Reading’s Season Ends
The Reading Fightin’ Phils magical season came to an end as the Bowie Baysox won the Eastern League championship with a 7-2 decision at home on Saturday night. Trailing, 2-1, in the best-of-five, Bowie won two in a row.
Last time Reading was the outright champion of the league was 1995. In 2001, they reached the championship round which was canceled following the 911 terrorist attacks. Reading was ruled as co-champions with New Hampshire.
LF Cam Perkins homered in the fourth inning to give Reading a 1-0 lead that as erased by two Baysox runs in their at-bat. Loser was Reinier Roibal who allowed two runs in 4.1 innings. Three of the next four Reading relievers gave up runs. SS J. P. Crawford led Reading with a .379 postseason average, hitting in all seven games. CF Nick Williams topped the team with three postseason homers.
Reading’s season began with a 4-2 loss in the first game of an April 11 double-header in Portland following two cancellations because of snow. Reading’s pitchers that day were Aaron Nola, the loser, and Elvis Araujo. Both eventually made it to the majors.
Dusty Wathan, the Eastern League manager-of-the year, had a revolving roster during the season, something this is pretty typical in the minor leagues.
He shook hands coming and going: in addition to Araujo and Nola, OF Aaron Altherr and LHP Adam Loewen began with him and eventually wound up in the majors . . . LHP Jesse Biddle, OF Kelly Dugan, C Gabriel Lino and OF Brian Pointer advanced to AAA . . . LHP Joely Rodriquez, the lone player on the Phillies 40-man roster, took the opposite route . . . KC Serna went AA-AAA-AA; he began as the shortstop and ended at second base . . . Carlos Alonzo, the incumbent second baseman, played 12 games and missed the rest of the season because of a knee injury . . . CF Roman Quinn, the switch-hitting speedster, was injured on June 12 and never returned. He was replaced by Destin Hood, a minor league acquisition . . . RHP Zach Eflin spent two weeks with Team USA in the Pan Am Games . . . SS J. P. Crawford, C Andrew Knapp, 2B Brodie Greene, Roibal, RHP Edubray Ramos, INF Angelo Mora and OF Dylan Cozens began the season in Clearwater . . . Starting pitcher Tom Windle moved to the bullpen on June 30 . . . RHP Ethan Martin came out of the organization’s rehab program, pitched once at Clearwater before moving up to Reading on July 20 . . . RHP Jake Thompson, RHP Nick Pivetta, RHP Jimmy Cordero and CF Nick Williams came over to the Phillies organization in July trades . . . 1B Brock Stassi and LF Perkins were the only players who were at the same positions on opening day and the last game.
Phillies fans became familiar with the names at Reading. Several of the Fightin’ Phils are considered building blocks for the major league club. MLB.com Pipeline rated the Phillies minor league system the seventh best. A year ago they were in the bottom 10. There’s hope for the future.