It was a big weekend for the Phillies prospects both at the major league level and the minor league level. This weekend saw the start of minor league games, including games against Canada and Puerto Rico. Lets jump into the reports by many sources.
The first two pitchers for the major league club were LHPs Joely Rodriguez and Jesse Biddle. Rodriguez was 90-92 touching 93 on what may have been a hot gun (it had Chris Archer at 97-98 which are his career highs). Either way Rodriguez looked very solid. Everything he throws dives down. Hitters seem to hit a lot of it into the ground, however he does have a tendency to nibble which limits some of his effectiveness in the zone.
While Rodriguez was solid, Biddle was impressive. Unlike his first appearance, Biddle was over top of his pitches and worked his fastball down and glove-side at 92-94. He flashed some changeups and a couple of curveballs. The curves were floated in and not sharp. However, the fastball command was impressive, and then he unleashed this pitch proving not only is the slider real, but it is actually something impressive and to be reckoned with.
Phillies 9 – Canada 0
Here is Josh Norris’ (Baseball America) full report. Including video on Ricardo Pinto, Edubray Ramos, and Cord Sandberg. I will let the Twitter timelines of those there take you the rest of the way.
But also this
Austin Davis – 90-91 T92
Jason Zgardowski – 90-92 T93 (had some strikezone problems)
Mitch Gueller – 86-88
All four of the Phillies big money 2014 International Signees saw action. Arauz and Gamboa played SS, Brito got some time at 2B, and Rodriguez some time behind the plate (and hit a double). Gregori Rivero hit a HR right before Pujols blasted his. Six of the runs allowed came off of Zgardowski and Lewis Alezones.
Two of the Phillies top offseason acquisitions took the mound in an intrasquad game has big righties Zach Eflin (90-92 T94) and Ben Lively (88-90 T92) made their debuts. Josh Norris has a recap including Eflin video and some nice catches by Roman Quinn in center field. Jim Peyton of Phuture Phillies was also at the game and took some video:
Tocci Singles off Eflin
Quinn Triples off Lively
Adam Morgan continues to step forward in his rehab. Keeping in mind the gun may be a bit hot he was 91-93 in his first inning and 89-92 in his second inning. He showed decent control and all four pitches as the slider, changeup, and curveball were all featured. The slider doesn’t look like the pitch it once was, but there is some feel there. It is going to be a bit of work to get back the arm strength, but Morgan was much sharper yesterday than he was during his time in the AFL.
Elvis Araujo continues to impress and was 94-97 on the gun with decent control and a slider that flashed good potential. Andy Oliver struck out the side giving him a spring line of 5 IP 2 H 2 BB 9 K over his 3 appearances. He is more likely than Araujo to open with the team. Araujo is probably a victim of his inexperience and remaining milb options, but he should be back quickly. Luis Garcia continues to look very solid.
Some Quick Injury Updates:
Image by Baseball Betsy