Phillies Play First Fall Instructional League Game-First Round Pick Alec Bohm Goes Yard

Fall Instructional League games are much like spring training games, they are more relaxed, coaches can end or “roll” an inning and pitchers often pitch only an inning.

Someone forgot to tell Phillies’ First Round draft pick Alec Bohm…he sent a ball almost out of Spectrum Field! He hit a blazing line drive that hit off near to top of the “F” on the sign above Frenchy’s Tiki Bar! It was a thunderous hit that even the sound was no-doubt-about it. I managed to catch this swing, landing and Bohm’s bat flip and run around the bases…

Adam Morgan returns to the mound in Fall Instructional League Intra-Squad game

Today was one of the most beautiful days for baseball since spring training. As Baseball Ross and I took our seats under the overhang in the shade, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw Adam Morgan take the mound.

Morgan has been sidelined since last summer with a shoulder injury. He spent the better part of that year here in Clearwater rehabbing.

He looked good, seemed to have good control and his velocity seemed to build with every inning. Considering it’s been almost a year since he’s pitched in a competitive setting, it was quite an impressive return.

Here’s to hoping that next season will be his best yet.IMG_2131.JPG

Reggie Jackson was in the house!

Today is one of those days, one of those days I will remember the rest of my life. Today I met Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson.

Today was the first day of the fall instructional league and the Phillies were playing the New York Yankees. I looked over and there was a gentleman wearing Yankees garb and it was Reggie Jackson, Mr. October himself!

I waited for a moment when he wasn’t talking to anyone and kindly asked for his autograph he was happy to oblige. It’s one of those moments that you can never forget, meeting a Hall of Famer like that, especially when you were expecting to. I didn’t have a ball with me but luckily, my good friend Charlie had an extra. So now, I have the autograph of one of the greatest players of the game!

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Yeah, So the Pirates Are A No-Show

So today the Fall Instructional League Phillies were to play the Pirates today–originally at Pirate City in Bradenton, then yesterday, we were told the Bucs were coming here. Nope, no Bucs.

We arrived to find Phillies 1 vs Phillies 2–both wearing the same uniforms. This is so confusing.

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One thing I love, is the snap the ball makes when Kenny Giles throws some heat. (click HERE)

Wow! Luis Encarnacion just made a real sharp play, charging the ball and firing to first! Wow!

OF NOTE:
Zachary Green was awarded the New York Penn League Player of the Year!
AND he’s playing here today!

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Fall Instructional League Notes

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One of the best things about Fall Instructional League is the weather. The last few weeks of Gulf Coast League were brutal, mid nineties every day, 90-100% humidity, no breezes. The games started at noon and by one, you felt fried.

Fast forward a few weeks FIL starts at one, the temps are mid-eighties, humidity is mid-eighties and the breeze is fantastic. They also have been holding the games at Bright House which allows for seats and shade. Baseball life couldn’t get much better.

The baseball? Well it’s, well, interesting. The players are here to work on pieces of their game so the emphasis is on the instruction not winning. Pitchers that were lights out look like their struggling because they may not be allowed to use their “good” pitches.

It’s also time for scouts to check out talent as you can see by the large number of scouts in the stands today:

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I don’t mind who wins or loses. I’ve gotten to know quite a few of the young players and I quite enjoy watching them learn and progress. It’s also better than what happens in just a few weeks—the end of all of the seasons. That dark dearth of time between the World Series and Spring Training. Well, there is Australian baseball and Baseball Ross and I have gotten up at 3 am to watch some games but it’s not the same.

Of note:
Players seen on the field today:
Aaron Altherr, Jan Hernandez, Jose Puljols, Art Charles, Andrew Pullin, Nick Hanson, Carlos Duran, JP Crawford, Larry Greene, Ricardo Pinto, Cord Sandberg, Devi Grullon, Jesse Therrien, Willians Astudillo, Dylan Cozens, Nefi Ogando, Tyler Buckley, Danny Child

Final Score: Phillies 9, Tigers 7

TOMORROW’S PHILLIES FIL GAME AGAINST THE PIRATES WILL BE AT BRIGHT HOUSE NOT PIRATE CITY…GAME TIME 1pm

Players in the stands:
Feliberto Sanchez, Shane Watson, Ranfi Casimiro, Luis Encarnacion, Roman Quinn

(There’s more but I can’t see all the names on jerseys)

Fall Instructional League Play is Underway

Ahh, fall is in the air! The air is cool, low to mid 80’s, mostly sunny, nice breezes such a changed from the mid-90’s and stifling air of the Gulf Coast League.

The Fall Instructional League got off to a late start as the first several days of play had to be postponed/cancelled due to severe rain.

Yesterday was the first game that we were able to attend. It’s been interesting to watch because several of the players who will be playing in the Arizona Fall League have made a stop here in Clearwater to get tuned up before heading West. They played my hometown Dunedin Blue Jays. During the game, I got to see Kelly Dugan bat. The game itself was rough to watch with the Phillies losing 8-6.

The Orioles, today’s opponent, had not played in SIX days. In this short league, approximately a month (depending on team) a loss of six days is detrimental to a team. Today’s game was a scheduled twelve innings to help the Orioles get in much needed work.

What I liked about today’s game was the fair number of Arizona Fall League players who played today. Those players are leaving today for Arizona so many of them got in one last practice before leaving on a jet plane.

Kenny Giles started. While I understand why some people may have some concerns about him, I still get a kick out of watching him pitch. When I’ve seen him play in Dunedin (one of the few stadiums with a radar gun) He’s thrown over 100mph. While today’s game at Bright House lacked a gun, I loved to hear the ball snap against the catcher’s glove. There’s a certain pop when a ball really has velocity and you can hear that with Giles’ pitching.

I also got to see Luis Encarnacion’s first game as a Philllie. If you want to see video of his first hit or an amazing bare-handed grab you can go to Baseball Ross’ Blog HERE.

Kelly Dugan played, Austin Wright and Kyle Simon pitched, so who needs to go to Arizona to see some of the best Arizona will have to offer?

The game itself was however disappointing in score, with a final of 9-1 in favor of the Orioles. The twelve innings went just over four and a half hours, not bad for free baseball. The weather was perfect. So I guess a “bad day” of baseball is better than the best day of almost anything else, I’m not complaining.

Tomorrow is an off day as they do not play on Sundays. I’ll be back on the beat Monday.

Fall Instructional League Schedule

I was able to get my hands in a copy of the schedule for the Fall Instructional League, roster not yet available. I hope to get a roster early next week and will post as soon as I do.

2013 Fall Instructional League Schedule

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