With regular spring training winding down we picked up an extended spring training schedule to get ready for more baseball. One friend remarked we have two weeks off from regular spring training until those games start with the Phillies opening on the road against the Yankees on April 13th and at home the next day with the them at 1:00 pm. You can see baseball games never seems to end in at the Carpenter Complex.
With only two more games remaining on minor league spring training slate, the anticipation is rising as the guys get ready to head north or head over to Bright House Field. Yesterday we arrived at the complex to see an intrasquad game with the low A and high A teams in action. One pitcher to keep an eye on is Ricardo Pinto. He pitched five scoreless innings against the high A team. We saw David Whitehead look strong in his final three shutout innings but he did give up five runs in his first two inning of work against the low A team.
You know something is up when the top minor league personal guys gather behind the backstop to watch a pitcher throw. Pro Personnel Director Benny Looper and Minor League Director Joe Jordan were focused in on Jesen Therrien on the mound. He seems slated for a closer role. He was dominating in his first inning of work work striking out Carlos Tocci and Jiandido Tromp with what looked like big sliders. In his second inning of relief catcher Joel Fisher took Therrien’s fast ball which was right down the middle of the plate high over the left field fence.
This was the second homer of the spring that I have seen Fisher blast. Catchers have been showing a lot of pop so far this spring. Other Phillies catchers that I can recall having hit long balls in camp games this spring include the likes of Andrew Knapp, Willians Astudillo and Chace Numata.
Then, Baseball Betsy and I headed over to Bright House Field in time to watch catcher Andrew Knapp and middle infielder Grenny Cumana get spring training awards for outstanding play. President Emeritus Bill Giles gave Knapp his award and Joe Jordan gave Grenny his special Larry Rojas Award given to a Latin player. We have watched both play a lot of baseball last Fall in instructs and in spring training. They have a strong future ahead of them and both got to play in the field in the ninth inning of yesterday’s Phillies game against the Braves. Also the Clearwater Threshers pitching coach received the John Vukovich award for his coaching contributions.
With only games against the Pirates today, the Blue Jays tomorrow and intrasquad games early Saturday morning before breaking camp, the Phillies 2015 minor league spring training is coming to an end. The minor league season opens on Thursday April 9th. We expect to be on hand in Clearwater to watch the Threshers take on the Dunedin Blue Jays at Bright House Field. We do not get much of a break with ext. spring games in the afternoon and Threshers games later in the evening coming up soon.