Phillies Sign FA Sizemore and Avoid Arbitration with Jimenez

Yesterday, the Phillies signed Jerome Williams and I opined that he was the cheaper option over Kyle Kendrick.  Today’s story, first reported by Todd Zolecki, announces the signing of Grady Sizemore and Cesar Jimenez.  The Jimenez signing keeps some cheap pitching depth in the organization.  The Sizemore signing coupled with Darin Ruf’s only playing first base through his first five games for Tigres del Licey, probably signals the inevitable end of the “Darin Ruf Outfield Experiment” and quite possibly his tenure in the organization.

http://m.phillies.mlb.com/news/article/99397132/phillies-sign-grady-sizemore-to-boost-outfield-depth

Phillies Sign Williams to One-Year Deal

Looks like the Phillies have opted for the cheaper option between free agents Jerome Williams and Kyle Kendrick for next year’s starting rotation.   This story was reported by Todd Zolecki and also rehashes other rotation options like Miguel Gonzalez.

http://m.phillies.mlb.com/news/article/99171332/phillies-sign-right-hander-jerome-williams-to-one-year-deal

Open Discussion–Week of October 20th

We will start the week off with an Arizona Fall League Update…then feel free to discuss as you please.

A good week for Roman Quinn who went 8-25 with 5 runs scored, 3 RBI’s and 3SB’s.  Two weeks into the AFL season, Quinn is hitting .250/.333.300 in 40 AB’s; with 3 RBI’s and 7 stolen bases.  C Logan Moore has seen limited action as most expected as had hit .143 (2-14) with a lone RBI.

On the hill we have a real mixed bag.  RP Nefi Ogando has been most impressive of the group.  In his 5 appearances, Ogando is 0-0 with a 2.70 and 2 saves.  He has thrown 6.2 innings and yielded 2 runs on five hits.  He has walked 2 and struck out an impressive 6, continuing to throw in the mid 90’s.  RP Colton Murray had a rough week this week, giving up 3 runs in just 1.2 innings spanning 3 games. Overall in the Fall League, Murray is now 0-2 with a 7.94ERA, over 5 games.  SP Adam Morgan did not look good in his start this week, going 1.2 innings and giving up 5 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits.  He threw 42 pitches, 26 for strikes.  RYan O’Sullivan’s production in the Fall League can only be described as brutal at this stage.  He had made 3 appearances and is 0-1 with a 19.06 ERA and has allowed 12 runs on 13 hits in his 5.2IP, striking out just one.  P Ethan Stewart did not pitch at all last week after 2 appearances the first week of the season in which he gave up just a run in 3.1IP. He did however walk five and struck out 6.

Discuss.

Phillies Release 9 Minor Leaguers

The Phillies have begun their post season minor league cleanup by releasing 9 players, none of whom are a big surprise.  The following players have been released: P Mark Meadors, P Gregorio Santos, P Jeb Stefan, P Francibal Alejo, 2B Olvy Marte, 2B Robinson Torres, 3B Trey WIlliams, OF Nick Ferdinand and INF Anthony Phillips.

Trey Williams was the name from the list that the Phils probably believed had the most potential as their 7th round draft choice in 2013.  Williams hits .197 in the Gulf Coast League, spanning two seasons.  Jeb STefan was the Phils 22nd round pick in 2012 and showed some promise in ’12 and ’13 in Williamsport and Lakewood before an awful year this year in Clearwater.

Quick additional note that the Phils have outrighted SS Andres Blanco off of their 40 man roster.

Dugan hoping to be an x-factor in 2015

Once general wrangling this off-season ends over who should be in the top few spots on Phillies prospects lists, there will be plenty of interesting discussion about some of the guys who may show up in the middle of the pack on a top-20 or top-30 list.

One such interesting case will be Kelly Dugan, who, when healthy, put together a nice season in 2014. It’s easy to feel bad for Dugan, who, at 24, was hoping to put together a full campaign. In the end, Dugan appeared in just 76 games and had only 253 at-bats. It was a stark contrast from his 2013, when he had 429 at-bats.

Dugan’s 2013 was marked by a standout period in Clearwater (.318/.401/.539) and a decent enough stint in Reading (.264/.299/.472). Of course, at 22, Hi-A ball should not have been too troubling for Dugan, so the promotion to Reading was a bit of a test to see if he was ready.

The numbers were strong in 2014 for Dugan, as he hit .296/.383/.435. The trouble? Staying on the field. An oblique injury sidelined him for about two months, and a broken foot caused him to miss the tail end of the season.

That said, there was a point where Dugan finally looked like the alpha dog that he should look like on a AA team. It’s likely that Dugan will never be an All-Star or punch a ticket to Cooperstown, but there is a realistic opportunity for Dugan with the Phillies.

