Monday Musings

–After a rainout yesterday, Lehigh Valley plays a doubleheader today in Louisville that starts at 5:05. This is followed by a 11 hour bus ride back to Allentown and a 7:05 game on Tuesday at Coca Cola Park.  Domonic Brown has had one AB since May 2nd as he continues to battle his sore hamstring.

Kelly Dugan was activated by Lakewood after spending time on the DL with a nasty sprained ankle.

Julio Rodriguez has now thrown 17 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run after 6 more yesterday in the Reading victory. JC Ramirez earned his 2nd save as he continues to see time in critical spots out of the Reading bullpen.  He has pitched well other than a bumpy outing last Tuesday.

–Since Jiwan James pronounced on Twitter Friday evening that he found the problem in his swing, he has had two multi hit games.

Maikel Franco went 2-4 with a homer and 3 RBI’s in the Lakewood victory Sunday.

–Our old friend Jason Donald was optioned to Columbus by the Indians yesterday.

62 thoughts on “Monday Musings

  1. Julio’s scoreless streak is nice but the SO/BB rate has not been good. I think that will catch up with him very soon.

    Asche needs to move up. I think the Phils philosophy of being patient with their promotions is not working. Challenge these guys. Tired of seeing guys like Orr and Luna get the call-up.

    Same thing with JC Ramirez. Bump him to LHV. Allow him to set-up and get some spot closing appearances. He’s been on the 40 how many years now? The BP problem with the big league club will be there all year long. Maybe he can be a contributor at some point?

    We have two pieces from the Lee trade that could help us at some point this year. Get these guys some AAA experience against some crafty veterans and allow them to be one step closer to the show. We’re falling far behind the rest of the division in the talent race.

    1. I’m guessing you’re talking about Gillies going to AAA (2 guys from Lee trade, etc). Here’s the thing on Gillies…he’s had maybe 300 ABs in 2+ years. Right now he just needs to focus on producing at AA until he can show he can stay healthy.

      Aumont is really struggling with his command at Lehigh and Ramirez will probably get the call up to AAA as a reliever at some point over the summer so no worries there.

      1. I agree. Gillies is holding his own but its not like he’s tearing it up in AA. I don’t see how he’d help the Phils except as a pinch runner/defensive replacement this year anyway. Ramirez will probably get moved to AAA at least, and I guess I could see a scenario where he pitches in Philly this year.

        1. Agreed.

          I could see Gillies as a Sept Callup after the Milb season is done.
          He could be Def Replacement, Pinch Runner, and occassional bat off the bench.

          But even seeing significant AAA time would be considered great strides.
          I think Mid-2013 is really the soonest he could see any regular time in Philly.
          They will not bring him up to sit except when the minor league seasons are done.

          1. The problem is it seems he was traded for with Vitorino in mind – if management doesn’t know for sure that Gillies would be at least OK in the majors they almost have to resign Vic. Gillies’ weird career path so far has prevented the FO from making that decision.

            Maybe a half season in AAA would give a clearer picture for Tyson, but I doubt it. It would kind of be a shame to resign Vic for the kind of $$$ he’ll command only to have a much cheaper version of him be ready to go by mid-2013.

            1. Logically, it would only be a big problem if he is signed for a contract that is above market value or if he has a no-trade clause. If he is signed for market value, then it should be possible to trade him if they have a younger, cheaper option waiting in the wings. Victorino is a good player, but not a great player and the Phillies should not overpay for his services, whether or not Gillies is likely to be ready to take over during his nest contract or not.

            2. Mayberry can be an adequate stopgap between Victorino and whichever young CF develops (Gillies, Eldemire, James … Quinn?). His defensive play in Victorino’s absence last year was pretty impressive.

            3. nepp93 – what would you consider a consistent enough slash line to put him into consideration? Would .270/.350/.450 with quality defense in center be enough?

      2. Gillies has been getting a pass on this website for the last couple of years. The guy’s back on the field finally with an OBP of .323 and an OPS of under .700, and he’s going to replace the Phils’ all-star CF. Talk about jumping the gun …

  2. This sounds conspiratorial (is that a word?) but I’m wondering if they’re handling Brown like a “wag the dog” situation? If he’s not playing because of a “hamstring” injury then thay don’t have to answer questions about why he wasn’t recalled in the big club shake-up. Diverting the questions by saying he’s injured or he started a war in Albania, Transylvania or somewhere. Some people are asking why Brown hasn’t been brought up when the Phils are clearly in need of a hitter. Brown’s not thumping it in AAA although the argument can be made that he can’t be worse than some OF’ers in Philly.

