Fall League Roundup

Matt Rizzotti–Continued swinging a hot bat, going 2-5 on Thursday and 1-2 with 2 walks on Friday. Rizzotti is now at .379/.526/.369 in 29 Fall League at bats, with 7 walks and 3 strikeouts.  The only complaint is that all 11 of Rizzotti’s hits, most out of the cleanup spot have been singles.  That being said, .379 is .379.

Tim Kennelly–Started in LF on Saturday and had a big day, going 2-4 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored. .389/.421/.556 in 18 Fall League AB’s with 2 RBI’s. 

Brian Rosenberg–The struggles continue for Rosenberg who was pounded and took the loss in an inning of work on Thursday.  he gave up 4 runs on 3 hits, while walking one and striking out one.  All three hits were home runs.  Rosenberg threw 30 pitches, just 13 for strikes. Rosenberg is now 0-1 with a 9.45 ERA in his 5 AFL appearances. He has allowed 11 hits in 6.2 innings of work, and his health that he struggled with during almost all of the 2010 campaign remains a question mark based on his performance.

Tyson Brummett– threw a scoreless inning on Thursday, although he allowed both a hit and a walk, throwing 22 pitches, 13 for strikes. In 6 games, Brummett is 0-0 with a 5.40 ERA in the Fall League, having thrown 10 innings. He has allowed 11 hits, walked one and struck out 9.

Chris Kissock–continues throwing the ball well, throwing a scoreless 8th inning in Saturdays’ contest. He walked one and threw 12 pitches, 6 for strikes. Kissock has yet to allow a run in his 5 AFL appearances, and has allowed just one walk and one hit during those 5 innings.

Justin DeFratus–Last but certainly not least is DeFratus who continues to be lights out in the Fall League, striking out the side again on Saturday in his scoreless inning of work.  He did allow a hit, throwing 15 pitches, 12 for strikes.  DeFratus has thrown 4 innings and allowed 2 hits and a walk (no runs), while striking out 8..

Notes: Still no sign of John Mayberry who last played on AFL Opening Day.

Sebastian Valle continues swinging the bat well during the early going in Mexico (.318/.348/500), while Freddy Galvis struggles in the early going in Venezuela, swinging at a .139/.162./.139 clip in 36 AB’s.

50 thoughts on “Fall League Roundup

  1. The Phillies seem to be on the verge of success in growing some of our own relievers. It would be nice to also grow some homemade pinch hitters. Perhaps Rizzotti and/or Kennelly can fill that role. I wonder if Rosenberg isn’t hiding continuing arm injury.

  2. Kennelly is an intriguing guy. If his bat plays, it would be great to have a guy who can play the outfield as well as catcher. In fact, I’d see if he can man a couple of infield positions as well.

    How many times has a manager had his hands tied because he won’t use his backup catcher to pinch hit? Tons of times. If this kid can actually hit, he’d be an irreplaceable utility guy. Think a Ben Zobrist who can play catcher. Of course, all that is fantasy until we know if he’s legit with the bat.

  3. The thing about Kennelly is that, while he is intriguing, his minor league career seems to have gone backwards for the last year. He was promoted from Clearwater to Reading in 2009 (and got almost 200 ABs) and then spent 2010 in Clearwater where he did not do as well as he did in 2009. He’s now 24 and seems to be taking a step forward this fall. But where was he all of 2010? Why did he regress? Were they just trying to get him more rep.s at catcher?

    I too have this sense that he could be a pretty good hitter and valuable utility man in that he can be the third catcher, but the minor league statistics do not bear out that he’s a bona fide hitting prospect. It also does not help that he’s never hit more than 5 home runs in a minor league season.

    So . . . I’m not counting him out, but he needs to start showing us something right now.

  4. I’m actually a bit intrigued by Kissock. He’s a guy that has always flown under the radar and has never received any “prospect” fanfare but he continues to put up decent numbers. I wonder if he has a shot to make a major league bullpen at some point if he keeps getting outs.

