Lieber Impressive in AAA Spring Start

Many fans may not know it, but there <i>are</i> minor league spring training games. The schedule opened on Tuesday and the Phillies prospect didn't have too bad of a day. Jon Lieber pitched for the AAA squad and was impressive in five innings of work against the Blue Jays top minor league players.

Minor League spring training games got under way on Tuesday, with the Phillies prospects playing in five different games in Florida. Teams are made up of players in the minor league camp and the occasional major league players who come to the minor league complex for more work. The Phillies have assigned players to a minor league level, although those assignments aren't necessarily where the player will start the season. For example, Zack Segovia was assigned to the AAA roster, but will likely start at either AA Reading or even Class-A Clearwater.

Here are the results from Tuesday's contests:

AAA Phillies 8, Toronto 6

Jon Lieber was one of those major league players to show up at the minor league complex. Since the Phillies had the day off, Lieber pitched for the AAA squad so he can stay on his normal five day rotation. The results were impressive, with Lieber throwing five innings, scattering six hits, issuing no walks and allowing just one earned run. Lieber also struck out six. Outfielder Ryan Fleming went 3-for-4 and shortstop Danny Gonzalez finished the day going 2-for-4.

AA Phillies 3, Toronto 2

Ryan Barthelemy and Chris Roberson, who will both likely be in Reading's starting lineup on opening day, both went 1-for-4. Meanwhile, the infield tandem will likely start the season at Clearwater. Carlos Rodriguez started at shortstop and Tim Moss opened at second base.

High-A Phillies 5, Toronto 5

Michael Bourn got a surprise appearance in major league camp over the weekend and has been assigned to the High-A "Clearwater" team for minor league spring training. He opened the minor league spring season on an impressive note, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored. Sean Gamble, Jake Blalock and Jason Jaramillo each had one hit for the Phillies squad, who finished in a tie with the Blue Jays squad.

Low-A Phillies 4, Toronto 0

Maximo Delacruz threw three shutout innings to lead four "Lakewood" pitchers to a shutout of the Toronto squad. Delacruz pitched in the Gulf Coast League last season, finishing with a 2.11 ERA, which ranked third in the GCL. Delacruz' GCL teammate Welinson Baez picked up two hits and Greg Golson tripled to help the offense along.

Short Season-A Quinnipiac 15, Phillies 2

Quinnipiac College had their bats working as they pounded the youngest and least experienced of the Phillies prospects.

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