It’s shaping up as another long season for the Phillies at the major league level. But we will be there. Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 14. We will be spending most of our time again over at the Carpenter Complex watching the minor leaguers play as they report.
Going to the minor league spring training workouts and games are free and many times more interesting than what’s going on at the major league camp AND you do not get scalped at the ticket window or for paid parking.
If you get there early enough you can even find free parking a mile or so away to walk to the minor league Complex on major league game days at Spectrum Field. A little spring physical training is even needed for us aging, fiscal conservative fans.
The Phillies did add several non-roster invitees to the major league camp recently from their minor league rosters. Read HERE and HERE. Two of them, who I particularly will attempt to see, are the Phillies future second baseman Scott Kingery and late inning reliever J.D. Hammer. To watch Hammer pitch for the Clearwater Threshers in 2017, click HERE. They both should be playing at Citizens Bank Park at some point during the regular season.
One pitcher still left off the major league spring training roster is Jacob Waguespack. The 24-year-old right-handed starter put on quite a show at the end of the 2017 season for Reading and in the International League playoffs for Lehigh Valley.
In his final three starts Jacob pitched 21 innings, allowing only 11 hits, three earned runs and striking out 17. His only loss in those games was a seven inning, seven strikeout performance in a 1-0 defeat in the AAA playoffs.
Watching on MiLB-TV Waguespack impressed me with his stuff but apparently not the experts from the Phillies Front Office. To watch Jacob pitch in a game earlier in the 2017 season with the Threshers, click HERE.
Jacob still might get an opportunity to get a call over to a major league spring game or two to sit in the bullpen just in case one of the scheduled, apparently a more talented major league camp spring training invitee pitcher, can’t get out of an inning.
If Tim Tebow and his .226 batting average in A ball last season deserves an invite to the major league camp with the Mets, why can’t Jacob Waguespack with his strong 2017 finish on the hill at AA and AAA get one with the Phillies?
But hope springs eternal. Former Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick faced a similar situation back in 2007 when he was not invited to the major league spring camp. By mid-season he was dominating in AA with Reading and earned a direct major league call-up. He ended that season starting in a post season game and later received more votes for Rookie of the Year than any other rookie pitcher in the National League that season.
Can Waguespack be the next Kyle Kendrick who would go on and compile a 74-68 record over eight season as a starter with the Phillies? Jacob certainly has better stuff right now than Kendrick ever did!