Nola/Quinn Lead Assault on Fort Myers; July 31, 2014

Aaron Nola 2-hit the Miracle through 5 innings and the Threshers scored 9 runs in the second and third innings as Clearwater beat Fort Myers and took the series against the FSL South, first half division champions, three games to one. In the process, they helped drop the Miracle into a second place tie in the second half standings.

Aaron Nola pitched another good game. He allowed one run on 2 hits and a walk. He threw 73 pitches, 47 for strikes. He relied heavily on his fast ball, throwing predominantly 2- and 4- seam fastballs through the first 3 innings. One of his rare early inning curve balls resulted in a strike out to end the first inning. Continue reading

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General Discussion – Day of 7-31-14 – Cold Stove Edition

Things have gone cold…maybe still you could see Bastardo go, since there’s little reason not to deal him with a bullpen crowded with younger, cheaper arms right now. And you never know if Amaro may find the right deal for Byrd or Burnett yet, but I can’t really see much else. Could be wrong, I suppose, but it doesn’t seem like it.

I will say this, I don’t think there’s much to complain about what Amaro is doing right now, though it’s pretty easy to complain about what he’s done in the past that led him here. Feel free to do some of that now. I’d personally like to complain about Ryan Howard’s contract, because as far as I know, no one’s ever mentioned how bad it is, I don’t think. It’s pretty bad, I think. Maybe I’m the only one.

Discuss.

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Box Score Recap – 7/30/2014

First off, despite what was on MiLB.com for a while last night, Aaron Nola did not pitch. That site had it wrong. It was Miguel Nunez, and he pitched really well, allowing just one hit and three walks with eight strikeouts in six scoreless innings. He had a fine July, with a WHIP under 1.00 and six inning stints each time out. Roman Quinn was 2-5 and Chris Serritella was a triple short of the cycle. Cody Forsythe worked a five out save in that contest.

Maikel Franco hit the game-winning home run (9) for Lehigh Valley. He’s finishing the month strong. Hopefully August is another July, or even another May, and not another April or June. Five Iron Pigs had multi-hit games, led by Cesar Hernandez and Tyler Henson, who were both 204 with a double and a walk. I left the Rochester pitching line in there so you could see Trevor May’s work. Well done for the former Phils #1 prospect. He’s bound to be a September call-up this year after what looks like a really solid year on paper – 4HR, 33BB and 89K in 89.1 IP. All make for fine rates. Reading managed just one hit against Portland pitching, as Adam Loewen pitched fairly well – he did walk five guys in six scoreless innings, which is not ideal, though he also struck out seven. And Colt Murray let down two of his mates when he allowed both Seth Rosin and Austin Wright’s runners to score in the eighth.

Zach Green had two hits and a walk for Lakewood, as they were shut down by former Phils farm hand Luis Gonzalez. Gonzalez spent three years in the Phils system from 2010-2012, and spent last year in the DSL for the Orioles. He’s 22 years old, but he’s been very good for Delmarva – 0HR, 58K, 19BB in 61.1IP. Curious why he was let go, and I wonder if it was personal, as he wound up in the DSL for a year after what was not a bad year in WIL in 2012. Denton Keys went six scoreless, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out five – good start for him. He’s been inconsistent, but no major red flags so far for him. Austin Davis’ first pro start went pretty well, though he’s not stretched out – he may still wind up staying in the pen going forward.

I’m going to open another trade deadline thread today since yesterday’s is near 100 comments already. Try to keep that stuff in the general discussion, if you can.

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Box Score Recap – 7/29/2014

Luis Garcia, back from the DL, and struck out two in a clean inning of work. Kelly Dugan and Aaron Altherr each had singles in both games of Reading’s DH – Edgar Duran had four doubles, all told. And nice work from Ryan O’Sullivan to give his bullpen a break for six innings. He’s been about as effective as a starter as I’d imagined – he seems to be managing his way around the fact that his stuff plays down in longer stints – his strikeout rate has dipped severely from his time in the pen, and his walk rate has gone up.

Roman Quinn was 4-5 with two steals. The Threshers stole six off of Stuart Turner and his battery mates. Not a good day for him. Cody Forsythe stranded two runners, despite allowing a hit, and struck out the side for his second FSL save. He’s been really good this year – 50:8 k:bb in 47.1IP across two levels. Wouldn’t mind seeing him get four weeks in Reading right now. For Lakewood, Tocci, Pullin, Knapp and Cozens put up two hits a piece – one of Tocci’s was a double, one of Cozens’ was a three-run homer (14). Tocci is OPSing .820 for the month, and Cozens .931. Yoel Mecias is limiting runs, but he’s not yet striking out a ton of batters – just 21 over 32 innings this year. He’s got plenty of time to turn that around, however.

Thinking they ought to get Brandon Liebrandt to Lakewood, already. Another gem from him the the NYPL – in six scoreless innings, he allowed one hit, two walks and struck out six. He’s allowed just six hits and struck out 18 in 18 innings at this level. Dominant. GCL pounded out 13 hits against the Pirates squad, while Nic Hanson threw five perfect innings in his rehab appearance.

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General Discussion – Week of 7-30-14 – Thirty Thirty Thirty Four Hours To Go Edition

Thirty thirty thirty-four hours to go // Let’s get some people traded.

Nothin to lose, so let them boys go // Let’s get some people traded.

Get Paps to the airport, put Byrd on a plane,

If you can’t move Bastardo, it would be a shame.

