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Painter yields no hits, fans 7
Andrew Painter, the Phillies’ No. 3 prospect, was unhittable for Single-A Clearwater. The 19-year-old right-hander threw 42 of his 65 pitches for strikes as he cruised through four scoreless innings. A pair of walks kept Painter from being perfect, but the 2021 first-round Draft pick (13th overall) was still plenty dominant.
Painter is off to a strong start this season and it seems likely he won’t spend much more time in Clearwater. It’s only been a pair of starts, but he’s yet to allow a run and has struck out 16 batters over seven innings. — William Boor
The Phillies’ No. 12 prospect crushed a ball to left field in the fifth inning for a two-run home run. An inning later, he drove a breaking ball out to the opposite field for a three-run blast.
Ortiz now has three home runs on the season and his show of power is nothing new. He drilled a career-best 23 homers in 95 games last season and has matched or improved his home run total in each season of his career. — Nick Trujillo
Local kid Singer lives dream for a day (April 13)
The Phillies promoted left-hander Jeff Singer from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday because Corey Knebel was on the COVID-19 injured list. It fulfilled a lifelong dream for Singer, who was born in Philadelphia and grew up in South Jersey. Singer did not pitch in Tuesday’s loss to the Mets. He learned on Wednesday morning that he was designated for assignment. He would love to make somebody’s 40-man roster in the next week, but if that doesn’t happen, he is headed back to Lehigh Valley.
“At the end of the day, it’s making the big leagues,” Singer said. “Making it to the big leagues first with the Phillies is an awesome experience. It’s something that nobody can ever take away from me. But if I get a call, I’m going to be ready to play. But it was everything I wanted it to be. If they called my name I was going to be ready, but seeing how the game was going, the guys who were supposed to pitch pitched. I get it. You’ve just got to keep on going, whether I’m with a new club or back in Triple-A with the Pigs.
“But I got to look around, sit back, relax and enjoy the moment. I had a lot of family and friends come to the bullpen. Was it short lived? Yeah. It’s baseball. It’s a business. But I made it. I’m really lucky. I’m really happy.” — Todd Zolecki
Painter records every out via the strikeout (April 9)
Phillies’ 2021 first-rounder Andrew Painter was dominant in his first start of the year. The 19-year-old tossed three innings, recording all nine outs via the punchout in Single-A Clearwater’s game against Fort Myers. Painter, the Phillies’ No. 3 prospect, allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk and is yet to allow an earned run in nine career Minor League innings. The 6-foot-7 right-hander tossed 40 of his 58 pitches for strikes and could be a quick riser through Philadelphia’s system with his high-strikeout arsenal. — Nick Trujillo
Moniak is on fire (April 3)
Mickey Moniak was boxed out of a big league job early in camp, with Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, Matt Vierling, Odúbel Herrera and Adam Haseley ahead of him on the depth chart.
But Moniak, who is the Phillies’ No. 18 prospect, looks like a lock to make the team, especially with Herrera injured and Haseley traded last week to the White Sox.
Maybe Moniak can be more than an extra outfielder. He homered twice in Sunday’s game against the Tigers at BayCare Ballpark, giving him five homers this spring. His shot to right field in the fourth inning cleared the ballpark, leaving his bat at 108.5 mph and traveling a projected 426 feet, according to Statcast. Moniak then hit a two-run homer to left in the sixth. That one left his bat at 99.6 mph, landing just over the fence. Moniak has a 1.241 OPS in 29 plate appearances this spring. — Todd Zolecki More >>
Jones has a shot to make Opening Day roster (April 2)
The Phillies could be shorthanded in the bullpen with Sam Coonrod out with an injured right shoulder, José Alvarado only making his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday and Connor Brogdon needing to pick up almost 3 mph in velocity. Those setbacks gives left-hander Damon Jones a chance to make the team. Jones, 27, is the organization’s No. 30 prospect. He struck out two in a scoreless inning in Saturday’s 2-2 tie against the Blue Jays, which ended in the sixth inning due to rain.
Jones has a 1.69 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances. He has struck out seven and walked one in 5 1/3 innings. He has allowed only one hit.
“He’s been really good,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “The last thing to come for him was his command, and he’s had it all spring. He started to get it last year. He’s kept it going. Sometimes guys mature a little bit later. It takes them a little bit more time. But he’s seemed to really find himself.” — Todd Zolecki
Keep an eye on Morales in the pen (April 1)
The Phillies optioned right-hander Francisco Morales to Minor League camp March 23. Since he got there, the club has been working with him as a reliever. It would not be stunning to see Morales, who is the Phillies’ No. 11 prospect, in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
“You’ve seen it happen where sometimes guys make that move and their careers take off,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “The one that always comes to mind is Dellin Betances. Dellin, he had good stuff, but he was trying to throw four pitches and develop his changeup, and then they put him in the ‘pen and his breaking ball was so good, it was lights-out. His velocity ticked up to 100 mph and he was great.” — Todd Zolecki
Sands heads to Triple-A (March 31)
Catcher Donny Sands is the Phillies’ No. 29 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He entered camp competing with Garrett Stubbs to be the team’s No. 2 catcher behind J.T. Realmuto. But Sands was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he will split time this season with Rafael Marchan. If a need arises, Marchan might be the first call to the big leagues because he has more experience. But the Phillies like Sands, which is why they acquired him and right-hander Nick Nelson in a November trade with the Yankees after the 2021 season. — Todd Zolecki
Phillies acquire Moore from White Sox (March 29)
The Phillies acquired right-hander McKinley Moore from the White Sox in exchange for outfielder Adam Haseley. Moore ranked as Chicago’s No. 27 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He will fall just outside the Phillies’ top 30.
The White Sox selected Moore in the 14th round of the 2019 Draft because of his size and arm strength. He is 6-foot-6 and weighs 225 pounds, and his fastball sits in the 93-96 mph range. The key for Moore is throwing strikes. He had a 7.95 ERA in three winless seasons with Arkansas-Little Rock, walking 64 in 48 2/3 innings. He has made strides in that department, however, lowering his walk rate from 11.8 per nine innings in college to 6.9 per nine in his pro debut to 4.6 per nine in 2021. If he continues to improve his control and command, he has a chance to be a late-inning reliever in the Majors. — Todd Zolecki