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Minor-league week in review: Bailey Falter tosses another gem

Lefty Bailey Falter has been excellent in Lehigh Valley. (Cheryl Pursell)

A rainy fourth week of Minor League Baseball threw a wrench in the schedules of Philadelphia Phillies affiliates.

While the Low-A Clearwater Threshers got all six games in as planned this week, inclement weather forced changes for the three other Phillies farm teams. The Class AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Class AA Reading Fightin Phils played all six with the help of some doubleheaders, but the High-A Jersey Shore BlueClaws could not play their Sunday series finale.

Lehigh Valley is 13-11 so far in the 2021 season; Reading is 4-20; Jersey Shore is 9-14 and Clearwater is 11-13.

Bailey Refuses to Falter for Pigs

Left-hander Bailey Falter continued a monster start to the Triple-A season Saturday, throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings and allowing just three hits to the Worcester Red Sox. His most recent outing brought his ERA down to 1.93 with 35 strikeouts in five minor-league starts.

“Bailey’s got really good extension, his fastball plays extremely well and he’s able to throw his curveball, slider and changeup all for strikes,” Lehigh Valle pitching coach Aaron Fultz said Friday, ahead of Falter’s latest appearance. “Again, Bailey’s been phenomenal. For me, he’s been the [IronPigs] MVP so far this season on the pitching side.”

Fans may remember Falter’s name from his one major-league appearance on April 25 in Colorado, but the 24-year-old’s performance in the minors could mean another promotion may be in the cards at some point.

Bonifacio Brings Major-League Experience to Baseballtown

After signing a minor-league contract with the Phillies, outfielder Jorge Bonifacio joined the Fightins roster for the team’s latest series against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. The 27-year-old has played parts of four seasons in the majors, including 30 games with the Detroit Tigers in 2020.

Bonifacio had a plate appearance in Tuesday’s game, but his first two starts came during Thursday’s doubleheader. He homered three times and doubled in seven at-bats on the day.

Through six games, Bonifacio has a 1.192 OPS. He’s also bringing an off-field presence that Reading manager Shawn Williams appreciates.

“It’s really good just to watch his daily routine and what he does to get ready for a game,” Williams said Saturday. “Just a true professional and a good teammate.”

Stott Comes Up Clutch

Bryson Stott delivered a clutch hit for Jersey Shore in the second game of its doubleheader Saturday. With the BlueClaws trailing 3-2 in the seventh and final inning, he deposited a home run over the right-field fence to tie things up.

Jersey Shore ultimately lost 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, but Stott’s fifth home run of the season was an exciting one nonetheless.

Stewart Hits Injured List

Clearwater corner infielder D.J. Stewart was placed on the seven-day injured list prior to the Threshers’ game on Saturday. The 22-year-old had been finding a ton of success at the plate in High-A.

This year is the first full season of the 2017 39th rounder’s career. Stewart was hitting .353/.413/.529 with three doubles and three homers in 17 games before being sidelined.


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