  5. Quick question on DeFratus, who has me really excited about the possibility of cheap bullpen options. Do folks recall why they moved him to the pen? Looking through old posts, Kevin Goldstein made a comment that his stuff plays “WAY WAY WAY” up out of the pen. Yet, his numbers as a starter were always strong, with a decent K rate and a minuscule BB rate. Any one know what the thought process here was?

  6. Rizzotti keeping it going. Got to like what you see out of this guy. Would love to see a little more power, but as the Roundup says .379 is 379. And I know its only through a few games, but the .500+ OBP is outstanding!

  7. Rizz had a double today along with 2 singles, a walk and 2 RBI’s. Was 3 for 5. BA is now .412. Kennelly was 2 for 3.

  8. Great day for Phils prospects in AFL…first 8 IP 0 runs 7ks 0 BB 4 hits (Zeid 4 IP followed by Brummett, Rosenberg, Defratus (2ks), and Kissock)…Rizzotti had 3hits and 2rbi and Kennelly had 2 hits

  9. ****Any one know what the thought process here was?****

    I think its a lack of multiple plus pitches and that his velocity jumps way up in short relief.

  10. I am starting to believe in Rizzotti. Hopefully the rest of baseball will begin to notice as well and get the big club a nice player in return.

    I guess it all boils down to what kind of production is projected in the majors. Obviously, the 1B position commands high productivity.

    Check out career minor league numbers for some young 1B:
    Ike Davis – http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=davis-002isa
    Gaby Sanchez – http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=sanche001gab
    Jame Loney – http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=loney-001jam

    You have to think, Rizzotti would have been given a shot on another club. He is still serviceable fielding 1B.

  11. I don’t know why you think Rizzotti would have had to be given a shot in another organization. 2010 was a break out season for him. Prior to that, he was no great shakes. In 2010, the Phillies promoted him twice, all the way from high A to AAA. I don’t think any team was likely to give him a shot in the bigs prior to 2011 — his minor league career simply didn’t warrant it. I would like to see him in Philly as a bat off the bench at some point in 2011, hopefully at least as the guy brought up to DH as we visit the AL. If he does well in that tryout, he should get more MLB time.

  12. Kevin Goldstein again giving a shout out to DeFratus who had two more strikeouts last night.

    Also, gave Josh Zeid and Matt Rizzotti some props.

  13. The game isn’t over but the Riz is 2 for 4. He keeps hitting while expanding his sample size. lol C’mon Atown have some fun.

  14. If someone had said before the year started that the fall stars of the organization would be Rizzoti, Zeid, and DeFratus you would of ………

  15. Allentown: You don’t think teams in Cleveland, Florida, or Atlanta would give this guy a shot? The muts had nothing and elected to bring up Davis after a short time in AAA.

  16. I’ve been hearing that DeFratus is one reliever that should breakout into the majors this coming season. If he can do that the Phils will have a great piece for the pen.

    Rizzotti was never near ML ready until the end of this last season, and at that it was a stretch too.

  17. I’ve seen a few Ike Davis references. C’mon guys, Ike Davis is (or I should say was) clearly a better prospect than Rizzotti.

  18. Mid-9os fastball with great groundball rates? Yeah, that should be interesting. We have some good young relief arms.

    I dont think Rizzotti has been shortchanged at all. He was org filler going into the year and he finished in AAA and was given a spot in the AFL this fall. That’s a huge sign of respect from the Org.

    Be honest about his ceiling though…he’s a platoon bat at 1B/DH on a good day, hardly a major prospect (if he is one at all).

  19. The Ike Davis comp is ridiculously stupid.

    To put it in perspective, Ike Davis put up a respectable rookie campaign at the MLB level at Age 23…Matt Rizzotti was an average 1B in Clearwater at that age.

  20. Rizzotti is a fun story to follow and I hope he continues to surprise.

    If he was in a 2nd division team’s system, he’d be far far more likely to be called up.

