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.

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

 

Phillies Minor League Work Group List as of 3-18-2016

After the latest round of releases, the newest work group list was handed out at the Carpenter Complex. This list is as of March 18, 2016.

As a reminder: #=Switch hitter *=Left handed 

Players in grey are injured  

First Games of Phillies Minor League Camp

Baseball Ross and I had a prior commitment so we were only able to stop in for a little while to see the AAA Phillies vs the AAA Blue Jays and the AA Phillies vs the AA Blue Jays atCarpenter.

I focused on the AA game as Ruan Howard was making a guest appearance.

 

Ryan Howard
 The thing that made me be a fangirl today was right after I took this shot, I put the camera down and said hello and Ryan Howard actually looked at me and said hello. First time that’s happened to me, so I was tickled.

Here are some pictures from the game:
 

Carlos Tocci

Carlos Tocci about to hit the ball.

 

Severino Gonzalez

Severino Gonzalez was the starting pitcher.

 

Ryan Howard
Ryan Howard was inserted into the line up whenever he was ready.   
 
Mitch Walding

 
Zach Green
  
When we left, it was the bottom of the 3rd, the Jays were up 2-0 and a friend of mine stated the score was the same when he left in the 9th.

Even if we didn’t win, it still was a great day for baseball. 

Scenes from Phillies Minor League Spring Training-March 10

This morning practice was full of more drills. While all these drills make it difficult to write commentary about the activities, it does give me an opportunity to get some great shots.

 

Rhys Hoskins snags a ball at first

 
Shane Watson is intent on his next delivery
 
 
Derek Campbell and Victor Arrano

 

 Derek Campbell narrowly misses a collision with pitcher Victor Arrano.

Elniery Garcia
   
Elniery Garcia shouts “UP!” during pop-up drills

 

Alberto Tirado
 
Alberto Torado gives maximum effort.

 

Deivi Grullon and Jario Munoz

Catcher Deivi Grullon fires to second as pitcher Jario Munoz ducks out of the line of fire.

Ranfi Casimiro

Pitcher Ranfi Casimiro tracks a pop up.

 

Zach Green
 
Zach green snags a fly ball.

 

Alexis Rivero
 
Pitcher Alexis Rivero smiles in relief after grabbing a sky-high pop up.

I had fun watching drills today, it’s just another day in baseball paradise.

Scenes from Phillies Minor League Spring Training-March 9

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.

Jose Taveras

José Taveras tracks down the ball during PFPs-Pitcher Fielding Practice.

 

Zach Green

Zach Green begins to spring for the ball.

 

Deivi Grullon

Deivi Grullon snags the ball from the pitching machine.

Rhys Hoskins

Rhys Hoskins makes contact in batting practice.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez

Miguel Gonzalez begins long tossing before going into the bullpen.

 

Aaron Brown and Dylan Cozens

Aaron Brown and Dylan Cozens during base running drills.

Alberto Tirado
 
Alberto Tirado pantomimes a toss in PFPs.

  

Evan Crower
 Evan Crower was a quarterback at Stanford University who still had a year of eligibility when he was signed by the Phillies.

Derek Campbell

Derek Campbell gets ready to fire to first.

Matt Imhof

Matt Imhof smiles after a successful throw to first.
 

Christian Marrero
 

Christian Merraro is ready to fly.

  

Drew Stankiewicz
 
  Drew Stankiewicz swings for the fence.

Alexis Rivero

Alexis Rivero tracks down the ball during PFPs.

Mitch Walding

Mitch Walding throws to second. 
 

Jeff Singer
 

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.

2016 Minor League Work Group List Released

 The minor league workgroup was released and here it is, hot off the presses: 

If you have questions about the list, I’ve answered the most common ones HERE.

Day 2 of Spring Training 2016

Today was a beautiful as yesterday. Highs in the 70s, tons of sun-just a picture postcard kind of day.

Pitchers and catchers did drills and had batting practice. There’s not much you can say, but the pictures tell the story:

 Pop-up drills: the focus was to get rid of the mask and then catch the ball:

Carlos Ruiz

Andrew Knapp

  

Gabriel Lino
  
Cameron Rupp
  

Logan Moore

  

The catchers also had batting practice:

 

Jorge Alfaro

  
Carlos Ruiz

Pitchers did fielding drills:

 

Jimmy Cordero

  
Andrew Bailey

 Later in the afternoon some of the minor league players took the field as well:

 

Zach Green
 
Roman Quinn

  

Carlos Alonso
  
  

For me, the highlight was seeing Carlos Alonso back on the field, seemingly none the worse for his devastating knee injury. 

Kleven Takes Down Dunedin, Threshers Trounce Jays 8-1

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.

Colin Kleven
Colin Kleven

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 is the Spring of my Discontent

To paraphrase Steinbeck (and badly at that), it is the spring of my discontent. I love baseball, I do, but I’m so frustrated with it, so discontent.

