Grapefruiting: Bats Alive In 15-7 Romp – Phillies Nation

Grapefruiting: Bats Alive In 15-7 Romp

It was a hot day at Knology Park in Dunedin; whether it was the blazing sun above or the Phillies bats that made it so hot … well that’s the question.

The Phils won 15-7 over the Blue Jays, doing a fine job offensively while receiving some surprising contributions from Minor Leaguer Jason Donald. The 2B/SS, who was reassigned to Minor League camp earlier this spring, got a chance to play with the boys and delivered with two three-run home runs, both well-struck balls that were no doubters. Donald received a standing ovation after his second tater, which brought home Ray Olmedo and So Taguchi.

Early contributions came from Chase Utley, who knocked a first inning home run; Geoff Jenkins, who pulled a double down the right field line (I was hoping with the runner being held on first, Jenkins would hit one through the hole; he decided to go line dancing, and what a call); and Wes Helms, who provided two RBI later on.

Cole Hamels pitched 5.1 innings, unraveling in the sixth for five earned. He gave up a triple to Vernon Wells in the fourth, but held him there after a fantastic strikeout to Frank Thomas (killing Hurt with a changeup and an awesome fastball). Marco Scutaro homered off him in the fifth, and in the sixth, Wells burned him for a double before the wheels came off. For the most part, however, Hamels looked pretty good — though some of the Jays’ hits were real nice shots.

Clay Condrey stumbled in the seventh after letting in another of Hamels’ runs in the sixth. He struck out two, but gave up four hits and a walk. Time to let Clay go.

Tom Gordon was the welcome sight, striking out the side in the eighth after a scary moment where he seemed to show injury. Gordon’s curve was on point and the fastball remained low. Good sign.

Of course, Jason Donald was the story, and his big day was a welcome sight for the young man poised to start 2008 in AA Reading. Seeing him strike some balls Friday opened my eyes to the kid; clearly he’s the real deal. With Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins both blocking his path, I hope he can learn to play third base or left field. Both seem like a feasable option, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he was starting in left — ready to take over third — by May 2009.

What we got out of this game:

  1. Jason Donald is a damn good prospect, kids.
  2. Cole Hamels will be ready for Opening Day, no doubt.
  3. Tom Gordon was on, and when he is, he’s good.

We also learned sunblock was necessary at Knology Field. I sat very close to the plate, getting a good burn all day long. No block = lobster skin. My flight leaves soon; I’ll blog later about the final day of my trip, but until then, here’s to aloe.

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  1. Bill

    March 23, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I hope you are right about Cole Hamels. While I am not worried about him long term, I am afraid he does not have the arm strength he needs to throw 100 effective pitches as it stands right now.

  2. The Man

    March 23, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Hey Tim I sent you an email for that interview.. Didn’t want to bother you with the Holiday and all.. If you didn’t get it just let me know, I may have spelled your Email Wrong.

  3. Tim Malcolm

    March 23, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Haven’t received it – so yeah, you may have misspelled it. It’s

  4. OZ

    March 24, 2008 at 8:09 am

    Double A Phils – while i’d like to see more names on Baseball America’s prospect list, it sounds like our Dbl A squad this year deserves being watched….here’s my rough guess: pitching staff: Carrasco, Carpenter, Outman, Savery. position players: Donald, Golson, Cardenas.

    should we be excited about this list? can our boneheaded ownership keep our talented major-league core of stars (Hamels, Myers, Howard, Utley, Rollins) happy and paid well, and thus together for another 3-5 years??

    combine the current nucleus with some of those Dbl A guys, and are we looking good in 2009-2010??

  5. Tim Malcolm

    March 24, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Oz, you’re right, Reading will be a very strong team this season. I’m lucky enough to live in an Eastern League city, so I’ll get to catch the Phils in April when they come in.

    Savery will likely start in either A or A+ ball. He may be in Reading by late season, if all goes well. Otherwise the team looks good.

    Potentially, Carrasco is a No. 2-3, Carpenter could be a No. 4 and Outman a No. 3-4. Donald may be our starting 3B in two years; Golson, upon improvement, could be a regular OF and Cardenas has the chops to be a great middle infielder (or LF if he rises quickly). It’s a great nucleus down there.

  6. Joe DiMaggio

    March 24, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Why isn’t Donald or Carrasco being assigned to AAA Iron Pigs if they are that close to being ready?

  7. Tim Malcolm

    March 24, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I wouldn’t say they’re that close. Carrasco needs to work on his control and Donald is probably not built yet to be a 3B. He needs to bulk up and start playing there if he has a chance at moving up. AAA is the place where they hone their ready skills against MLB-lite talent.

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