Introducing The 2016 Clearwater Threshers

It was a beautiful evening here in Clearwater for the annual “Meet the Threshers” picnic for season ticket holders. It’s a fun time where we had a chance to have a nice meal and hob-knob with the players.

After everyone had a chance to eat, the voice of the Threshers, Kirsten Karbach introduced the team.

2016 Clearwater Threshers
2016 Clearwater Threshers

You can see video of the introductions HERE.

The season kicks off tomorrow night in Dunedin against the Blue Jays.

More Phillies Minor Leaguers Released-As Of April 2, 2016

Since my last release post, I’ve discovered that four more Phillies minor leaguers have been released.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, a Cuban, was given $12 million over four years but had only appeared in 5 1/3 major league innings.

Cody Forsythe
Cody Forsythe

Cody Forsythe, who played in Clearwater last season was a surprising release.

Calvin Rayburn
Calvin Rayburn

Calvin Rayburn was a bit of a surprise as he had pitched just the day before.

Finally, Panamanian catcher Jose Mayorga was also released.

Jose Mayorga
Jose Mayorga-photo courtesy of the Lakewood BlueClaws

As someone who knows quite a few of these guys, in this case Rayburn and Mayorga, it’s a tough thing to see. I wish them the best and hope they fine another team soon.

Phillies Minor League Team 2016 Rosters Released!

2016 Minor League Roster
2016 Minor League Roster
The minor league roster was released today and I have a copy. The copy is at the top of the page. For ease of reading the tiny print, I have transcribed it here (Note Disabled List is at the end):

Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

Catchers

  • JP Arencibia
  • Andrew Knapp#

Infielders

  • Carlos Alonso
  • Taylor Featherston
  • Ryan Jackson
  • Tommy Joseph
  • Angelys Nina
  • Brock Stassi

Outfielders

  • Cameron Perkins
  • David Lough
  • Darnell Sweeny #
  • Wil Venable
  • Nick Williams*

Starting Pitchers

  • Mark Appel
  • David Buchanan
  • Zach Eflin
  • Adam Morgan*
  • Jake Thompson

The Bullpen

  • Elvis Araujo
  • Andrew Bailey
  • Ernesto Frieri
  • Luis Garcia
  • Bobby Lafromboise*
  • Edward Mujica
  • Colton Murray

Reading Fightin’ Phils

Catchers

  • Jorge Alfaro
  • Logan Moore

Infielders

  • JP Crawford*
  • Jake Fox
  • Rhys Hoskins
  • Harold Martinez
  • Angelo Mora#
  • KC Serna
  • Jesmuel Valentin#

Outfielders

  • Aaron Brown
  • Dylan Cozens
  • Christian Marrero*
  • Roman Quinn#

Starting Pitchers

  • Alec Asher
  • Ben Lively
  • Ricardo Pinto
  • Nick Pivetta
  • Anthony Vasquez

The Bullpen

  • Severino Gonzalez
  • Ulises Joaquin
  • Edubray Ramos
  • Joeley Rodriguez*
  • Reinier Roibal
  • Tom Windle

Clearwater Threshers

Catchers

  • Gabriel Lino
  • Chace Numata#
  • Joel Fisher

Infielders

  • Maquin Canelo
  • Zach Green
  • Scott Kingery
  • Kyle Martin*
  • Drew Stankiewicz#
  • Mitch Walding*

Outfielders

  • Andrew Pullin*
  • Herlis Rodriguez
  • Cord Sandberg*
  • Carlos Tocci

Starting Pitchers

  • Tom Eshelman
  • Ranfi Casimiro
  • Elniery Garcia*
  • Matthew Imhof*
  • Will Morris
  • Tyler Visa

The Bullpen

  • Victor Arano
  • Joey DeNato
  • Matt Hockenberry
  • Jario Munoz
  • Miguel Nunez
  • Alexis Rivero
  • Jesen Therrien