  21. If it does turn out that Rizz shows that he likely could hit MLB pitching and is still not valued as a good trade piece, then after some games at ST or LV at the season’s beginning to “verify” his hitting he could/should be considered as a Howard back-up. and PH.

    No harm there. Gload could be the Howard back-up also but is slated, so far, for work in the outfield. A guy that could hit for a good BA and OBA should not be sneezed at.

    He is showing his good hitting in the AFL which is encouraging. I would prefer that he hit righty, though, which would improve his chances to stay w the Phillies.

  22. I know the top 100 prospects lists almost never include relievers and that is due, in large part, the undeniable fact that relievers are generally less valuable than other players. All of that having been said, it now seems to me that Justin DeFratus is a top 100 talent because he seems to have the makings of a dominant closer. No offense to Ricky Bo – but I can’t remember that last time we had such a good relief prospect in the minors. I’ve been following the team since 1992 and, since that time, we’ve never had anyone close. Wow.

  23. I would love to see Rizzotti make it as a PH, but the Phillies simply have no use for him until 2012 at the absolute earliest. With Gload already on the roster they can ill afford to carry another no defense bat on the bench. It seems like a possibility they will carry 5 OF not counting Gload (Francisco and Mayberry/Free Agent X on the bench plus the starters). That being the case, another utility infielder is an absolute necessity. Luckily they can get away with carrying only a 3B type because Polanco can play 2nd (and even SS in a pinch). Either way, they just can’t use the Rizz until they shed Gload.

  24. Catch, I think the trouble is that quite a few teams have elite relief prospects. When DeFratus missed the FSL top 20 I looked up the relievers who did make the list and some of their statistics are downright insane.

  25. Catch how about that ryan brannan, I don’t even think he made the majors. I remember him being so hyped up, but I guess ricky bo and to a small degree wayne gomes were the most memorable.

  26. I think it would be great to have a couple of these kids in the bullpen. but it will save us about 7 million to replace durbin and romero. still need to move one big salary like ibanez or victorino to afford werth. simple guestion werth or vic

  27. This off the wall but would you trade Lidge to keep Werth. Leaving the bullpen to Madson , and the kids.
    PS include Beaz and get a infield prospect. Chancy

  28. The top five Phillies homegrown relievers.

    1. Turk Farrell
    2. Ryan Madson
    3. Ricky Bottalico
    4. Jack Meyer
    5. Huck Betts

    I went through the draft lists to see if there were any relievers the Phillies developed and got away. Willie Hernandez is an odd case as the Phillies lost him in the Rule 5 draft, reacquired him six years later, traded him and THEN regretted it. The best reliever the Phillies traded was probably Michael Jackson who had a 17 year career and pitched over 1,000 games. Of course for the guys the Phillies traded away, they also got tremendous value from the relievers they traded for, including McGraw, Lidge, Wagner, Bedrosian, Reed, Williams, and you might even include Konstanty in all that.

    Ricky Bottalico is certainly our most hyped relief prospect of the last 20 years. Brannan too, though I think he was just the best of a sorry lot. Ryan Madson is the best reliever the Phillies have developed in 40 years, but he was a starter in the minors.

  29. Nowheels, I’d trade Lidge if there was a market. Would you trade a prospect for Baez if you were a GM though?

  30. Glad to have sparked a neat little debate. I don’t remember Ryan Brennan – so that says something. As noted, Madson was a starter and, in any event, did not have dominant stuff in the minors. The beast we know now emerged in 2008 – in the early to mid 2000s Madson was a 91-93 MPH guy with a two-seamed FB and a slider – in other words, an okay prospect but a completely different pitcher from the outstanding reliever we see now.

    As for trading Lidge to make room for Werth – it’s not a bad idea in concept, but it’s a little scary. There’s nobody we have that I’d say, for sure, would be at least okay in the closer role. I do believe that Madson could now do it, but do we know that for sure? I don’t think so. It seems to me that you’d be solving one problem by potentially creating another. For a team that is contending for a championship, that’s not an astute move.

