Opening day is here

Hello everyone. After a long cold winter, and seeing brief glimpses in spring training, the minor league season kicks off Thursday, and we’re back to having lots of box scores to dissect and lots of players to analyze. With this in mind, I wanted to give a brief update, and then make two appeals to you, my loyal readers. First, Gregg, Dave and Chuck will again be helping me crank out reports for the full season affiliates. Dave will be following the 2010 Lakewood crop to Clearwater, Chuck will be covering Reading, and Gregg will continue his outstanding coverage of Lehigh Valley, which looks to have one of the best squads our AAA affiliate has had in a long time. I will also be coming out of retirement to write the weekly Lakewood report, as well as a weekly (or bi-weekly) notes column, if time permits. So look for those reports to start up in a couple of weeks once we have games to discuss. If you haven’t read my “how you can help phuturephillies.com in 2011” article, please do so. With so many games and so many interesting players to watch, input from you, the reader, who attends games sees our guys in action is vital to making this site even better. And my second appeal is this; lets try to strive for patience and rational analysis/discussion this season. As Brody Colvin taught us last year, making snap judgments after a few games is often foolish. Let’s wait until we have at least sort of meaningful samples, and let’s discuss things in a calm, reasonable manner. This site has grown leaps and bounds in 4+ years, and its something I’m incredibly proud of. For the most part, the people who read often and participate in the discussions do a great job of self-policing, ignoring the people just looking to get a rise out of others, and making this place great. I ask that everyone up their game even more this year, so I don’t have to be comments police. I want to spend more time writing articles for the site and looking for new features to add and less time playing blog sheriff.

With all of that said, here’s to a fantastic 2011 minor league season.

53 thoughts on “Opening day is here

  1. Good stuff PP…..I know I speak for 99% of the site members in saying we deeply appreciate what you give us with this site, along with the above mentioned contributors, and cannot wait for the MiLB season to get underway.

    1. Agreed. Just an awesome site. I certainly hope you can find time to write more often. I really appreciate your insight and opinions and hope you do not have to waste time and frustration being blog cop.

  2. Agreed, great job.

    Not to violate your request above in judging too quickly, but Bastardo sure looks great in his first two outings. Hopefully Charlie will gain confidence in him and use him regularly if his performance merits and maybe we’ll have a breakout lefty in the pen this year.

    1. I loved how Charlie threw him into the fire last night, looks like he already has some confidence in the kid.

    2. Good stuff is a wonderful thing. I agree that Bastardo needs to be thrown in more high leverage situations. I think he has as much closer potential as any of our young relievers (including DeFratus). He misses bats and throws hard from the left side. At the very least he could do what Matt Thornton has done for the White Sox the last few years once he better adapts to the bullpen routine.

    3. I was there last night. Bastardo and Madson had the best stuff of all the pitchers who threw last night. I don’t think you want Bastardo as a closer, but he’s a very nice guy to bring out of the bullpen. Bastardo’s ball/strike ratio was excellent.

  3. I think Ruben has done a great job in not re-signing Durbin and forcing Charlie’s hand to use Bastardo and Herndon in key roles this season. I know not everyone here is convinced Herndon is the guy rather than Stutes or Mathieson, but at least we are getting a look at a younger pitcher.

    Hopefully when we go into the offseason, we’ll have Contreras, Bastardo, and Herndon/Stutes as 3 solid reliable pieces in the bullpen, with a need to sign a closer as a FA and then mix in one or two more young pieces, ie Aumont, DeFratus, Schwimmer, Mathieson, Stutes, Zagurski, Worley.

  4. Two guys that’ aren’t in the future are Edgar Garcia & Julian Sampson. Both released yesterday.

  5. “I ask that everyone up their game even more this year”

    I’ve been working on my commenting all offseason. My fingers feel good. I think I’m set for a real breakthrough season here.

    1. I have you rated as a 50 typer/50 content user. Worked on your keyboard discipline in the offseason and hired a trainer. Came into camp in the best shape I’ve seen.

    2. Like the Rizz, I came in fat and out of shape. Like Mathieson and Barnes, I over inflate my own worth and think management is out to screw me.

  6. Being a Phillies fan is just awesome right now. We have the minor league system to thank for kick starting it (Rollins, Myers, Utley, Howard, Hamels, Madson, Ruiz), with the fans and management doing a great job expanding it.

    Like many others I presume, I did not start following the minor leagues until the big league team started improving. Then I wondered how the team was going to fill in the rest of the roster. Given the financial risk of free agency, having a great minor league system is important.

    Now I see myself wondering which reliever or utility infielder deserves the first call-up and hope that he can become the next Madson or Infante. Since, it is difficult to keep my perspective, as I root for every Phillies prospect to reach their ‘ceiling’, I rely on this site to obtain excellent information and insight.

    PLAY BALL!

    1. If it weren’t for those cheap bastards running the team, imagine what we could have here!!!!!

  7. So…the great Hispanic duo of Carrasco and Garcia–both are gone from the org.

    They were, as recently as three yrs ago, thought to be the pitchers likely to form a part of the rotation, shortly. At least they got something back with Carrasco. Carrasco seems to be getting it together, just not in Philly. It’ll be fun to follow his progress. Garcia never did much.

