It’s not easy being a Phillies minor league fan. Last night we hoped to see Alec Bohm play for the Clearwater Threshers. He was on the bench instead. This made the third time in ten days he was given a game off. In the games he has actually played, he has been alternating between third base, first base and designated hitter.
The theory must be “a jack of all trades, master of none.” With the exception of the four catchers who have played for the Threshers this season, the position players have started at three different positions. The outfielders have started in all three outfield positions. The corner infielders have started at first, third and left field. The middle infielders have started at second, short and third. The position movement helps because of all the shifting that has overtaken baseball defenses at all levels.
Last night in the final game of the first half, the Threshers lost 3-2 thanks to a three-run homer. All three runs were unearned due to an error at third by Matt Kroon in the top of the fifth inning. We have seen Kroon start at first and in left field in addition to third so far in his 15 games with the Threshers.
The Threshers were even alternating managers last night. First base coach all season, Harold Garcia was flashing signs furiously at third base while listed manager Marty Malloy was reduced to collecting helmets and batting gloves while coaching first base. It was the first time in my many years of watching minor league baseball that I saw the listed manager coaching first base.
In any event, the Threshers finished the first half of the season strong in second place behind the Dunedin Blue Jay in the FSL North. I have learned to pay little much attention to wins and losses. So I don’t.
Let’s focus on what players stood out in the final game of the first half. The Threshers could only muster four hits over nine innings. Making his Florida State League debut, catcher Jack Conley had a hard-hit, two-run single to left giving the Threshers their only runs in the fourth inning.
I have to give credit to Threshers pitching coach, Brad Bergesen, who appears to be one of the better coaches in the business. His staff led the FSL in strikeouts in the first half with 46 more strikeouts than the second place staff and 155 more than the last the last place staff in strikeouts.
Starter Ethan Evanko pitched a six inning gem except for the two-out homer which resulted in all three unearned St. Lucie runs. He struck out six. Watch the movement and different speeds on three of his strikeouts
The Threshers relievers were equally strong. Zach Warren and Grant Dyer pitched shutout baseball. Dyer struck out the side in the ninth.
The Threshers will send seven players to the Florida State League All-Star game, Saturday night, at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. Read HERE.