  31. To me, the big looming question is what do we make of, and what do we do about, the Giants? My view is that the Giants are almost the perfect analogue to the 1969 Mets. A team with an elite and young pitching staff but an otherwise patched together group of players in the field who played well and without fear. History tells us that, unless the Giants go out and really get some good hitting, they are unlikely to do this again. We just happened to be in the unfortunate scenario of being the 1969 Baltimore Orioles (an even better team than the 2010 Phillies, and one that went on to win a WS) to the Giants.

  32. I like the 69 Mets analogy…fairly accurate. That 1969-1971 Orioles pitching staff was ridiculous. One year, they finished with 3 of the Top 5 Cy Young vote getters….just insane. One of the best pitching staffs (if not the best) in the last 50 years.

  33. Well, we don’t know which Lidge will show up and neither does any other team, which is why it would be hard to trade him right now without eating most of his salary which, of course, defeats the entire purpose of the trade. So I see Lidge sticking around to start the year, although, clearly, that could change. Also, I really do not think that one year of Brad Lidge’s salary is going to dictate whether Werth gets a 5 year, $90 million contract – it’s a fairly tenuous connection.

  34. Lidge, because of his salary, has no trade value. Nobody is going to pay him $12 million. He’s a sunk cost at this point…we can just hope we get another good year out of him. So far, we’ve had 1 amazing year, 1 terrible year, 1 very good year from him. Another very good year and it wasn’t a bad deal overall. Lest we forget the fun filled years of Tom Gordon and Jose Mesa as our “closer”.

  35. By the way, with all of our great young pitching in Reading and Clearwater, I expect that in the next year or so Aumont will return to the bullpen where I predict he will become a beast. Aumont is one these pitchers with a lot of ability and many moving parts in his delivery so it’s going to take a little while for him to piece it together, but when he does, he could go, almost overnight, from being a question mark to being a dominant force. When that happens is anybody’s guess, it could be this August or it could be in April of 2013, but I think it’s going to happen.

  36. If they have Aumont starting again in 2011, it will be a mistake. He just doesnt seem to be a starter. He could move very quickly as a reliever.

  37. Nowheels, I used raw WAR totals when developing the list. Davis was a great reliever for three years, but suffers because of a long decline phase.

    The 1969-71 Orioles had a nice pitching staff that really benefited from a great defense. Belanger, Brooks Robinson, Grich, Paul Blair.

    As far as Aumont, if Andrew Brackman can figure things out there is hope for everyone.

  38. I think Brannan was minor league pitcher of the year once. I didn’t even think of guys from the 80′s, but wasn’t kyle turnbow a phillies draftee? I think he was taken in the rule 5 by another team so I guess he wasn’t developed by our system. One more name, wasn’t mike maddox one of ours too? He had a nice little career. Really hope Aumont develops and it will probably be in the pen, but does anyone know if his failures to get guys out is due to wildness or just that he is in the fat part of the zone?

  39. Derrick Turnbow. He had one great season but was otherwise flaky. Mike Maddux actually started the first MLB game I ever attended in Veterans Stadium. He was marginally effective but had a long career. I looked at guys who piled up a large number of WAR. Maddux’s career WAR total was 4.4. Not bad by any means, but not exactly something you rue losing.

  40. Turnbow was a surprise pick from the Phils when he had played only up to A ball. He blew out his arm from being promoted too soon to the bigs where he had initial success but faded fairly soon.

    Brannan was listed by BA as the best Phils prospect out of a giant group of mediocre draftees that peopled their farm system. He never made it because–as I remember–his best pitch was a slider that he couldn’t throw for strikes. He was so bad that he was tossed aside pretty quickly. Never to be heard from again.

  41. Ah yes, I remember the years that the Phils just told us who the prospects were and there was no 3rd party to evaluate. All the propaganda! Now a days we can hop on the internet to sites as this or pull up box scores and see who are real prospects. Not to mention go to some games to see for ourselves

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