Archive for the 'Spring Training' Category

Pettibone Signs With Cubs

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Best of luck to 2010 BlueClaws pitcher Jonathan Pettibone who has signed a minor league contract with the Cubs. The contract includes an invite to spring training, which gets underway in just a few weeks.

His last significant big league time was in 2013 when he went 5-4 with a 4.04 ERA but he’s missed time with shoulder injuries the last two seasons, including all of 2015.

With the BlueClaws, Pettibone went 8-6 with a 3.49 ERA and was the winning pitcher in the clinching game in both playoff rounds – the South Atlantic League Division Series against Hickory (7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 9 K) and the South Atlantic League Championship Series against Greenville (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 5 K).

We wish Jon the best of luck with the Cubs.

Crawford Among Five BlueClaws to Get Phillies Spring Training Invites

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016


The Phillies announced earlier today a list of players from within their organization and not on their 40-man roster that will receive invites to big league spring training, with pitchers and catchers reporting to Clearwater on February 17th.

Of the players above, five played for the BlueClaws (left to right in above photo):

  • SS JP Crawford – The Phillies top prospect was their first round pick in 2013. He played with the BlueClaws in 2013 and the first half of 2014 before a mid-season promotion to Clearwater. He split 2015 between Reading and Lehigh Valley.
  • C Andrew Knapp – A 2nd round pick in 2013, Knapp played with the BlueClaws in 2014, hitting .290 in 75 games. In 2015, he was Eastern League MVP, hitting .360 with 11 home runs with Reading.
  • C Gabriel Lino – Lino came to the Phillies from the Orioles in 2012 and played part of 2012, 2013, and 2014 with the BlueClaws. He split 2015 between Reading and Lehigh Valley.
  • C Logan Moore – Drafted in 2011, Moore played 30 games with the BlueClaws in 2012.
  • 1B Brock Stassi – Drafted in 2011, Stassi hit 3 home runs with the BlueClaws in 2012, including an inside-the-park home run on July 3rd.

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Minor League Spring Training Report: March 20th

Friday, March 21st, 2014

We did not have a report from Tuesday as the teams played intrasquad scrimmages, but they were all back out on the field yesterday against the Yankees and some familiar faces had big days. More on that later. Let’s start at the Triple-A level.

Lehigh Valley (4-1 win vs Yankees)

  • Barry Enright gave up a run on five hits over five innings and was followed by Austin Wright who threw two scoreless innings. Jeremy Horst and Cesar Jimenez each threw a scoreless inning as well.
  • Tyson Gillies went 2-2 with a double. Jim Murphy and Cody Overbeck each homered for the ‘Pigs.

Reading (5-2 win vs Yankees)

  • Hoby Milner allowed a run on four hits over five innings and continues to have a very good spring.
  • Lino Martinez threw two scoreless innings of relief.
  • Albert Cartwright, Justin Parr, and Carlos Alonso all had two hits with Parr and Alonso each picking up two doubles.

Clearwater (8-7 win vs Yankees)

  • Kyler Burke and Jordan Guth each gave up three runs in three innings.
  • The story of the day was the offense. JP Crawford went 4-4 with a double, walk, and three RBIs. Samuel Hiciano homered, and Brian Pointer was 3-4 with a double and two triples.

Lakewood (2-1 loss vs Yankees)

  • Tyler Viza gave up two hits and a run over four innings of work.
  • It was a quiet offensive day, with the lone run coming on a solo HR by 1B Wilmer Oberto, who played with the Gulf Coast Phillies last year.

Spring Training Game Recap – March 18th

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

We had the weekend round-up in yesterday’s post. Here is the round-up for Tuesday’s games.

Lehigh Valley (2-0 win at Pirates)

  • Greg Smith threw four scoreless innings and was followed by Tyler Knigge who added two shutout frames.
  • Jay Johnson, Mike Nesseth, and Justin Friend all had scoreless innings as well.
  • Offensively, Tyler Henson drove in two runs and went 2-2, while Cody Overbeck was 2-4 and Bob Stumpo was 2-2.
  • Tyson Gillies went 1-1 with three walks.