There’s so many reasons…almost too many to count, but I’ll try.

1. The injury bug bit early, often and viciously. Roman Quinn, Jiwan James, Cole Hamels, Ethan Martin, Cameron Rupp, Kelly Dugan, Tommy Joseph, Mitch Walding, Adam Morgan, Hugo Arrocha, Josh Warner, Steven Inch, Nic Hanson, Chase Numata, Cory Bass, Darin Ruf, Rivar Angulo, Delvy Francisco, Mike Adams, Chris Bootcheck, Yoel Mecias, Anthony Phillips, Colin Klevin, Hoby Milner, Ryan Demmin, Aaron Altherr, Larry Greene, Zach Green, Brandon Short, Drew Anderson, Freddy Galvis, Andres Blanco and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. These are the guys I can think of right off the top of my head! While some of them have returned or are scheduled to return, there are still others that have no timeframe for return.

2. It’s barely a month into the season and Tyson Gillies was suspended for three games for destroying a bat rack in the clubhouse. To me this is a symptom of a larger problem, both with Gillies and the entire system. Gillies is developing a reputation as a guy with anger management issues. Another example happened just two weeks ago here in Florida. Kevin Walter was unhappy with the way things were going during a game in Tampa. He left the field, stormed into the locker room behind the dugout and from where I was sitting I could hear him swearing and a loud thump as if something was either thrown or a table tipped over. Just after that another Thresher player came out of the locker room with a worried look on his face. He stopped another player from going into the locker room saying “You DON’T want to go in there!”

It also is a symptom of how players (and fans) are frustrated with the lack of production and success in the organization. (Read on to number 3 for an example.)

3. The lack of wins. The records speak for themselves:

Phillies 13-12
Iron Pigs 11-13
Fightins 11-10
Threshers 5-19
Lakewood 7-16

Of the five teams currently playing in the organization, only TWO are above .500 and both of those teams are only ONE GAME over.

4. Misusing players. I have a prime example of this and it’s the one that had me totally stymied. Last season, there was only ONE Gold Glove winner in the entire Phillies system, Carlos Alonso. Carlos played 2nd for the Threshers and only made TWO errors all YEAR. ALL YEAR. He was promoted to Reading (and rightly so) and where did they have this Gold Glove winning second baseman play? Third and THE OUTFIELD! Really?!? REALLY?!? I’d have loved to sit in on the coaches meeting where they thought up that gem.

5. Bad umpiring. Last night was the end-all, be-all of bad calls. If you read my Twitter feed last night, you could tell how I was seething. The Threshers had been losing (again) and had battled back and had the winning run was at the plate. Pete Lavin had homered earlier in the game to spark the comeback and had come close to a second homer after that. Lavin came to the plate and Bright House Field was buzzing with anticipation. One foul, two fouls, three fouls, four fouls, it was easy to see that Lavin was pushing hard to be the hero. On the final call he checked his swing and from where Ross and I were sitting (and I later confirmed with another season ticket holder with another point of view) we did NOT see him break his wrists and the bat head did not cross the plate. The home plate ump called him out and didn’t even call the base ump to confirm! The game was over! Lavin was livid. If you know Pete, you know he rarely says anything to an ump, he’s fairly laid back. Last night, Lavin walked after the ump to discuss the call. The ump just walked away.

At that point, Nelson Prada got involved. When he started he seemed more in disbelief that the home plate ump didn’t even check with the base ump. I was just turning to leave when I heard Prada go ballistic! (While I am “censoring” this he used the full words) “That’s F*ing BS! That’s a F*ing BS call!”

I have to say, I was right there with Prada. While I’ve been known to occasionally heckle an ump and sitting behind home is great for that, I do not swear. There’s kids and it’s just not “proper”. Last night was the closest I’ve ever come to losing my cool and joining Prada with F-bombing the ump. My blood boiled! To end a game on a bogus call and not even check with the base ump when the winning run was at the plate was just bogus. I was so frustrated and angry. It took me a good hour after the game to cool off. I don’t think I’ve ever been that angry at a game.

I must admit I’m still sort of angry, angry and discontent enough that if Ethan Stewart and Colin Kelvin (returning from the DL) were not pitching today and tomorrow, I wouldn’t go.

If you want to see me try to decide if I’ll go tonight, watch this video, it’s pretty accurate as to how I’m feeling…

Starting Thursday, the Threshers are on the road, so I’ll get a break then, but man, I’ll be dragging myself in tonight. It’ll almost be like trying to drag myself into work on a “Monday morning”.

Let’s hope that Stewart and Kleven use this misfortune as a jumping off point so that we do not end the first month of the season with only 5 wins. If they do, we would be on pace to go 25-115 (assuming they’d continue with winning 5 games a month).