Posted by Mike Frohwirth
As the Phillies play this afternoon, and the Union and Flyers have the night off, tonight is a perfect night to check out some Phillies minor league baseball!
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) kick off their regular season tonight (7:05pm), in their home opener against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Vance Worley gets the start for the 'Pigs. David Phelps, the Yankees' 14th best prospect (per Baseball America), is on the hill for the Yankees. Lehigh Valley's roster includes has top relief prospects Michael Schwimer and Mike Stutes, and capable AAAA types Erik Kratz, Brandon Moss, and Jeff Larish. Top catching prospect Jesus Montero expected to play for the Yankees, who also have AAAA-quality outfielders Greg Golson and Chris Dickerson.
Fans in attendance receive a desk-size replica of Coca-Cola Park. Fans not in attendance can watch on the IronPigs Television Network, or listen in on the IronPigs Radio Network. Gameday Audio (Free!) is available for internet listeners here.
The Reading Phillies (AA) begin their season tonight at 6pm, on the road against the Portland Sea Dogs. Josh Zeid is expected to start for the Phillies. The Sea Dogs, a Boston Red Sox affiliate, will send 2009 second-round draft pick Alex Wilson to the mound. Reading's roster includes top pitching prospects Zeid, Phillippe Aumont, Mike Cisco, and Justin De Fratus, as well as prospects Matt Rizzotti (1B) and Freddy Galvis (SS). The Sea Dogs roster includes top prospects Ryan Lavarnway (C), Will Middlebrooks (3B), and Oscar Tejeda (2B). Gameday Audio available here.
The Clearwater Threshers (A) begin their season on the road, playing at the Dunedin Blue Jays. The 7pm start features an outstanding pitching matchup. Top prospect/Twitter phenom Jarred Cosart pitches for the Threshers. The Blue Jays will counter with Brandon Morrow, as the MLB star makes a rehab start. Clearwater is stacked with top prospects, including starting pitchers Cosart, Brody Colvin, and Trevor May, as well as position players Jonathan Singleton and Special K cereal-hater Jiwan James. Gameday Audio available here (Dunedin broadcast only).
The Lakewood BlueClaws (A) will raise their 2010 South Atlantic League Championship banner tonight, before they begin their season against the Kannapolis Intimidators. The 6:35pm start features BlueClaws Mario Hollands (10th round, 2010) on the hill. The Lakewood roster includes top pitching prospects Colby Shreve and Jesse Biddle, as well as top outfield prospects Aaron Altherr and Domingo Santana. Gameday Audio available here.
More Phillies' minor league information available here.