Reading (7-2 loss at Pirates)

  • Percy Garner started and allowed four runs in three innings. Nick Hernandez gave up two runs in 2.2 innings. 2013 BlueClaw Kevin Walter was here and gave up one unearned run in an inning.
  • Justin Parr and Brock Stassi drove in the runs while Jim Negrych, Harold Martinez, Josh Ludy, Logan Moore, Parr, and Edgar Duran each had a hit.

Clearwater (7-5 win vs Pirates)

  • Ethan Stewart threw four scoreless innings as the starter, but all the relievers gave up runs (Delvy Francisco – 2 in 2.1 IP, Chris Nichols – 2 in 1.2 IP, and Zach Cooper – 1 in 1 IP).
  • JP Crawford slid up to this group for the first time this spring and went 1-3.
  • Zach Green contined his good spring and went 2-2 with a double and a walk. Casey Serna had two hits as well, while Chris Serritella homered.

Lakewood (3-2 win vs Pirates)

  • Ranfi Casimiro started and gave up a run over 3.2 innings and was followed by Alejandro Arteaga, who allowed a run over 4.1 innings. Both played primarily with the GCL Phillies last year.
  • C Deivy Grullon went 2-3 with a pair of doubles to lead the offense.
  • Jiandido Tromp, Andrew Pullin, Jan Hernandez, Logan Pierce, Cord Sandberg, Robinson Torres, and Gustavo Martinez all had hits as well.

The plan is to do a rundown of some likely 2014 BlueClaws broken down into hitters and pitchers over the next few days.

Minor League Spring Training: Weekly Recap

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014



Let’s try to catch up on some of the Spring Training results from minor league camp over the last few days.

We’ll back up a couple of days to Friday (note – there were no reports from Thursday, March 13th as that was an intrasquad day, and there were no games on Monday, March 17th because of rain).

Friday, March 14th

Lehigh Valley (4-0 loss at Blue Jays)

  • Severino Gonzalez threw three shutout innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two, needing 34 pitches. He seems to have picked up where he left off last year.
  • Austin Wright followed and allowed three runs in two innings.
  • Offensively, the ‘Pigs had just three hits, two by RF Kelly Dugan, just down from big league camp.

Reading (8-1 loss at Blue Jays)

  • Nick Hanson, with the BlueClaws for much of last year, allowed five runs on six hits over three innings, while Lino Martinez followed with two scoreless innings. Kevin Walter added two more innings, allowing one run on one hit.
  • Offensively, Brock Stassi and Justin Parr each went 2-3 while Edgar Duran drove in the only run.

Clearwater (3-2 win vs Blue Jays)

  • Jeb Stefan started and allowed one run on one hit over three innings while Jordan Guth gave up one run over two innings. Delvi Francisco and Keivi Rojas each threw two scoreless innings.
  • Dylan Cozens went 2-3 with two runs, two steals and an RBI. Art Charles and Hilton Richardson added RBIs as well. Anthony Phillips, Charles, Chad Carman, Richardson, and Logan Pierce each had hits.

Lakewood (7-5 loss vs Blue Jays)

  • Mitch Gueller started and gave up two runs on three hits in two innings of work. Shane Martin allowed three runs in three innings after Gueller.
  • Offensively, six players each had one hit: Andrew Pullin, Larry Greene, Wilmer Oberto, Jan Hernandez, Jonathan Knight, and Jesus Posso. Oberto drove in two runs.


Minor League Spring Training Games – March 11th

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Tuesday marked the first day of 2014 Minor League Spring Training games and we have a recap for you here.

Please note that at this early stage of the process (rosters won’t be finalized until around March 29th and so many players are still in big league camp), don’t read too much into what team a player played with.

Lehigh Valley (5-1 win vs Blue Jays)

  • Barry Enright threw three scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
  • Colby Shreve gave up the only run, though it was unearned.
  • SS Brian Bixler had two hits (including a double), a run scored, and an RBI.
  • Matt Tolbert, Jim Murphy and Steve Susdorf drove in the other runs.
  • Sebastian Valle and Bob Stumpo split catching duties.

