Winter League Update

The Arizona Fall League season comes to a close next week with the last games being played on Thursday, before the Championship Game next Saturday.  Look for the final report on the Fall League next weekend.

Matt Rizzotti played 1B on Thursday and Saturday and went a combined 2-4, with a run scored, an rbi, 5 walks, a strikeout and made his second error. Strange line for a cleanup hitter: .370/.521/.407 in 54 AB’s with 0HR 11 RBI and 2 extra base hits.  He has walked 18 times and struck out just 10. 

Tim Kennelly played both Thursday and Friday, going a combined 1-6 with an RBI. He played RF on THursday and caught on Friday (making an error). In 37 AB’s, Kennelly is at .297/.357/.405 with 0HR and 4 RBI. He has walked just once, and struck out 7 times.

Tyson Brummett got a start on Thursday and had perhaps his best outing of the Fall season going three shutout innings, yielding 3 hits and a walk, while striking out one.  He threw 32 pitches, 19 for strikes. In his 9 outings, Brummett is 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA. He has thrown 16 innings, allowing 16 hits and just 2 walks for an impressive WHIP of 1.12.

Jacob Diekman has allowed a run in each of his 4 AFL outings after allowing one run in one inning of work both Thursday and Saturday.  His ERA stands at 30.37.

Chris Kissock got the start on Friday and gave up runs for the first time in 9 AFL games. He went 2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits.  Kissock is at 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA and a save, while allowing just 8 baserunners in 9.1 innings.  The Phils will need to make a decision shortly as to whether or not to protect Kissock on the 40 man roster or subject him to the Rule 5 draft.

Brian Rosenberg had a very nice outing a Friday, going two scoreless innings, allowing just a hit and perhaps most importantly, not walking anyone.  Rosenberg is now 0-1 with a 8.49 ERA in 9 AFL contests. His WHIP remains over 2.00.

Justin DeFratus continued his stretch of Fall League scoreless outings with a scoreless ninth on Friday, allowing one hit.  He has not allowed a run in 7 AFL appearances, with the opposition hitting a measly .125 against him.

Notes: Catcher Joel Naughton, who is currently a free agent and SS Alan Schoenberger have both begun playing in the Australian Winter League.

2B Cesar Hernandez who opened quite a few eyes in Williamsport this season hs 3 hits in his first 8 AB’s in the Venezuelan League.

–The struggles of Freddy Galvis (.188/.291/.229), Harold Garcia (.217/.308/.217) and Fidel Hernandez (.212/.293/.250) continue in Venezuela.

Sergio Escalona has not allowed a run in his 5 appearances thus far in the Venezuelan League.

52 thoughts on “Winter League Update

  1. beware of people who say small sample size. We know ,We know. Are they selling banners that say “small sample size”.

    Please no FAs I would like see a couple of there relief prospects get a chance in the spring. If they all fall on their butts, Ruben knows how to get players during the season.

  2. I’m assuming that Harold Garcia is pretty tired after a long season. It wouldn’t surprise me if he shuts it down early. Dom starts playing tomorrow. This kid Cesar Hernandez is certainly opening some eyes. Next year at Lakewood he’ll have the chance to show his ability against better pitching. Kissock is probably just a journeyman reliever but he shows just enough that I’m not sure if he can be more. Spring Training can’t cme soon enough…

  3. Rizzotti’s plate discipline and lack of home runs leave me scratching my head a little bit, but I think the power is there and the plate discipline is extraordinary and suggests his continued growth as a hitter. If he can draw walks like that and keeps hitting the ball he is going to be a nice player to have around, even though he is something of a man without a country.

  4. ugh. Thought they had another year to decide on Kissock. Guess that means Chapman and Brummett, too since they’re all the same class.

  5. Miraculously, I’ve avoided comment so far on everyone’s favorite player-Matt Rizzotti.
    So, let me start with a disclaimer: I’ve never seen him play.
    Wasn’t it John Kruk who famously told a lady that he wasn’t an athlete he was a baseball player? Didn’t he, in fact, write a book with that sentiment as its title?
    Which leads me into the debate on “The Rizz”. Like “The Krukker” he can flat out hit.
    That’s a serious skill. If he carries even 75-80% of his minor league production into the majors he would be a force. Rizzotti’s detractors always point to his defensive liabilities and they may be right. But I have more faith in the ability to learn defense than I do the ability to learn how to hit. Throughout baseball history one dimensional players have succeeded as long as that one dimension is exceptional.
    Like everyone here I’d love to see him continue his growth and make RAJ’s decisions harder. That’s all he can do.

