TPR Notebook: Rays Versus Phillies
Notes and thoughts from today’s game.
- Steven Souza still has a mature approach. In his first three plate appearances, he worked the count to 3-1, 2-1, and 3-0. (He lined out on the first pitch in his final at-bat.) True Souza faced minor-league competition throughout the day, and a walk was his most productive outcome, but his strike-zone management is a known strength and working into favorable counts tends to breed good results. Souza should experience those good results before long.
- Forgotten man Enny Romero recorded two outs in relief of Chris Archer. He emphasized his secondary stuff, leaning heavily on changeups and breaking balls. Romero added an interesting wrinkle to his delivery halfway through his outing, rotating his upper half internally in a way that’s reminiscent of Erik Bedard.
- Righty Dylan Floro threw four pitches before bowing out. He’s someone more likely to feel love from statistically inclined fans than scouts, based on the strength of his ground-ball and walk rates (62 percent and 1.2 per nine last season in Montgomery). Floro has an unusual set of mechanics. He starts on the extreme first-base side of the rubber, then steps all the way across for maximum crossfire action. As if that’s not stacking the deck high enough against right-handed hitters, he delivers the ball from a low three-quarters arm slot. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous reasons for concern with his delivery, ranging from the way he pitches across his body, to the way his wrist wraps and his back elbow drifts, all the way to how he lands on a stiff front leg; all together, the various question marks cause you to wonder whether he’ll be able to stay healthy and/or command the ball enough to contribute—and that’s without addressing anything else.
- Nonetheless, Floro made the most of his time. He threw a low-90s sinker, a breaking ball that he spiked, and a changeup, working his way to a 1-2 count. He then threw another fastball to induce a harmless fly ball.
- Another forgotten man, Mike Montgomery, also made an appearance. He was able to locate down in the zone with his low-90s fastball more than you’d expect based on his wild reputation and upright delivery. Worth watching: He’s a reliever these days, yet he wasn’t working exclusively from the stretch.
- Lastly, site fav Grayson Garvin recorded the final three outs for the Rays. He’s a big, physical southpaw with back-end potential due to his makeup, intelligence, and averageish three-pitch mix. He started slow, with his fastball sitting in the mid-to-upper-80s, before closing his outing with a number of 90 mph offerings. His fastest pitch of the day, a 91 mph heater down and away, doubled as his last. He could crack the majors before the year ends.