Lakewood BlueClaws

Catchers

  • Austin Bossart
  • Deivi Grullon
  • Wilson Garcia

Infielders

  • Grenny Cumana
  • Brendon Hayden
  • Jan Hernandez
  • Emmanuel Marrero#
  • Josh Tobias#

Outfielders

  • Zach Coppola
  • Jose Pujols
  • Cornelius Randolph*
  • Damek Tomscha
  • Jiandido Tromp

Starting Pitchers

  • Harold Arauz
  • Tyler Gilbert*
  • Franklyn Kilome
  • Luke Leftwich
  • Mitch Gueller
  • Shane Watson

The Bullpen

  • Alejandro Arteaga
  • Kenny Koplove
  • Zach Morris*
  • Robert Tasin
  • Jose Taveras
  • Alberto Tirado
  • Jacob Waguespack

Extended Spring Training

Catchers

  • Edgar Cabral
  • Roldolfo Duran
  • Greg Brodzinski
  • Nerlius Martinez
  • Gregori Rivero*
  • Lenin Rodriguez
  • Rafeal Marchan

Infielders

  • Jose Antequera
  • Daniel Brito*
  • William Cuicas#
  • Luis Encarnacion
  • Luis Espiritu
  • Arquismedez Gamboa#
  • Edwin Rodriguez
  • Lucas Williams

Outfielders

  • Jesus Alastre
  • Venn Biter*
  • Carlos Duran
  • Enmanuel Garcia
  • Samuel Hiciano
  • Mark Laird*
  • Juan Luis*
  • Jhailyn Ortiz
  • Greg Pickett*
  • Jake Sweaney

Starting Pitchers

  • Ismael Cabrera
  • Seranthony Dominguez
  • Bailey Falter
  • Nick Fanti
  • Edgar Garcia
  • Adonis Medina
  • Felix Paulino
  • William Stewart*
  • Ranger Suarez*

The Bullpen

  • Steiner Carmona
  • Skylar Hunter
  • Carlos Indriago
  • Sutter McLoughlin
  • Luis Morales
  • Geudy Ortiz
  • Oskerlly Sanchez*
  • Anthony Sequiera
  • Jeff Singer*
  • Horace Stubblefield
  • Gregory Infante
  • Chris Leroux
  • Jeremy Bleich
  • Hoby Milner

Extended Spring Training Rehab

  • Jimmy Cordero
  • Frank Herrmann
  • Yoervis Medina
  • Brandon Leibrandt*
  • Mark Leiter
  • John Richy
  • Andrew Anderson
  • Scott Harris
  • Austin Davis
  • Derek Campbell

 

Scenes From Phillies Minor League Spring Training-March 31, 2016

As minor league training camp is winding down, the mood and tempo is also winding down. The mood is more quiet, more like waiting for it all to be over. I took most of yesterday to try to catch the few players I haven’t seen yet as well as chat with a few of my friends before they leave.

I found something new to be fascinated with. I have long had a fascination with the knuckle ball. But now it’s with Hoby Milner’s side arm pitch. I’ve long been a fan of and friend of Hoby. He’s a great kid who had some struggles and changed his pitch from the usual overhand to a full-fledged side arm.

I was trying to cover both games so I missed his first inning but according to the BlueClaws Blog, he threw two scoreless innings. I didn’t get any video, but wish I had. Once I started watching, I could not turn away.

Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner

While I didn’t have video, I have placed the photos in sequence so you can get a feel of the motion:

Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner
Hoby Milner

The sound and movement of the ball was unique. It had a different kind of “whoosh” to it and it seemed to almost swerve from Hoby’s hand, out to the right of the batter and at the last second, swerve back over the plate. The batters just didn’t know what to make of it. In the inning I saw, there were times that the batters would just stand there as the ball went by, not knowing how to time their swing. It was really cool to watch. I almost forgot to take pictures.