  6. No wonder you are called Rick “WISE” Guy.

    Very well stated. I am just having fun with the Riz thing sorta. But if they are really pitching around him in the AFL that is a tribute of the highest order. He would own south philly. I can see it “veal ala Rizzotti”.

  7. It’s worth noting the offensive context. The league batting average of the AFL (after 28 games) is .287. The average runs per game is 5.99. That’s a level of offense greater than any in the 20th century in Major League Baseball. It’s worth noting when viewing these performances.

  8. Interesting to note that Kennelly’s last three starts were in left, right and catching. He has an excellent Catchers ERA of 3.21 in 42 innings and has thrown out 3 of 8 in base steal attempts so far in the AFL. Looks like he will be a super sub at AA this coming year.

  9. These days, you can hide a guy (Matt Rizzotti) in left field or first base. Fortunately, the team will have a left field opening in the immediate future. I’m all for trying Matt out in the outfield. I agree that a marginally athletic player can learn to play the outfield (Pat Burrell did it for crying out loud), but there are a lot of guys who cannot even hold down that left field role. By the way, John Kruk liked to joke about not being athletic, but Kruk was actually a fairly decent athlete who stole bases as a younger minor leaguer. The Krukker just got fat and did not take such good care of himself, but he actually could play the field and do some other things a little bit. He was not a block of granite like poor Adam Dunn (really, Dunn is a nightmare in the field) or a guy who didn’t care at all like Manny Ramirez (when I watch him play the outfield I actually get mad that he cares so little, which is amazing since, when I am watching him he is typically playing against my team, but the man does not respect the game of baseball, just as he does not respect his team or its owners – he’s a great hitter, but, in my view, he’s a pretty bad guy).

  10. Two reports out tonight indicating Phils are close to resigning Contreras to 2 year, $5M deal with a third year option. Also, showing serious interest in Takanori from NYM. Reports are he’s asking for 3 yrs, $4-5M per year.

    Let’s say both those deals happen, what does that mean for the 2012 bullpen? With Lidge, Madson, and Baez contracts all up, the only two veterans under contract would be these two. My original thought was that this would block our developing young relievers but maybe it wouldn’t too much. I’m a bit worried though about going 3 yrs on a guy with one year experience, and 2 yrs on a 39 year old, although both had good seasons. Then again, so did Baez I think in 2009….

  11. Baez’s good season in 2009 was not supported by good peripherals. The Phillies might be giving out too many years on the contracts, but that seems to be their M.O.

  12. Dont understand the intrest in Takahashi at that money, unless he is going to be a fifth starter option? Three years for contreras is nuts. I guess we will continue to get lock into these overprice deals with Amaro. what happens to the kids in the minors, I really thought two of them would be on these team this year.

  13. I like Contreras, but, given his age and his secondary role (7th inning reliever), I don’t know why you would give him anything more than a year and an option. I suppose the team wants a little flexibility for 2012, when Lidge will probably be gone and it is unclear what Madson will be doing. If Contreras were 33 or 34, this might make sense, but the guy is pushing 40. I would hope that, if they do give Contreras this type of contract, Durbin is not re-signed so there is room to promote some minor leaguers.

  14. If the Phillies sign Takahashi and Contreras, that would leave the bullpen looking something like this.

    Lidge
    Madson
    Contreras
    Takahashi
    Bastardo
    Baez
    Rookie (Mathieson?)

    Now by May/June if Baez hasn’t turned it around, he’ll no doubt be released and replaced, possibly by a top performer in the minors. Trusting the entire bullpen to the kids would be suicide. Mathieson is still an injury risk, none of them are proven and this group didn’t actually WIN games at Lehigh. I like the kids, but let them fight for jobs and earn them. Without free agents, we only have three established pitchers in the ‘pen and one of them posted an ERA north of 5.

  15. I think the reason that group did not win games at AAA is that the offense was atrocious. The relief pitching was pretty darned good. But I agree that you can only expect to see, at most, two young players start the year in the pen, one of which will be Bastardo. I also think Takahashi is far from a done deal.