Reading (6-4 win vs Blue Jays)

  • Hoby Milner and Kevin Walter each threw two scoreless innings.
  • Brock Stassi had three hits, as did Justin Parr (who had a triple and two RBIs). Harold Martinez added two including a double.
  • Brian Pointer went 0-2 but also walked twoce and stole a base.

Clearwater (6-2 win at Blue Jays)

  • Miguel Nunez gave up a run over three innings. Lino Martinez threw two scoreless innings while Jeb Stefan and Jordan Guth each threw two innings (Stefan allowed one unearned run).
  • Gabriel Lino and Hilton Richardson each had two hits including a double while Richardson added two RBIs and a stolen base.
  • Sam Dove, drafted last year out of Georgia Tech, had a pair of stolen bases. Dylan Cozens, Art Charles, Sam Hiciano, Willians Astudillo, and Jiandido Tromp all had hits.

Lakewood (4-3 loss at Blue Jays)

  • Feliberto Sanchez started the game and threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
  • Offensively, Andrew Pullin had three hits and a walk while Larry Greene Jr. went 2-5 with two RBIs. 3B Jan Hernandez added a pair of hits. JP Crawford went 1-4 with a walk and an RBI while Deivy Grullon, Herlis Rodriguez, Jonathan Knight, and Robinson Torres also had hits.

We’ll get as many recaps up as we can this spring.

Spring Training Interview: Joe Jordan

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014


At the Phillies Winter at Woodlake Country Club in January, we talked with Phillies Director of Player Development Joe Jordan about some potential 2014 BlueClaws players. It’s a perfect time, with Spring Training underway, to break out this interview and talk some baseball.

Joe, whats your excitement level heading into another baseball season?

Well, I’m excited for the third year, you know third year being a farm director. We’ve got a new staff situation here with Greg Legg taking over as manager, lef Lancaster coming back as pitching coach, Lino Connell coming back as the guy responsible for the hitters so I’m excited in that regard for those guys and again I like the players that we feel like are coming here at this point before we go to spring training.

Let me ask you first about JP Crawford.  The BlueClaws themselves go back to 2001 and he was the first high school draft pick to make it to Low A in the year he was drafted since the BlueClaws came into existence so obviously that says something about his development and how he was ready to play right from day one.

Well yeah no question, obviously we felt good about how he did in the Gulf Coast League and really we had an opportunity to keep his season going and just decided to get him up here and dip his toes in a little bit, a full season league, fully expect him to start here this coming year, hopefully he’ll come in and have a good spring training and we can do that. This will be a good level and good challenge for him to play this year.


Former BlueClaws In Clearwater

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Today marked the first day of full-squad workouts in Clearwater at Phillies Spring Training.

Here’s a rundown of the former BlueClaws in big league camp with the Phillies. (* notes a non-roster invitee)

Antonio Bastardo (2007)
Jesse Biddle (2011)*
Justin De Fratus (2009)
Jake Diekman (2009-10)
Ken Giles (2012)*
Cole Hamels (2003)
Mario Hollands (2011-12)*
Kyle Kendrick (2004-06)
Jonathan Pettibone (2010)
BJ Rosenberg (2009)
Michael Stutes (2008)

Lou Marson (2006)*
Carlos Ruiz (2001)
Cameron Rupp (2011)
Sebastian Valle (2009-10)*

Maikel Franco (2011-12)*
Freddy Galvis (2008)
Ryan Howard (2002)

Aaron Altherr (2010-11)
Domonic Brown (2008)
Leandro Castro (2009-10)*
Zach Collier (2009-10)
Kelly Dugan (2011)
Darin Ruf (2010)

In total, of the 58 players in Phillies camp this year, 24 are former BlueClaws.

Sandberg Ready For First Spring Training as Big League Manager

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014


(Editor’s Note – We’ll have some content from Wednesday’s Phillies Winter Banquet held at Woodlake Country Club that will be rolled out here over the next few days. We’ll start with our chat with Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg.)

Ryne Sandberg was playing winter ball in Venezuela when he found out he was leaving the Phillies. He had been traded to the Cubs with Larry Bowa in exchange for Ivan DeJesus following the 1981 season.