    Thus…one out of two to MLB ain’t bad.

    1. I see Carrasco settling in as something of a poor man’s Javier Vazquez (when Vazquez was at his peak). His upside is as a middle-of-the-rotation starter for an okay team. But, on the current Phillies team, he’d still be in AAA or battling Blanton and Worley for a spot as a number 5. I miss Gio Gonzalez more than I miss Carrasco but, frankly, I don’t miss Gonzalez much, either.

      1. I do miss Gio. He’d be nice piece to have. I don’t think I’d go back and not do the Blanton trade, but Gio as #5 would be nice.

            1. Dreadful deal for an injured pitcher. Also gave up Floyd. Spent $10 million on Garcia for a few starts and a losing record.

            2. Oh god, that was an awful deal.

              Phillies gave up: 10 million and two genuine pitching prospects who are now decent-to-good starters in the league

              Phillies got: 1 win.
              Seriously, someone get the White Sox on the phone. They owe us another second baseman.

          1. I never said he was traded for Blanton. I just noted he is one of the few good ones we let get away, but even he is not missed much given the composition of the current team.

  8. you got to think Brown is going to rehab in Clearwater. Thats going to be fun with him in that lineup.

  9. Jesse Biddle made some interesting comments to MLB.com today, regarding conditioning in the off-season. Basically he says the Phillies tell the Minor Leaguers ahead of time, to come to camp in shape or else you won’t get rewarded (promoted).
    I guess that may answer my question about Barnes being left back, in favor of Mattair. It obviously explains Rizzotti being sent back to AA.

    1. Has anybody, anywhere ever stated Rizzotti was starting at AA because he was fat? Maybe he just sucks. Maybe the Phillies view AAA as kind of a AAAA dumping ground and prefer their best prospects in AA. If the Phils hated fat guys, why is Joe Blanton currently pitching in the 5 spot? Kendrick is a lot skinnier.

      1. Rizzotti didn’t look any different to me between this spring and last spring. He’s a big guy and always will be. I think he’s in Reading because it doesn’t look like the Phillies feel he can help them this year. There doesn’t have to any special reasons why the Phillies do what they do. It’s just a baseball decision!

    2. Barnes was reported on this site to have come in in excellent shape, worked very hard in the off season. Didn’t PP say something about hasty assumptions?

    3. Also, Barnes was swinging a hot bat this spring, with multiple HRs, moving well, fielding well. I think someone in the org simply took a positive view of Mattair this year and wanted to test him.

      1. I think that maybe the phils still think Mattair has potential to be a starting third baseman in the majors and Barnes’ ceiling is a utility infielder.

  10. Gonna be a great season. Looking forward to all of the games. Want to thank the entire PP team for everything.

    Not every team has a site like this and we owe it to you guys.

  11. Rizz is already 0-1 in the Reading game. I don’t understand why they don’t just cut him. On the flip side Garcia is 1-1 – I really think he’s Hall of Fame material.

    What? No snap judgements? Oh, never mind this post then :-)

  12. Looking at how friggin cold it is in Portland, Maine for the Reading/Portland game I think maybe Savery should be happy he’s in Clearwater… lol Lower 80s down in Florida… Upper 30s now in Portland, Maine.

    1. Yep, and Frank Francisco (scored 2 runs in an inning of work, one of which came off a Ruf HR) who is also rehabbing like Morrow.

      I know they’re both rehabbing, but it must be a nice bolt of confidence for a minor leaguer to be getting hits off guys who are major leaguers.

  13. looks like minors may go 3-1…cut Blanton and bring up worley and his 9k’s…lol…go Phils!

  14. FYI..barnes came to camp in awesome shape, even stayed in Philly and trained all off season with some other players….don’t judge if you don’t know…
    By the way Lakewood 2-0 win..barnes three bullets one hit, one sb, run scored..one bad throw on a cold night…Murphy..long home run..

    1. Looks like Cosart had some control problems (4BB)

      Only gave up 2 hits in 6 innings though with an 11/1 GO/FO, wow

  15. Savery WOW 4 for 4 makes you wonder where he would be if they had started him as a hitter. Great start to the season.

  16. Sure, everybody is ready to bury Blanton in favor of Worley sometime soon.

    Yet, if you watched his pitching…in the first 3 innings he was almost unhittable. IMO what happened was that he did a lot of base running before that 5th inning. He is a pitcher but surely not an athlete.

    By the time of his collapse inning he was out of strength and consequently had lost the giddyup on his FB AND, like tired pitchers do, couldn’t get the ball down in the zone.

    Lesson: hope he doesn’t get on base.

    1. He looked lighter but Blanton takes half a season to get in shape. Too bad the game isn’t three innings or five. Damn those last four innings!

  17. Our friend Jordan Parraz (2003 Phils draftee who did not sign) is DHing for SWB against the Pigs tonight. He’s hit OK in minors, OPS ranging from .760 to 1.005 when he’s had a lot of ABs.

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