training games. Though he did give up a two-run homer to a Pirate bat, he did have the elusive “swing and miss” stuff which to me is so important to be projected as a major league pitcher.
Some of the strikeout numbers are filtering in from the first games of spring training. Pitchers are usually ahead of hitter at this point in spring training so it is not always unusual to see more strike outs than innings pitched at this point. So far, No. 1 draft pick from 2014, Aaron Nola had three strikeouts in two inning; Tom Windle, acquired in the Jimmy Rollins deal, two strikeouts in two innings, and now back in the minor league camp, Jesse Biddle, three innings and one strikeout. So it was extra special to have watched Imhof and Casimiro on back to back days, strikeout four in two innings of work each.
See a Casimiro swinging strike in slow-mo HERE.