    1. Brown’s days may be numbered in the Philadelphia org…IMO he will be included in a trade package at some point this year. Joe Jordan has been talking up OFs like Gillies, James and even Hewitt, nay a word on Dom Brown.

      1. An alternate view might be that the front office has finally decided to do the right thing by giving the guy a full season at AAA. He was rushed up to the majors last year, when most people felt he needed another year. (Charlie felt he could manage his development.) Likewise, he was pushed into LF based on organizational need. It might be an excellent long-term investment to give him a full year being coached by Sandberg.

      2. Maybe he hasn’t gotten talked up because he simply hasn’t done anything worth talking up about…

    2. Can’t see bringing up Brown when:

      A. By all accounts he is still not fielding well at all.
      B. He is not hitting expecially well in AAA (.247).
      C. He has not demonstrated much power (Slugging percentage .355 at AAA). Juan Pierre, whom many attack as a singles hitter (and he is!) is slugging .383 in the National League.

      Given the skills of Brown versus his performance this year, I would have to conclude either that, unless he has been injured all along, he has lost interest playing in the minors anymore. This would certainly be understandable, but it is not acceptable and cannot be a basis for promotion.

      1. Disagree with your last paragraph regarding attitude. Without being an apologist, it’s early in the year and 93AB is far too small a sample size to mean anything. Yes fielding is a challenge, and some injuries were due to awkward lunges at the ball, but let’s try to support his success rather than rip him apart for trying.

        1. I hear what you are saying. It is probably unfair to make assumptions about attitude based on performance. My problem is with those who want to bring Dom back up to the Phillies to play the outfield based on the assumption that he would be a better player than the players the Phillies have out there now. I will admit that it is possible that a promotion could conceivably result in him suddenly playing much better, but it is unlikely and would go against the idea that you earn a promotion based upon your play.

            1. I really agree with the post about him spending the year in AAA for his development. I believe the Phils FO mentality at this point is (don’t know what it was in the past on Dom, ugh) let him spend the year at AAA and work on his defense and his offense and if at some point he is playing well enough that he enters into their thoughts about playing time in Philly in 2012, that would be a nice surprise.

              Then, in 2013, it’s big league time for Dom, which could be anywhere from a 5th OF to an everyday player batting in a key spot in the lineup, just depends on how his 2012 goes and how his offseason / spring training 2013 go. By next year, he needs to be in the big leagues and earn his playing time like a Francisco or Mayberry or Werth had to, and let’s hope he flourishes and thrives when given the opportunity, but I don’t think the Phils at this point can assume he is an everyday player in their future until he proves it with his play on the field.

  3. Aumont is raw. I think he’d be a train wreck in the majors right so I’m not counting on him.

    My point is really out of frustration. One of the reasons why we have to sit through seasons with guys like Mini-mart and Orr are because this organization has done a very poor job of developing and promoting. It’s amazing what just one young player (i.e. Middlebrooks) can do for a veteran lineup. And Middlebrooks wasn’t even on the radar until last year.

    1. The Phils have had prospects in the system. They could have decided not making deals for Lee, Halladay, Pence, Oswalt, Blanton, etc. So you would have D’Arnaud, Gose, Singleton, Cosart, Santana, Happ, Villar, Cardenas, Taylor, etc. Some times you have to sacrifice the minors for the big league team. That is what is more important.

      1. I was all for these sacrifices and thought they did pretty well (for the most part) in those trades. But we still haven’t had a meaningful positional prospect on the big league team since 2006. That’s 5 years of drafting and developing.

        I’d like to see this organization get a little more aggressive with their promotions. Maybe if Singleton was promoted a little more aggressive he’d be a AA chip rather than an A+ chip last year . An AA chip may have been enough to get Pence alone but instead we had to give up two single A chips. Two organizations took our prospects and immediately promoted. They all responded pretty well.

        1. The only ‘more aggressive with their promotions’ philosophy I would prefer are the positional college guys they sign and draft. For the most part they are 21 and older, so push them up in half-year increments through A and AA. They did it with Ache, and he has been successful so far in Clearwater, but then I see others lag.

    2. Middlebrooks was the guy who looked a little better but was going to cost more than Mattair so the Phils went that route instead.