There will be a chance for Dugan to impress, simply due to the current makeup of the team’s outfield. Domonic Brown is coming off a rough season. Ben Revere is likely cemented in center field, but anything could happen with him. Marlon Byrd could be the talk of the trade deadline again if the Phillies are out of the race next year.

That could open a door for Dugan. If he’s healthy and plays well to begin 2015 in the Minors, he’ll be on the Phillies’ radar. Ideally, Dugan is a fourth outfielder on a good team. There is plenty of use out there for the Nate Schierholtzes and Gerardo Parras of the world. That type of guy is valuable.

Dugan has hit both lefties and righties well in the Minors, a trait that not a lot of younger guys like him have developed. He has a career minor league OPS of .833 against lefties (as a lefty, there was a short time he tried switch-hitting), and an .854 OPS against righties.

He took advantage of Reading playing as a hitter’s park, and that would probably continue if he starts there again next year. If he is told to start at Lehigh Valley, it would be a case of the Phillies showing some faith in a player despite prior injury.

Maybe that’s just the news Dugan would like to hear next spring in Clearwater.

Prospects’ Fall and Winter Stats

The Arizona Fall, Venezuelan Winter, and Mexican Pacific leagues have all begun.

The Dominican Winter League starts on October 17th.

The Puerto Rican League starts on October 30th, as does the Australian Baseball League.  Williamsport pitcher, Josh Warner is on the reserve list for the Brisbane Bandits.  Tim Kennelly is on the Pert Heat with two brothers .  Remember Tim?  I think the Phillies tried his bat at all 8 positions before taking a look at his 95 mph arm.  He was  released in 2013.

The Caribbean Series runs February 2-8, 2015.  Last year, Sebastian Valle hit a grand slam in the championship game and former Phillies’ “prospect” Chris Roberson (2001, 9th round) was voted MVP of the series.

This link will take you to the stats of Phillies’ organization players playing ball during the off season.

http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=phi

General Discussion–Week Of Oct 13th

First and foremost: Happy Columbus Day!

News and Notes over the last week:

–Rafael Chaves has been hired as the Phillies Minor League pitching coordinator .  Chaves had been working in the Dodgers organization as a special assistant for player personnel.  Carlos Arroyo who had been the minor league pitching coordinator in 2014 will return to his previous duties as a minor league roving pitching instructor

–Johnny Almarez was named as the Phillies new Scouting Director.  Almarez most recently was employed by the Braves where he was Directing of International Scouting and Operatins for the last five years and comes with an impressive pedigree of recognized and signed talent.

–INF Reid Brignac, P Jeff Manship and P Jeremy Horst all elected minor league free agency.

–OF Tony Gwynn and P Sean O’Sullivan were both outrighted off the 40 man roster and are now free agents.

–The Arizona Fall League has begun with mixed results for Phillies prospects.  OF Roman Quinn has had a rough beginning going 2 for his first 15 (.133) with 3RS and 3SB.  Logan Moore has seen action in 2 games this week and went 1-6(.167).  On the hill, Nefi Ogando has been impressive, appearing in three games in relief and throwing 4 innings, yielding just 1 run on 3 hits.  He walked 1 and struck out 3 while earning a save.  Adam Morgan made his AFL debut by throwing a perfect inning, while Ethan Stewart’s control problems have now translated to the AFL.  He made 2 appearances and gave up just 1 run on 1 hit in 3.1IP, however walked 5 and struck out an impressive 6 hitters. The dark side of the Phils AFL performance last week clearly went to Ryan O’Sullivan who gave up 6 runs on 7 hits in 2.1 innings of work.

Discuss.

Jesse Biddle Pitches in the Florida Instructional League; 10/10/2014

Friday morning’s game signaled the end of the Phillies’ 2014 instructional league season. A few players may move on to their winter league teams, most will return home and continue working out until they return to Clearwater to participate in spring training for the 2015 season.

The Phillies were taking on the Blue Jays from neighboring Dunedin. Attendance was a little higher this morning than it had been all week. We were ready to watch as many as nine pitchers take the mound for each team as they prepared to break for the winter. I don’t think any of us had the slightest inkling that Jesse Biddle would be taking the mound and that he would pitch two innings. Continue reading

Florida Instructional League; Intrasquad Game – 10/8/2014

Well, the Instructional League is winding down. Only a couple of scouts were on hand for the final intrasquad game on Wednesday. Two Phillies’ teams played six innings to a 2-1 conclusion. I don’t have velocities and didn’t bother to count pitches. Instead, here are a few observations. Continue reading

Scorpions Win AFL Opener; 10/8/2014

The Scottsdale Scorpions beat the Salt River Rafters 7-4 in the Arizona Fall League opener for both teams last night.  Three Phillies’ prospects saw action – Roman Quinn, Colton Murray, and Nefi Ogando.

Roman Quinn started in centerfield and recorded 2 put outs.  He led off for the Scorpions and finished with 1 hit in 5 at bats.  Continue reading