“At the time I was bit surprised because Larry Bowa was a shortstop and I was a shortstop at the time,” he said at the annual Phillies Winter Banquet at Woodlake Country Club. “But I was going to a place where I was going to get to play a lot at 22. I went to spring training and started my major league career.”

It’s all come full circle for Sandberg in the last 23 years. His boss now of course is Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. His manager in winter ball when he found out he was traded? Ruben Amaro, Sr.

Sandberg, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005 after a stellar 17-year career, will lead the Phillies at spring training for the first time starting next month. It’s the first time he’ll be a big league manager at spring training (after serving as interim manager for the Phillies over the last six weeks of last season), but it’s something he’s prepared for since his retirement.

“The smartest thing I did was go to spring training with the Cubs to serve as a guest instructor, which I did for nine years,” he said. In 2007, he started out as manager for the Cubs Midwest League affiliate in Peoria and was with the Cubs for four years before joining the Phillies again with Lehigh Valley in 2011.

“I was able to learn my style of managing while actually managing games,” he noted. “Then last year at the big league level as the third base coach and as the interim manager I was able to give the guys a feel of what I’m all about. I think being with these guys will go a long way entering the season.”

He’ll also make a point to make the younger players on the team feel as comfortable with the big league environment as he can.

“Larry Bowa [who will serve as Sandberg’s bench coach] helped me in that route both on the field and off the field,” Sandberg said. “We’d go to lunch and he made me feel I belonged. ‘I’m talking to Larry Bowa about who’s pitching today.’ Then once you’re comfortable, your natural tools will take over.”

He had to leave the Phillies to get his shot as a big league player, but now he’s come back to the Phillies to get his shot at managing, and Ryne Sandberg could not be more excited.


One other thing Sandberg talked about that we wanted to mention here was the different chances players have to break into the game now compared to back then. Sandberg:

Triple-A is now different. It’s more 6 year free agents and a handful of prospects. Now, if you have a prospect at Double-A, he can make the jump straight to the big leagues. Then, you had to graduate Triple-A to get to the big leagues. Back then, you had to have a good Triple-A season and go to spring training and maybe break in. I think the movement of players now allows the players to go from Double-A to the big leagues but back then you had guys that played together for 10 years.

Five Former BlueClaws Invited to Spring Training

Thursday, January 9th, 2014


From the Phillies release…

The Phillies have invited five additional players to major league spring training as non-roster invitees, the club announced today.

