Minor League Roundup March 16th: Defense Defines First Intrasquad Exhibitions
CLEARWATER, Fla. – With most of the major league squad in Lakeland, the Phillies minor took a full day for drills and intrasquad games at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. Drills began in the mid-morning, putting the emphasis on defense with the catchers starting work on framing and pop-up drills.
CLEARWATER, Fla. – With most of the major league squad in Lakeland, the Phillies minor took a full day for drills and intrasquad games at the Carpenter Complex in Clearwater. Drills began in the mid-morning, putting the emphasis on defense with the catchers starting work on framing and pop-up drills. They tested out their arm strength from behind the plate, making pickoff throws to all bases before leading and base stealing drills began. It wasn’t long before you could feel the competitive spirit between the backstops and the men on base. While no balls were thrown in the leading drills, the catchers let their teammates on the basepaths know when they felt they had the upper hand.
The afternoon gave way to intrasquad games, which took place simultaneously on Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn Fields. A lot of former Threshers were in action, but perhaps most impressive was Wesley Moore, who the Phillies signed out of Kansas State in November of 2022. Moore made quick work of the three batters he faced, striking out two of them in a 1-2-3 inning. 2021/22 Thresher Alex Garbrick worked a 1-2-3 inning as well, pitching to contact and ending his inning with quick reflexes on a one-hop comebacker at the mound.
Pitchers and defense won the day in both games, with just one hit in each exhibition. 2019 Threshers infielder Madison Stokes showed off increased speed, hustling out an infield hit that was bounced to short. James McArthur, a Thresher in 2019 and member of the Phillies 40-man roster, got a strikeout and was buoyed by the best defensive play of the day. Infield prospect Freylin Minyety made a diving stop at short and completed an underhand flip to second base, getting the force-out and ending McArthur’s frame.
Seventeenth overall pick in 2022 Justin Crawford couldn’t contain his excitement in his first spring training after his first at bat in the intrasquad competition. “Just to finally be able to get on the field and start competing with each other definitely gets us ready for the season,” Crawford commented. “It gets us one step closer to getting ready for the season and gears us up, it’s just really good to be out there.” Crawford grounded out on a hard-hit liner in his first exhibition at bat, but is just itching to begin his first full year in professional baseball.
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