You can’t control the fact that you signed Ryan Howard to that enormous contract // how did you not see that one coming, dummy?

Oh oh oh oh oh ohhhhhhh…

Discuss. (note – upon further review, my math is bad – it was 32 hours when i came up with this idea, but I added 8 to 24 and got 34. Wow!)

Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

The ‘Pigs (49-61) are going in the wrong direction quickly after being swept by Buffalo over the weekend into Monday and getting trounced by Rochester Monday evening extending their season high losing streak to ten games.  It is their longest losing streak since the awful team of 2008, in their inaugural season. Since May 30th, Lehigh Valley is 20-37 and has fallen from second place to last place, 14 games in back of division leading Syracuse.  Lehigh Valley visits Rochester for two games before returning home over the weekend for what will be a six game homestand. Continue reading

Looking Ahead

We are winding down to the finish line of Phuture Phillies 8th year, with each year being more successful than the last due to the loyal readership we get combined with writers who volunteer their time to pursue their passion(s) of baseball and writing.  We have been extremely fortunate to have writers who take their “job” seriously, keeping with a sometimes grueling schedule during the season to provide quality content and expertise,  a commitment that I can’t thank Brad, Jim and Victor enough for. 

My hope is to keep Brad, Jim and Victor for as long as their time and energy permit, but like with most volunteer efforts, others are occasionally lured by “greener pastures” or simple burnout and with that said, I am looking to add two or three writers going into the off season.  Off season responsibilities would vary and I would be happy to give you more detail in an email.  Responsibilities next season would include affiliate reports, player features, statistical analysis and a few new features that would be more properly discussed in a phone call.  Brad, Jim and Victor will remain with us in their respective roles as long as their time and “want” permits, however we are looking for the bench strength that any organization needs in order to build for the future.  Throughout the Phillies organization, Phuture Phillies is recognized as a leading source of minor league information and with that recognition comes the credibility and respect that is given by the respective PR Departments, coaching staffs and players to our efforts through the years.   For me, now completing my 6th year here, this has been an outstanding experience that has allowed me to pursue a true passion, and has presented opportunities that, but for, Phuture Phillies would not have have been possible. 

Please email me at phuturephillies1@yahoo.com if you have interest and we can discuss.

Around the System–Catchers

Lehigh Valley

Cameron Rupp; 25, Phils 3rd round pick in 2010; .151/.271/.336 in 119 AB’s for Lehigh Valley; 6HR 19RBI; 13%bb/36%k rate; 34 games caught with 2 errors (.992); 2 passed balls; 36%cs rate (12/33); Although with a good deal of major league service due to injuries, it has been a rough year for Rupp who missed considerable time with an oblique injury and has been awful with the bat.  A 36% strikeout rate suggests to me that he is not fully healthy, after K rates nowhere close in previous years.  Still, very good defensively.

Koyie Hill, 35, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .237/.343/.372 in 156 AB’s; 3HR 17RBI; 14%bb/22%k rates; .119 vs. LHP; .281 vs. RHP; .297 with RISP; 40 games caught with 1 error (.996); 3 passed balls; 45% CS rate (13/29); Hill has done an excellent job in his role this year.  A very good defensive catcher, who will not embarrass you at the major league level.  His walk rate attests to his knowledge of the strike zone. Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 7/28/2014

Maikel Franco with his eighth home run and second in three days. He was 4-4 and has been absolutely crushing it in July, with an OPS of .972 for the month, which includes 14 XBH in ~90PAs. Solid. Reading managed just two hits, and Severino Gonzalez lasted just three innings against Portland. Seve only threw 52 pitches, but he did allow two more homers. Not solid. Roman Quinn’s streak of walks and steals comes to an end, but he has hit in six straight. For LKW, Andy Knapp had three hits and Dylan Cozens and Mitch Walding had two a piece – Walding’s OPSing a Maikel Franco-esque .975 in July. His Ks remain a little high, though he’s been better this month at around 23%, but his walks are near double digits for the year. A month in A+ might be a good idea for his progress, as he appears to be over SAL pitching, finally.

And hopefully Tyler Viza’s getting something out of his time in Lakewood, because you know he’s not getting much confidence from his game day results. He’s 3-14, which has to kind of suck. It’s meaningless in judging his performance, and there’s plenty not to like in his stats, but it was a really aggressive placement for a HS draftee who didn’t even see WIL last summer. He’s at least kept his control, as evidenced by a really strong 1.88 BB/9 for a 4.6% BB Rate. Seems he’s been a little bit unlucky as well, as FIP has him at 4.10 for the year, which is not bad at all for one of the ten or so youngest regular starters in the league, and nearly a run better than his ERA. His placement in 2015 will be interesting.

I’ve spent too much time on this already, so I’ll leave the short season leagues to you all to discuss, but I will say this much: ¡Viva Encarnación!

Is it “vivo”, “viva”, “vive”, or one of those with an accent, maybe? Anyone? Viva seems to flow off the tongue, but I don’t think it’s right.

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General Discussion – Week of 7-28-2014 – This Trade Deadline’s Really Dragging On Edition

Mets series and Trade Deadline this week. Seems like waiting on the trade deadline gets harder and harder the more we hear that Amaro may not be looking to move pieces as liberally as many of us would like. I start thinking it’s going to be like the boring year we had last year and I get a case of the sads. Why Rube? *sobs* Why won’t you move veterans for the good of the future? Eat the money, Rube! *wipes nose* Come on and make some trades already *takes pacifier, sits in corner, refreshing MLBTR*.