  • Jesse Biddle, LHP – In 27 starts with double-A Reading last season, Biddle went 5-14 with a 3.64 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 138.1 innings.  Despite battling whooping cough for the majority of the 2013 season, the Philadelphia native finished tied for first in the Eastern League in starts (27), tied for second in complete games (2), third in strikeouts and ninth in ERA.  He was also selected as an Eastern League midseason All-Star and earned the win for the U.S. Team in the MLB Futures Game at Citi Field in July.  On April 22 at Harrisburg, the 22-year-old took a perfect game into the 7thinning and struck out a career-high 16 batters.  After the season, he was named the second-best prospect in the Philliesminor league system by Baseball America.  Biddle was originally selected by the Phillies in the first round (27th overall) of the June 2010 draft from Germantown Friends School (Pa.).
  • Maikel Franco, 3B – The 2013 Paul Owens Award winner as the best player in the Phillies minor league system, Franco batted a combined .320 with 31 home runs and 103 RBI in 134 games between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading last season.  He led all of Minor League Baseball with 308 total bases last year while finishing tied for second in extra-base hits (70), fourth in hits (173), tied for seventh in home runs and tied for eighth in RBI.   In 2013, the 21-year-old infielder was selected to the World roster for the MLB Futures Game, as well as the Florida State League midseason All-Star team, and was named Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for June and Player of the Week twice.  Following the season, he was named the top prospect in the Phillies minor league system by Baseball America.  In 388 career minor league games, Franco has batted .281 with 98 doubles, 50 home runs and 260 RBI.  He was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent out of Azua, Dominican Republic, in January of 2010.
  • Ken Giles, RHP – Limited to just 24 games due to injury last season, Giles, 23, went 2-2 with six saves and a 6.31 ERA with single-A Clearwater.  The Albuquerque, N.M., native also pitched for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League, where he was selected as an AFL All-Star after holding opponents scoreless in nine of his 10 relief appearances and striking out 16 in 10.1 innings.  Armed with a fastball which touches 100 mph, Giles has compiled 152 strikeouts in 112.1 career innings (12.18 SO/9.0 IP) over three minor league seasons between the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Lakewood BlueClaws and Clearwater.  Giles was originally selected by the Phillies in the seventh round of the June 2011 draft out of Yavapai College in Arizona.
  • Mario Hollands, LHP – In 2013, Hollands went 7-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 27 games (20 starts) between single-A Clearwater and double-A Reading.  He struck out 114 batters while walking just 32 in 132.0 innings.  The 25-year-old was named Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month in June after going 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA in four starts.  In four minor league seasons with the Phillies organization, Hollands has compiled a 24-22 record and 3.93 ERA in 96 games (67 starts).  The Oakland, Calif., native was originally selected by the Phillies in the 10th round of the June 2010 draft out of UC Santa Barbara.
  • Sebastian Valle, C – Valle began 2013 playing for Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic before spending the regular season with double-A Reading, where he hit .203 with 15 doubles, 12 home runs and 41 RBI in 98 games.  Following the season, he also appeared in 46 games with Caneros de los Mochis in the Mexican Winter League where he batted .304 with 11 extra-base hits and 15 RBI.  In parts of seven seasons in the Phillies minor league system, the 23-year-old has a .258 career average with 132 doubles, 61 home runs and 311 RBI in 608 games.  He was originally signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent in October of 2006.


Biddle, a 2010 first-round pick of the Phillies, was with the BlueClaws in 2011 and an on the SAL post-season All-Star team. Franco was with the BlueClaws for a few weeks in 2011 and all of 2012. Giles was with Lakewood for most of 2012. Hollands was the Opening Day starter in 2011 and here for part of 2012. Valle was here for half of 2009 and all of the 2010. He hit the game-winning home run in the SAL Championship Series clincher against Greenville in 2010.

Marson Back With Phillies

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

2006 BlueClaws catcher Lou Marson was among four players invited to spring training yesterday by the Phillies, joining OF Tony Gwynn Jr., RHP Sean O’Sullivan, and OF Dave Sappelt.

Marson, of course, was the starting catcher on the BlueClaws team that won the 2006 South Atlantic League title. He was originally drafted the Phillies in the 4th round of the 2004 draft out of high school in Scottsdale, Arizona.

He made his big league debut with the Phillies in 2008 and was traded to the Indians (with Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Donald) for Cliff Lee at the trade deadline in 2009. Marson has been with the Indians since, but this year was limited to just 12 games (between the big league club, AA Akron and AAA Columbus) by injury.

(Yes, that’s Pablo Sandoval tagging Marson out on the right in the 2006 SAL Championship Series against the Giants affiliate, Augusta)

The full Phillies release is below the fold.


Castro Gets Spring Training Invite

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Leandro Castro, with the BlueClaws in both 2009 and 2010, received a non-roster invite to Spring Training today by the Phillies.

He re-signed with the organization after briefly being a minor league free agent.

Castro first came to the BlueClaws in the first half of 2009, but played sparingly as a 19-year old, and finished that season with Williamsport. In 2010, he was an everyday player on the BlueClaws SAL Championship team, hitting .257 with 10 home runs and 22 stolen bases.

He hit 10 more home runs with Clearwater in 2011 and Reading in 2012. This year, Castro hit .256 with 8 home runs and 20 stolen bases with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He can play all three outfield positions.

RHP Shawn Camp, LHP Cesar Jimenez, and OF Clete Thomas also received non-roster invites.

The next big day for prospects is coming up when teams need to protect players from the Rule-5 draft by adding them to the 40-man roster. Players who signed at age 18 or younger with four or fewer years experience are exempt (ie high school draftees taken in 2010 or later) or players who signed at age 19 or younger with three or fewer years of experience are exempt (ie college draftees taken in 2011 or later).

