Phightin’ for a place on the AAA roster, Derrick Mitchell plays hard and for others spring training with the Phillies comes to an end.

It’s coming down to the wire. There’s a lot on the line. With the end of spring training only days away there is a lot of jostling going on with the rosters, a trade and three more guys were cut today.

May be more importantly, there was a change to the rules at AAA and AA this year…the addition of a roster spot. Teams at this level can now carry 25 players instead of only 24. While this may not seem important, it is. This one position can make the difference to two guys who are sitting on the bubble. Teams generally carry the largest compliment of pitchers, so this extra spot may allow an extra position player, such as a fielder a chance to stay.

While earlier in the week Derrick Mitchell was listed on the grouping list in Group 2, which generally refers to players at AA, the last three days he has played with AAA (which is where he was playing when he was hit with the ball yesterday.)

Today, he was playing hard. He seems to have picked up his bat and went 2 for 4, (2 singles) and stole a base. A good showing. My husband Ross captured one of the solidly hit singles on video. You can see it HERE 

So his hard work is getting noticed.

On a sad note, the Phillies severed ties with four players today. As I reported earlier, Matt Rizzotti was traded to the Twins. Former BlueClaws players Bill Rice and Jeff Lanning were released. Also released was Brent Clevlen. Clevlen had experience in the Bigs, playing 59 games there. He had spent part of last year in Reading after being picked up after being released by both the Braves and the Reds.

Brent Clevlen on Harley Davidson Night in Reading in 2011

I wish all of those no longer in the organization the best of luck in all their future endeavors.

It Ain’t Over…


Tuffy Gosewisch
Tuffy Gosewisch

It was the first Saturday that we made the trip to Baseballtown. For some reason, we never seem to make it on a Saturday. So when we got to the parking lot at what was our usual time for a 7:05 start we were surprised to see that the lot was full and people were hustling to the stadium. It then dawned on us that game time on Saturday is 6:35…so we were late. D’OH!

We rushed to our seats….and apparently, it seemed that quite a few people had done the same thing. After the National Anthem, our row still hadn’t filled in so I volunteered to go get us some soda. I was on my way to the stand and I looked over and saw a dear friend from college.

I HAD to stop and say, “Hi”. I sat and talked with her…and with the way the game started, it was good I was distracted. It was somewhere around the 5th inning when I looked up and saw the R-Phils were down 6-2. I realized that I had left before play had started so I rushed off to get Ross his soda.

I grabbed sodas and a couple of the BEST HOTDOGS IN BASEBALL (since I was gone so long) and hurried back.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the 8th that the R-Phils scored another run. I went down to stand next to the R-Phils dugout. I was afraid that this was going to be “one of those nights”. But then…I remembered the words of the great Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over, till it’s over!”

Then I looked down and next to the wall was a praying mantis…praying…and I thought if the mantis isn’t going to give up…neither am I.


Bottom of the 9th…the R-Phils started to battle back…and before my mantis friend could blink…we were tied! Fidel Hernandez was up with Brent Clevlen, who had just driven in a run, on second.

Hernandez is a nice guy, I had the pleasure of sitting with his wife and children at a game in Dunedin, Florida earlier in the season when Hernandez was still with the Clearwater Threshers. Really a sweet family.

So I’m hoping (and the mantis is praying) that Hernandez would do something…and he did. Hernandez hit a blooper that fell just behind the first baseman that allowed Clevlen to score from second and the crowd goes wild! THE PHILLIES WIN! Adam Brisco, the creator of the Brisco Disco led the crowd in a post-game dance while the team celebrated on the field. Ross was able to catch the hit and following celebration for me, you can watch it HERE.

I guess the prayers of a mantis must account for something, right?