The final week of Phillies minor league spring training games began today. Opening day for the minor league guys is only ten day away.
Rumors of player movements circulated around the Carpenter Complex on Monday. A relief pitcher we have known for the last several years, Ulises Joaquin was rumored to have been released. We finally confirmed it from a mutual friend. It’s always hard for a player we have gotten to know and followed is no longer with the Phillies organization. We wish him well and hope that he gets picked by another organization.
We breathed easier knowing that Ranfi Casimiro was still in camp. In fact he told us he will be in the Phillies major league bullpen agains for Tuesday night’s game. It is an important time for Ranfi now in his seventh season in the Phillies organization.
Ranfi was our house guest last season where he had his ups and downs as a starter for the Clearwater Threshers. So far this spring he is thriving as a middle reliever out of the pen for the first time in his career. He has yet to be scored upon in relief this spring. His last two outings of one inning each have been seven pitch and 12 pitch gems as he fights for a reliever spot on the Reading staff.
Another house guest of ours from last season, Elniery Garcia, was added to the Phillies 40-man roster over the winter but struggled in several major league games this spring walking seven and striking out three in 4.2 innings. He made his debut Monday in the minor league camp pitching one inning against the Yankees. He induced a ground ball double play and got a swinging strikeout in his one inning to start the game. Watch his strikeout HERE.
Several other players caught our attention in the AAA and AA games against the Yankees Monday. Cameron Perkins picked up a couple of base hits playing left field for the AAA team on Roberts Field. All Perkins does is hit. Watch one of his hits from Monday, HERE.
Perkins hit .292 for the AAA IronPigs last year. Then, he went and played in the Dominican Winter League where he hit over .300 both in the regular and post seasons down there. Then, he received an invite to the Phillies major league camp and you guessed it. He hit over .300 again, going 9 for 25 with a homer for a .360 average in Grapefruit League action. Still not good enough though to make the Phillies 25-man roster.
Another player fighting for a roster spot on the Reading roster is outfielder Aaron Brown. He was playing for the AA team on Schmidt Field, Monday. At times he can hit the ball a long way but needs to make more contact. In today’s game he hit a sacrifice fly rbi. Watch HERE.
The Phillies had several starting pitching bunting in Monday’s AA game. Let’s just say that Shane Watson, who has never played in a league where pitchers hit, still needs work on his bunting, as he struck out trying to sacrifice a runner to second. Later in the game, Tyler Viza, who played the second half of last season at Reading, put down a perfect sacrifice bunt moving the runner on first to second.
We need to get up early on Tuesday morning to watch the two, 10 a.m., A ball games at the Complex. The games have been moved up from 1:00 p.m. on the schedule because the Phillies play their only evening home spring training game against the Blue Jays at 6:35.