  16. Independent of the questionable nature of the length of these deals, here’s what the pen looks like to me:

    2011
    Lidge
    Madson
    Takahashi
    Contreras
    Bastardo
    Baez
    Mathieson
    DeFratus (callup for other on DL)

    2012
    Madson or FA (closer)
    Takahashi
    DeFratus
    Contreras
    Bastardo
    Mathieson
    Schwimmer / Stutes / Herndon

    Even in 2011, working in Bastardo and Mathieson into regular roles would be good progress, plus there are always injuries to give a third young pitcher a chance. If those guys prove themselves, they will have spots in 2012 and another young arm or two can be brought into the mix.

    Agree with others, 1 year plus option on Contreras and 2 yrs plus option on Takahashi sounds better but so did 2 yrs on Ibanez, 1 year on Moyer, and 2 yrs on Polanco but that’s not what happened.

  17. “Mathieson is still an injury risk”

    Please think things out. If Mathieson starts on the roster then breaks down or is ineffective, then yoy get rid of him. No harm done. Just bring in another prospect. Why oh why commit to Mr T . Well you could have a 40th birthday party.

  18. I love the likely Contreras signing. If you didn’t know his age and just watched him pitch at the end of the year, you’d want him back because he was terrific most of the year except for one stretch after he had been overused. As for the pen, there has to be a long man and there will be an experienced lefty other than Bastardo and Matheson is not a long man. However, Baez could get released in ST if he doesn’t improve over what he did last year and Matheson outpitches him. Kendrick could still get the long man role if Worley beats him out but I don’t see Worley in that role. Sandberg is an excellent signing, and it looks like Morandini will be back in the organization shortly as well. However, their talent level at LHV will still not be good, unless they start Dom there, although Harold Garcia and Overbeck should both get promoted there mid season with a good start.

  19. I don’t think we need a long man as much as a typical team does based on our first three starters. Not to mention often times in April you don’t need a 5th starter so a Kendrick or Worley could fill that role.

  20. Nowheels, the point is you want that good reliever available rather than already occupying another slot on the big club. No matter how good your relievers are (old or young), sometimes injuries have a way of thinning out the ranks in a hurry.

    Both LA and I neglected to mention Eddie Bonine, who will certainly have a shot at a bullpen job as well.

  21. Agreed Alan, like I said in an earlier post, I think we had the following relievers serve DL time last year: Lidge, Romero, Bastardo, Durbin, Madson, Baez, and Mathieson. If you look at next year’s crop – Lidge remains a risk health-wise, and with Contreras at 39 and potentially Takahashi or another veteran LHP, there are several risks. Hopefully Madson has learned who wins in the chair vs toe fight….

  22. Cheese if he got hurt he would not occupy a roster spot. Or tie up a bundle of cash. What kink of argument is ” we can’t try Mathieson because Madson kicked a chair. I am not saying he would or should make the roster, only that your thinking is fuzzy.

  23. If you really, really want to sign somebody, you need to add on the extra year. That is why Contreras re-signed with the Phillies. If it’s only a 1 year deal, them somebody else can give him 1 year, $3.25M and poof, he’s gone. Also, one of the reasons why we were able to sign Ibanez was the Phillies willingness to go 3 years. If I remember correctly, the Cubs were going at Ibanez hard.

  24. How do the braves get uggla for a utlily player and left reliever.this is nuts gave them nothing for a 280, 30 homerun hitter. how do the braves make this trade

  25. Considering that Uggla is probably a 1-year rental it’s not that surprising. He reportedly turned down 4-$48 from the Fish and I doubt the Braves go higher..

  26. Not sure I would want Uggla for the $10+ million he’s going to get through arbitration. He’s not a .280 hitter (last season was a career year for BA), he’s a .250 hitter who strike’s out a ton and is sub-par defensively.

    The Phillies already have a .280 30 hr sub-par defensive guy named Raul Ibanez making that kind of money and everyone wants the Phillies to eat his contract and trade him.

  27. terrifc offense numbers 263 lifetime average ,154 homeruns in last 5 years. for a bad team with no help for him, agree has a below average glove, but cant know his offense game. wonder how many home he would hit in a hitter park like cbp.

  28. Just wondering: when Rizzoti was injured late in the season, could he have lost some power in his hand/wrists or such that lingered into the AFL (?)…but he was still able to meet the ball well enough to get a high BA and high OBA.

    Maybe so; so he needs to regain his whatever strength over the winter to do well at Lehigh Valley in ’11. IF he does all ‘o that, he could be a PH for the Phils or a DH for some AL team. Just how much trade value he hass wee
    an AL team. We’ll see in ’11 at LV.

