I always looks for some type of storyline when I go the Carpenter Complex to watch the Phillies Minor League guys. Saturday afternoon it looked like I did not have one.
The two A ball level teams were mired in a run scoring drought about half way through the two games. In the game on Ashburn Field, all I had to go on was two innings from lefties Nick Fanti and two innings from Will Stewart. Fanti just returned from the WBC, playing for Team Italy. Will Stewart may be a good LOOGY someday. See Will Stewart get an out HERE. Watch Fanti’s strikeout of his first batter HERE and a great play in the hole by shortstop Arquismedes Gamboa on his second out HERE.
Over on Ashburn for the second day nothing but zeros were up on the new scoreboard for the Phillies. Oh yea! I did see Darick Hall hit a high pop fly double down the left field line but he was stranded there in the first inning. They could only manage two more hits in the rest of the game.
Finally, back on Schmidt Field the action was picking up late in the game. Mickey Moniak was up with the bases loaded and two outs. The Mick drilled one to right that made it to the fence for a double clearing the bases. We finally had a storyline. “The Mick Comes Through in the Clutch To Save The Day For the Phillies A ballers”. Watch Moniak’s double HERE.
Up until Moniak’s double, I was going to use the dreaded negative storyline that the Phillies two number one picks are off to slow starts in the spring training games. You see, 2015 No. 1 pick Cornelius Randolph had struck out twice in the game on Ashburn and 2016 No. 1 overall pick Moniak had popped out to center and grounded out to second in his two earlier at bats on Ashburn.
While Moniak’s big three-run RBI double saved the day for the Phillies low A bats on Schmidt, not much more happened over on Ashburn. The high A Phillies team lost to the Yankees 2-0, making it the second straight spring game they have been shutout, losing on Friday 1-0 to the Blue Jays high A team.
Another great event for took place on Saturday afternoon for Baseball Betsy and me. Our house guest from the 2016 season Ranfi Casimiro, when he was with Clearwater, made his first appearance ever in the Phillies major league bullpen.
While I was over at Carpenter Complex, Casimiro was invited over the to Phillies major league bullpen for the first time in his seven year Phillies career for the Pirates game. He even got to warm up in the third inning when Jeremy Hellickson was on the ropes-though he did not get in the game.
Ranfi is in the middle of a change. He was a starter for almost six years in his Phillies minor league career. He was yanked from the starting rotation late last season and is now trying to make it as a reliever, hopefully for Reading this season.
Ranfi came of age out of the pen on Thursday, striking out four in two innings of a shutout relief appearance against the AA Blue Jays. Watch HERE.
So, all and all, it was a good day for us watching Phillies baseball!