Green Night at Reading (Credit: Tug Haines)
We note this all the time, but minor league baseball is about working on your game and developing into a well-rounded player. For starting pitchers, that means seeing what you can do with more than just a straight fastball and breaking ball.
After the first few games of the 2015 season, Jesse Biddle gradually went to work on seeing what he could do with two-seam fastballs (sinkers) and the slider that he’s been throwing Continue reading
Thanks to Walt Hilsenbeck for this photo.
Two weeks ago, Jesse had pitched in three games, registering an ERA of 5.10 and a record of 0 – 2. The pundits speculated that he was struggling. Those of us who know him understood that he was still trying to find his groove on the mound. Statistics are an interesting thing: they tell you very little about what’s going to happen next Tuesday. The numbers are only about what has already happened. It’s never been clear what part probability should play in baseball — and yet, of course, somehow the numbers mean everything to all of us.
In his past two starts Jesse has only allowed one earned run and given Continue reading
On the mound in April. (Source: Tug Haines/Reading Fightin Phils)
After struggling some in Harrisburg last Sunday, Jesse was on the mound again Friday night against the Senators, but this time in Reading. And this time he had spent four days working on focus and command. Sometimes at the start of the season it takes a few games for pitcher’s to get the right feel on the mound. It seems that Biddle had the right feel last night.
He has been very quick to point out Friday night’s 6-2 win with 11 strikeouts Continue reading
Source: Reading Fightin Phils’ Facebook Page
Jesse pitched on Tuesday night in front of a very sparse crowd in Reading. It was his old nemesis, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Here’s the line: 7 innings, 93 pitches, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 home run. The Fightin Phils would win 6-5 with a walk-off single by Anthony Hewitt in the bottom of the 9th.
A couple blog posts out there say Jesse had a “rough start” and/or was “shaky.” Apparently they weren’t at the game. Yes, he gave up two singles in the 3rd with one out and then left a change-up hanging, belt-high for a three-run homer. He would also allow a single to lead off the 6th, then a one-out triple. Tough innings happen.
Other than the 3rd inning, though, he pitched a good game. Even in the 3rd Continue reading
Source: Jay Floyd, phoulballz.com
The season began for the Reading Fightin Phils last week. Jesse got the opening night start. We’re sure he felt he could have pitched better. He got the loss and only went 3.1 innings. You can read about that game here.
Suffice it to say that after a crazy spring training he’s still working out some kinks in his feel for pitching. But, to be honest, that’s what going to minor league games is about. You are getting a firsthand look at young players working on their games and battling through the learning process.
Jesse is scheduled to pitch again tonight, April 8, 2014, against the New Continue reading
Jesse Biddle on the mound in the Futures Game.
Last week Jesse got a lot of press. You’ll find some of the choice coverage at the video links and article archives sections of this website. In part it was a slow sports week in Philly. But it was also a special time for eight young Phillies’ farm system players on the edge of possibly breaking through very soon. They were taking part in a weeklong set of activities called the Phillies Prospect Education Seminar. They learned a lot about what goes into being a major leaguer behind the scenes. The main focus of the week, though, was media relations training.
So you will find a bunch of stories and videos here and online from last week Continue reading
Field of Dreams (yes, the real one)
Minor league players learn the ropes the hard way more often than not. Jesse Biddle had a storybook season, just not the story he wanted. His March spring training outings were definitive and astounding. He threw four innings for the Phillies AAA team, facing off against R.A. Dickey, and left the game up 4-0 with five strikeouts, three hits, and one walk. He was named Player of the Month in the EAL and Pitcher of the Month by the Phillies for April. But he had contracted whooping cough, and by the beginning of May he was in the throes of that illness and it would dog him all season. In July Continue reading
(Photo credit: paul.hadsall)
The minor league season is a long 142 games of baseball in five months. That schedule takes its toll on every player — both physically and mentally. Prior to last night, Jesse Biddle’s last two outings were pretty difficult. On July 23 he didn’t make it through the first inning. On July 28 he couldn’t make it through the second. Yes, Jesse is dinged up and feeling the effects of a long season. And, yes, the craziness of all-star week in the middle of the month probably left him a little drained. But there’s a month left in the season. No time for excuses.
Last night Jesse Biddle got to pitch against Alex Rodriguez three times before a full house at the Trenton Thunder’s Arm and Hammer Park. Rodriguez was doing a rehab stint with the Yankee’s AA affiliate. Jesse also had to pitch against an always dangerous Thunder lineup. #54 Continue reading