  29. Uggla has been a defensive millstone for a long time. Infante is no longer a part time player. He led the team in average and plays everywhere. Dunn is in his prime years. Along with their other trades the Marlins have rebuilt their bullpen with good young arms. Maybe we can get a little competition next year. Steamrolling weak teams is a limited fun past time,

  30. No they wouldn’t. We already had a lefty reliever who walked the ballpark in J.C. Romero. And where is Infante going to play? Infante isn’t going to continue to hit .321 and he has absolutely no secondary hitting skills.

  31. Put it this way he wasn’t going to sign. So they have too more than useful
    players plus 40 mil to buy another player. Who knows if they will since they will open the stadium are out of Wayne money grabbing control. Its just not as one sided as first glance.

    This isn’t a one year thing with Infante check his last three years.
    Avg .309
    As 2b 391
    As 3b 182
    As ss 170
    As lf 149
    As cf 24
    As rf 38

  32. The .309 batting average includes a .353 OBP and .411 slugging percentage. Good numbers, but nothing you want to play in an outfield corner. The Phillies have 2B, SS and CF locked up so Infante would have little value for the club. Don’t get me wrong, Infante is a useful player. But I don’t think he’s exceptional.

  33. Corner is just a plus there will be injurys and guys needing a rest who are no longer 25 years old.

    MIKE
    I respect your opinion but look at the whole marlin picture. 48 mil plus 5 or ten puts them in the Beltre picture. Uggla or Beltre, Infante and Dunn
    isn’t quite as funny.

  34. ****The Phillies already have a .280 30 hr sub-par defensive guy named Raul Ibanez making that kind of money and everyone wants the Phillies to eat his contract and trade him.****

    Ibanez is a 30 HR guy still? He hit 16 HRs in 2010.

  35. I’m wondering if Rubes would make a play for Justin Upton? Could you get the DBacks to take Ibanez back if you include a nice package of prospects….just sayin his skill set would play well in CBP.

  36. Upton seems like the kind of big splash that Rube loves to make (see Lee, Halladay, Oswalt). It’ll be interesting if he makes a run at him…and scary as Rube tends to get his prize regardless of cost.

  37. Agreed Nepp. If I am the Dbacks I am getting back a big package for him. I think he is signed for $55MM tho I don’t know how many years that covers. I’m at least going to kick the tires.

    Does anyone know what kind of year Michael Taylor had for the A’s AAA team? Has he fallen out of prospect status?

  38. Nepp, How many did Ibanez hit in 2009?

    Point being that Uggla and Ibanez have produced very similar numbers on a year-to-year basis. Uggla has a bit more power and Ibanez hits for a bit more average but their career .OPS numbers are 14 points apart (837 Uggla vs. 823 Ibanez).

    If you didn’t like the 3-$31.5M deal for Ibanez there’s no way you could be happy if the Phillies offered Uggla the 4-$48m deal he turned down from Florida. Not sure your stance on Ibanez’s remaining 1-year at $11.5M but that $$$ is going to be very close to what Uggla’s going to end up getting via arbitration and I expect they will have very similar numbers in 2011. Atlanta isn’t necessarily a pitchers’ park but its also not the homerun park that Florida plays in.

    I do think it was a good deal for Atlanta but it’s not the steal that some seem to think.

  39. A deal for Upton will take quite a bit because he is signed long-term at a reasonable rate. I would actually be surprised if Arizona is seriously considering trading him.

  40. DMAR…Taylor had a horrible year for the A’s. That team had approximately 143 OF’s play for them last year at the ML level (that may be a bit high but not much), and Taylor wasn’t one of them.

  41. Ah too bad for him. There was a time I thought he might actually help us in the last year of Rauls contract as a possible platoon option.

  42. I would still take a chance on MT if he came cheap. I would try to repair what ever damage the A’s did if that is the case.(they were looking for power instead of giving it time)

    If the fish COULD land Betre they would have a hell of a offense but who know what THAT management is thinking.

  43. Beltre would scare the Be-Jesus out of me if I were a GM. He was a real dog for the Mariners after they gave him his first long term deal. No doubt the guy can play when he wants to. Hard not to be attracted the type of production he put up last season.

  44. 3up, I agree with your assesment of the Uggla trade in that it was not a steal for the Braves. I am probably in the minority but most people have no idea how often Omar Infante saved the Braves last year with his versatility and Dunn looks like he could be a good reliever if not overworked. The Braves lost alot of flexibility and defense for a contact pitcher group but did gain power in the lineup. I doubt if Uggla hits .287 again as he normally hits around .260 so this trade could end up being on the Marlins side.

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