Ben Lively (left) pitching to Logan Moore. (David Buchanan on the right)
Ben Lively (left) pitching to Logan Moore. (David Buchanan on the right)

Something else that I saw that was different is Ben Lively’s fastball. I’ve hung around bullpens enough, right behind the catcher, that it really doesn’t phase me. I am usually immune to the snap that the ball makes as it crashes into Logan Moore’s glove. I’ll admit, the first time I heard Lively’s fastball, it actually startled me. I jumped and almost dropped my phone.

HERE’S VIDEO of Lively pitching. The first and third pitches are “normal” and the second is one of the fastballs.

Those were the two things that I enjoyed watching. Today is the last full day of camp. Tomorrow there will be some drills/intra-squad early before the guys shower and load their equipment onto the trucks to go north. I hope to be there to say good-bye to my friends.

 

More Phillies Minor Leaguers Released-Including One of Our “Baseball Sons”

This is the part I hate about spring training, the cuts.  It’s especially tough when you know the guys like Baseball Ross and I do. Some of this week’s cuts, come close to home, as we have known some of these guys for years and one is one of our “baseball sons”.

The first was pitcher Lino Martinez.

Lino Martinez, photo courtesy of MiLB.com
Lino Martinez, photo courtesy of MiLB.com

Then my friend, catcher Jesus Posso

Jesus Posso, photo courtesy of MiLB.com
Jesus Posso, photo courtesy of MiLB.com

Then short stop Dylan Bosheers

Dylan Bosheers, photo courtesy of MiLB.com
Dylan Bosheers, photo courtesy of MiLB.com

Also Scott Tomasetti, catcher

Scott Tomasetti, photo courtesy of MiLB.com
Scott Tomasetti, photo courtesy of MiLB.com

Pitcher Andrew Godail

Andrew Godail
Andrew Godail

Former Stanford quarterback, pitcher Evan Crower

Evan Crower
Evan Crower

And finally, the one that tears me up and breaks my heart, my first baseball “son” and last years’ Williamsport Crosscutters Booster Club Fan Favorite:

Feliberto Sanchez

Feliberto Sanchez
Feliberto Sanchez

Feliberto wasn’t just any player, he was/is/will always be one of my favorites. We met him four years ago when he began his career with the Gulf Coast League Phillies and I am grateful to have had the last four years where he has called us his “American Parents”.

I always joked that he was meant to be my “son” as we have the same crazy sense of humor and the two of us could understand each other without even talking…much to Ross’ chagrin. Feliberto and I could play jokes on Ross and before he knew what was going on, Feliberto and I would be laughing hysterically.

While I didn’t mention him by name, he is the one that caused my “crazy trip to the Tampa Airport post” (you can read that fiasco HERE) When I got him back to go to hotel that night, he wouldn’t let me leave until he gave me the gift he had made for Ross and I and it is one of my most cherished possessions.

The plaque
The plaque

It says “Special for my parents, I love you Mom and Dad”.

That year, he had hurt his knee at Thanksgiving and was flown first to Philly for surgery then here to Clearwater for rehab-which is why I had picked him up at the airport.

While rehabbing, he was here for a month, returning to the Dominican just two days before Christmas. The day before he left, he was allowed to leave the hotel for the afternoon and we had an “American” Christmas.

Our Christmas
Our Christmas

Baseball Ross asked me to add: 

“In Sanchez’ last two games he pitched five innings and struck out NINE…yet he was never given a chance to move up to Lakewood.”

Even now, I get a little choked up seeing the plaque because it means that much to me. It hangs right by my chair in the livingroom and even though he’s back in the Dominican, he’s never far from my heart. The only thing that’s changed over the years is that I’ve dropped the term “baseball”, he is my son. Hopefully, one day soon we can get together again.

Phillies, Blue Jays, Yankees and Pirates Minor League Spring Training Schedule Published

Today I was given a paper copy of the Spring Training schedule for the Phillies, Blue Jays, Yankees and Pirates minor league teams. As far as I know, it’s not online anywhere else. I hope it’s helpful…