The last couple of days have been tough for Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. He has been quarreling with fans who want to see young arms advance in the system but even worse the young arms he has acquired over the winter for the minor league system have not been pitching effectively in recent games.
On Wednesday, highly touted Zach Eflin acquired in the Jimmy Rollins deal over the winter from the Dodger was hit hard up in Manchester, New Hampshire in the Reading game. He gave up eight runs and twelve hits in his three inning start. Joly Rodriguez picked up for Antonio Bastardo from the Pirates took another loss for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs giving up four runs in a start that lasted six innings.
All was not lost yesterday, with Phillies minor league director Joe Jordan up in the stands at Lakewood watching the BlueClaws, they pulled out a 7-6 win in eleven innings. We can only hope that he was there to watch young talent such as first baseman Rhys Hoskins who is leading the Sally League in total bases and OPS and yesterday’s starter Ranfi Casimiro who racked up another “quality start” for the BlueClaw.
Baseball Betsy and I gathered around radio internet yesterday morning to listen to the BlueClaws game and later went over to Bright House to watch the Threshers. In that game we watched astarting pitcher acquired by the Phillies in the Roberto Hernandez deal from the Dodgers organization with an 0-5 record and a short guy playing first who struggled to play the position. Casimiro and Hoskins would make a welcomed additions to the Threshers’ roster.
Who knows what moves the Phillies might make. We were told that the new pitchers being brought in would turn the organization around. But as we saw yesterday on the mound with Eflin, Rodriguez and Victor Arano that has not been the case.
Yet, starting pitchers who were in the organization last season have been bypassed this season and blocked by these new acquisitions forcing do-overs with the teams they were with last season.
In his last start the Threshers’ Colin Kleven struck out eight in five innings to pick up the win against the Cardinals farmhands in Palm Beach. He is now 4-2 on the season.
The Threshers Mark Leiter Jr. was bypassed in the starting rotation in April before forcing himself out of the pen and into the starting rotation in May. He has a 2-0 record with an ERA just over 1.00 as a starter for Clearwater.
In his second season with Lakewood, Casimiro has in eight starts including two complete games, a 2.96 ERA with a 1.01 WHIP for Lakewood.
So the grass is not alway greener on the other side of the field. For Colin Kleven, Mark Leiter Jr. and Ranfi Casimiro it is another season with the same team with whom they ended the 2014 season. But “the new kids on the block” brought in by the Phillies Front Office who have been promoted over them to AAA and AA have not been exactly lights out.