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.
Now that my foot is healing, I am able to get to spring training almost every day. I feel like I am playing “catch-up” after missing so many days. There are so many players that I haven’t had a chance to see, let alone photograph.
The highlight of yesterday was being able to catch Carlos Alonso’s home run:
Ryan Howard was playing and it seemed like he was struggling at the plate, striking out all three times I saw him bat, though Baseball Ross thinks he saw him hit a double later.
It was a “camp day” in Phillies camp. Camp days can be either one of two types of days: drills in the morning/afternoon off or drills in the morning/intra-squad scrimmages in the afternoon. This was the latter.
With four Phillies teams playing, it’s hard to try to see who’s playing/not playing for the day, get to the right field at the right time to see which player you want to see and at the same time, look over who isn’t playing so you can try to say hello or meet those players. I got to see some good plays, see old friends and make a few new friends.
So I have a few pictures that I took to show the action.
It was another beautiful day here in Clearwater. After a cold and wet winter, this warm dry March is a wonderful change.
The one thing that I’ve noticed that’s different from last year is that the atmosphere is lighter and more positive. You see the players with smiles on their faces and a little more bounce in their steps. It seems to be almost the opposite of last season, at least, so far.
Unless you’re someone who’s unnecessarily loquacious, there’s really not a lot that you can say about watching the endless drills of the first week of spring training. So my contribution will be a series of pictures depicting today’s activities.
José Taveras tracks down the ball during PFPs-Pitcher Fielding Practice.
Zach Green begins to spring for the ball.
Deivi Grullon snags the ball from the pitching machine.
Rhys Hoskins makes contact in batting practice.
Miguel Gonzalez begins long tossing before going into the bullpen.
Aaron Brown and Dylan Cozens during base running drills.
Alberto Tirado pantomimes a toss in PFPs.
Evan Crower was a quarterback at Stanford University who still had a year of eligibility when he was signed by the Phillies.
Derek Campbell gets ready to fire to first.
Matt Imhof smiles after a successful throw to first.
Christian Merraro is ready to fly.
Drew Stankiewicz swings for the fence.
Alexis Rivero tracks down the ball during PFPs.
Mitch Walding throws to second.
Newcomer Jeff Singer played last season for the Camden Riversharks. He looked sharp today.
Baseball Ross and I will be back at it tomorrow, another day in paradise.
Colin Kleven put together his best performance of the season so far as he lead the Threshers to an 8-1 win over the rival Dunedin Blue Jays.
Willians Astudillo, who caught tonight, and first baseman Zachary Green each had two RBIs to aid in the run total. Also key to the win were three base hit for both second baseman Drew Staniewicz and center fielder Chase Harris.
The key to the game was the stellar performance of Kleven. Kleven was solid over his six innings and had a no hitter going for 4 2/3 of those six innings. He also held the Jays to a run on three hits over six innings while striking out six.
Coming in the seventh was LHP Harold Guerrero, who pitched two innings with two strike outs, two hits no runs. Will Morris, LHP, came in to close in the ninth giving up one hit and had one strike out.
It was another beautiful night in Clearwater. Perfect weather and everyone was excite to start the season on a good note after last year’s fiasco of a season.
While the final score was not what the crowd wanted, a 5-2 loss to the rival Dunedin Blue Jays, there was a lot of good to take away, a little bad, and some ugly.
The highlight of the night and likely of the year, was a rare (first I’ve ever seen in person) TRIPLE PLAY! Mitch Walding to Drew Stankiewicz to Zack Green, a 5-4-3 triple play. To see this on the first night really gives me hope. For this to come together on the first night is even more amazing than if it was at the end of a season
Andrew Knapp went 3 for 4, including an RBI single.
Aaron Brown and Andrew Pullin both had hard-hit doubles.
Mark Leiter, Jr., making his debut as a reliever with two strike outs, including rehabbing Toronto Blue Jay, Michael Saunders.
Edubray Ramos got Michael Saunders on a broken bat ground out to Mitch Walding, who threw out Saunders at first.
The game was lost on three home runs, with each pitcher, Matt Imhoff, Mark Leiter, Jr. and Edubray Ramos giving up one home run.
The Threshers were 1-8 with runners in scoring position.
Domonic Brown striking out during both of his plate appearances.
Here is Matt Imhoff:
Mark Leiter, Jr.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Threshers’ General Manager John Timberlake for a moving rendition of “God Bless America” in dedication to Chuck Murphy, former Florida State League President who passed away a month ago. It was a truly heartfelt tribute.