Final Two Days of Spring Training

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

We owe you two days worth of Minor League spring training game reports, and we will get those to you in this blog post. These, by the way, are the final two spring recaps of the year. Rosters will be released at some point this weekend, so be sure to check back here (frequently, we could always use the site hits).

We’ll start with Thursday’s games.

Lehigh Valley – 8-5 win vs Pirates

  • Adam Morgan allowed two runs in 5.2 innings with six strikeouts in his final tune-up for the season.
  • Lefty Jay Johnson threw here and gave up three runs/one earned in 1.1 innings pitched.
  • Cesar Hernandez had two hits and Cody Asche drove in three runs with Josh Fields driving in two.
  • John Suomi had two hits and Matt Tolbert added a double.

Reading – 3-3 tie vs Pittsburgh

  • Jesse Biddle’s final spring start was very good – he gave up a run on four hits in six innings with a walk and three strikeouts. His spring: two runs in 19 innings with 20 strikeouts.
  • Edgar Duran has had a good spring. He had two more hits. Zach Collier had two hits including a triple and Sebastian Valle added a home run.

Clearwater – 5-4 win at Pittsburgh

  • Hoby Miler gave up three runs in five innings while Felix Santos threw two innings and gave up one run.
  • Geoff Broussard and Steven Inch each threw a scoreless inning.
  • Aaron Altherr and Logan Moore each had two hits including a double for the Threshers. Jonathan Roof had a triple, while Chris Serritella, Maikel Franco, Cameron Perkins, and Carlos Alonso had hits as well.

Lakewood – 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh

  • A good final start for Shane Watson, who gave up a run on two hits in five innings with three strikeouts.
  • Elniery Garcia threw two perfect innings of relief.
  • Lakewood had five hits in the game, one each by Art Charles, Willie Carmona, Mitch Walding, John Taylor, and Tyler Greene. Roman Quinn was 0-4 with a walk, stolen base, and a caught stealing.

That’s Thursday. Friday below the fold…


Wednesday Spring Training Report

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

There are just two days worth of games remaining this spring – today and tomorrow. Let’s look back at the results from yesterday.

Lehigh Valley – 4-2 loss at Pirates

  • Jonathan Pettibone went 5.2 innings and gave up just three hits and no walks, but gave up three unearned runs. He’s ready to go (more on him later today).
  • Justin De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts.
  • Cody Overbeck had three hits, while Matt Tolbert and Tyston Gillies each had two.

Reading – 6-6 tie at Pirates

  • David Buchanan allowed four hits and three runs over five innings, striking out five with no walks. Juan Sosa followed with two scoreless innings.
  • Zach Collier has had a nice spring and went 3-4 with two runs scored. Jim Murphy added a home run and four RBIs on two hits and a walk.
  • Anthony Hewitt had two hits as well, while Albert Cartwright had a single and two stolen bases.

Clearwater – 14-3 win vs Pirates

  • Nick Hernandez continues his comeback and gave up two runs in four innings. Ryan O’Sullivan threw two shutout innings and Jeb Stefan gave up a run in two innings.
  • A big offensive day for the Threshers included a home run and four RBIs for SS Jonathan Roof.
  • Kyrell Hudson had two hits and two RBIs. Sebastian Valle had a double and a triple, while Maikel Franco added two hits as well.
  • Chris Serritella, Cameron Perkins, and Tim Carver all had hits as well.

Lakewood – 12-4 loss vs Pirates

  • Jordan Guth gave up four runs/two earned in four innings in his last tune-up. He figures to be one of Lakewood’s five starters this year.
  • Ramon Oviedo gave up an unearned run in two innings while Keivi Rojas threw a scoreless inning. The runs? Manaure Martinez allowed seven in his two innings, five in the seventh and two in the eighth.
  • Yan Olmo had three hits including two doubles, and drove in three. Willie Carmona added two hits while Mitch Walding and Angelo Mora each had a hit.
  • Roman Quinn had the day off.

We’ll have the last two minor league recaps over the next two days.