Atlanta Braves Sign Big Piece Ryan Howard to Minor League Deal! 

MLB reports that the Atlanta Braves have signed former Phillies’ 1B Ryan Howard to a contract!


The report states that Howard will report to Braves’ extended spring training in Kissamee then to AAA Gwinnett in Georgia.

Guess those $80k in doorknobs won’t pay for themselves! If you want to see the nicest house of any minor league player, you can see my article HERE! (Complete with video!)

List of “Unaccounted For” Phillies Minor League Players

As a blogger and Phillies fan, this has been one of the most difficult years. There has been very little information released by the team as to whom they have released. They have not been forthcoming with any of this information. 

In fact, the final rosters were not even made available to the general public. I luckily have a number of eyes on the inside who provided a copy of the roster I posted earlier. 

Baseball Ross and I have spent the last hour or so pouring over all the rosters that have been released this year and compared it to the final assignments to come up with a list of players that are “Missing in Action”. I hesitate to say released as there is no official word and for all we know the player could have been sent back to the Dominican academy or retired and it’s not fair to say “released”. So here is the list of players that are no longer on any of the rosters.

Pitchers:

  • Jesse Beal RHP
  • Kale Fultz RHP
  • Scott Harris LHP
  • Scott Hoffman RHP
  • Carlos Indriago RHP
  • Ulises Joaquin RHP
  • Jordan Kurakawa RHP
  • Will Morris RHP
  • Jose Nin RHP
  • Geury Ortiz RHP 
  • Oskerelly Sanchez LHP
  • David Whitehead RHP

Position Players:

  • Luis Espiritu INF
  • Daniel Garner C
  • Christian Marrero OF
  • Luke Maglich OF
  • Evan Rogers INF

THE PHILLIES MINOR LEAGUE ROSTERS HAVE BEEN POSTED!

Thanks to a dear friend, I have a copy of the newly posted final rosters! I have not had time to go over them and see who was released.

So here you go:

Note:

* denotes a left-handed player

# denotes a switch hitter/pitcher

Minor League Workgroup List Updated

Yesterday, the new and updated Phillies minor league workgroup list was released. The most major change is that there are now players in the fifth column. This is a combination of players being sent down as well as some players that are on the DL now being included in the list. 

While there are rumors of five players being released, there has been no “official” confirmation so I have not mentioned those whom we suspect have been released. 

Please remember that until the final players are sent down from major league camp, the lists are rather fluid.


It is also worth noting that the players in the fifth column that are indented are players that are currently rehabbing/on the DL.

Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson Makes a Rehab Appearance

While I was raised in Pennsylvania, since moving to Dunedin, the spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays, I’ve grown to have a soft spot for “Canada’s Team”. They are my favorite American League team.

A dear friend who blogs about the Jays messaged me last night saying he had heard that Josh Donaldson was going to play in a minor league game. My interest was piqued.

Here’s the thing, while the Jays were playing the Phillies, there was no way to know what team Donaldson would play for. There were 4 teams to choose from, the low A teams at the Jays’ complex and the AA and AAA teams at the Phillies. While the logical choice would think AAA, since they were playing at the Carpenter Complex, would they have Donaldson play with the A kids so that he would stay at their training facility? I took a chance and went to the AAA game at the Carpenter Complex. The Jays’ bus arrived. No Donaldson. Shucks. I debated driving the 5 miles (back) to Dunedin but since we had come in Baseball Ross’ car, I stayed. I was rewarded when they posted the line up and Donaldson was scheduled to take 3 at-bats.

I was happy, at least I was in the right place. 15 minutes before game time…no Donaldson. 5 minutes before game time…no Donaldson. Gametime? Nope. He got there (as it would seem planned) soon after the game started. He got the trainer and they took off for the Phillies indoor batting cages. He soon returned and was inserted into the line up.

Josh Donaldson times the ball before his first at bat.

Donaldson was up against the Phillies Alec Asher. He fouled a ball or two and then…I think at this point I need to say that this was one on the absolutely windiest days I’ve ever seen for a baseball game. We had some gusts of wind that made it hard for me to stand and take photos. This would come into play for the next pitch to Donaldson.

  

Donaldson squared up Asher’s pitch, it got caught up in the gusts to left-center, it just kept going. The Phillies outfielder stopped running and watched…it was going, going…..Then the breeze hit the side wall of Spectrum Field and it became a stiff “air-curtain”.  Donaldson, who had taken one look at the ball and assumed it was gone…looked on in horror. He had already started for the dug out. He was almost through the door when he realized it hit the air-curtain and it was slowing down..this was the same time the outfielder realized it and he started running at a full speed. The ball dropped as if it hit a physical wall and dropped right along the fence! The stunned outfielder missed it and it hit the ground.

It was then that Donaldson laughed and went, “Uh-oh!” and started for first (while still holding his bat) in what could only be called a “penguin-style” waddle. Everyone one laughed.

Josh Donaldson’s “penguin” walk to first with the bat.

In the article that includes an interview with Donaldson that I’ll post at the end of the blog, they incorrectly state that the ball was caught.

Donaldson went on to bat three more times but didn’t have a hit. His timing seemed good but many of the balls went foul and the wind was the cause of many of the balls going foul instead of down the line.

After he was done, he packed up immediately to leave but he took time to sign autographs…

Josh Donaldson Autograph

And I got one! (I have really slowed down on collecting autographs the last year or two, in fact my goal was 2 this year, Donaldson and Bautista. I’m 50% done!)

He was even so kind to allow people to walk with him to his car and he continued to sign and take pictures with fans before he left.

Josh Donaldson

When Donaldson left, the Jays were up 2-0. They were not running the scoreboards so I do not know what the final was…once Donaldson was gone, I started going back and forth between the three games that were going on at the time and lost track.

Donaldson was interviewed by the plethora of media that was in attendance and he seemed pleased with his performance. You can see coverage of the interview HERE.

I think my favorite moment and the moment that showed what a class act Donaldson is, was when Donaldson was done, he went to the player whose place in the line up he took with his at-bats and thanked him for allowing him to do so. I’ve seen a lot of major leaguers step into a minor league game to get a few plate appearances in but I’ve never seen anyone thank the player he displaced. It was a first class move.

So that was the highlight of my day…and may be of my spring training. *Sigh* I love baseball.

Phillies Minor League Action-A Day in Pictures

This is the part of spring training where in many aspects, it’s hard to write a narrative of where a team is going to be. This week is sort of a “limbo”for the players. There are way too many players in camp and the minor leaguers who are on the major league roster have yet to be cut.

The major league camp will start cutting players and those players will either be sent to minor league camp or given their outright release. Once that happens, all of the players sent down will have to be placed on a roster and then the players will have to be shifted around and again, some will be given their release as well.

It’s a nervous time. That being said, as far as a story, the story is the minor leaguers are playing other minor leaguers to keep a spot on the roster. It’s as if everyone is waiting for the other proverbial “shoe to drop”.

Baseball Ross and I will have a recap of the week’s intrasquad games tomorrow so be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, you can find it HERE

What I thought I’d share today is a series of pictures I took for your enjoyment. 

Matt Hockenberry

Ulises Joaquin

Carlos Indriago

Miguel Nunez

Jake Kelzer

Jhailyn Ortiz

Alex Wojciechowski hits a ball right at Jesus De Los Santos

Cole Stobbe

Greg Pickett

Ben Pelletier

Orestes Melendez