      1. Did not know we passed on Middlebrooks for Mattair. If so, how much later was Middlebrooks taken and was it a pure signing bonus issue?

        1. We also drafted Michael Taylor, Tyler Mach, Matthew Spencer, Brandon Workman, Travis d’Arnaud and Joe Savery ahead of Middlebrooks.

          Hard to predict the future sometimes.

          For the record though, the BoSox gave Middlebrooks $925K that year. Our draft bonuses were as follows:

          Savery: $1.4 M
          d’Arnaud: $832K
          Mattair: $395K
          Spencer: $261K
          Taylor: $131K

        2. Would appear that 30 teams took 173 players ahead of him so other than picking out a guy that the Phillies didn’t draft who’s made it to the big leagues, not sure there’s any point to the statement.

  4. A nice shout out to Troy Hanzawa. He continues to hit. He’s at .324 in 102 ABs. He’s hit in his last 13 games at a .377 clip. He doesn’t K much and his BBs are up in the last 10 games. His 17 RBIs are tied for 2nd on the team and he’s hitting in the 9 hole most of the time. We know the guy can field SS but we’ll see if pitchers adjust to him. They might see the 5’9″” 155 lbs guy in the 9 hole and think they can throw any half hearted fastball they want. It looks like he can handle the bat so they better think of him as a hitter. After that, we’ll know if Troy can move forward.

  5. I wonder who is the better shortstop Troy or Freddie. I also wonder what Freddie could do in the bigs since he is probably the premier fielder at 2nd a position he didn’t play in the minors.

  6. Mike Costanzo (yes, THAT Mike Costanzo) was just called up by the Reds to replace Scott Rolen.

    That roster move is just dripping with irony.

    1. And that Mike hit

      .167 in AAA in 2010
      .216 in AAA in 2011
      and .291 in 79 AAA ABs in 2012…

      I’m not really worried that this 28yr old is gonna be anything more than a sad statement about the Reds System.

      1. Noticed that also which is why I couldn’t understand the trade they made with Atlanta dealing Francisco. Not that he is anything special but he would seem to have more upside than Mike.

  7. I was at the Lakewood game yesterday. Brian Pointer looked lost. He whiffed in three of four plate appearances and also had a clumsy play in left on a fly ball over his head. I’m still a believer, but he seems to be in a serious funk right now. There were some miserable relief appearnaces, too. James Birmingham faced five batters and hit three of them. Mike Nesseth’s line looked better than Birmingham’s, but the Greensboro batters looked pretty comfortable against him. He gave up a loud, bases-clearing double to the first batter he faced. On the other hand, Mario Hollands was dominant. He came in in a tough spot with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches. He came back out for the 9th and struck out two more . Aaron Altherr was on base all day because of three walks. He was called out at second on a steal attempt but was clearly safe. Gauntlett Eldemire had a 395-foot double to straight-away center field. And Maikel Franco looked terrific. He had a homer and single, plus he had a very nice catch and tag to nail a runner at third.

  8. What seems funny to me is how we all talk about how bad browns defense is,and yet we might have the worst fielding right fielder in baseball. I know he can throw,but if I am not mistaken, he has at least 5 dropped flyballs since we aguire him from houston.

    1. For many years, Pence had the benefit of being the best player on a bad team who tended to look good at a distance. He’s miscast as a cleanup hitter and we’re also seeing his flaws far more clearly now that we have to watch him every night.

      1. I think we pretty much knew his flaws before hand. There was much consternation about what we gave up for him iirc. They paid for a star and got an above average player, but thats the chance they took to make a WS run last year.

    2. As I have said for a long lime I voiced my opinion that Pence should of been moved to left after the trade. Brown hit nearly .300 his last month here. I also said they should of sold the farm and got Bourne and moved Vic to right.Either way had to be better than watching Raul flail away. Now it is clear that the situation is a mess and almost unfixable.
      Maybe at some point Brown confidence would have failed him but sending him back at the point of his first success was not the way to go.

    3. What do you consider a ‘drop’? Wall-jarring crashs are drops that are hard to guage for a accurate defensive reading. The one the other night..popping out of the mitt…well that is an unexcusable blunder.

    4. Pence drives me insane, almost as insane as Charlie’s comments about not tinkering with his approach. He seems to swing at the first pitch most of the time regardless of location or pitch type. He is the master of pounding bad pitchers’ bad pitches enough to compile fairly impressive stats, but when a pitcher who has a clue faces him, he is horrible.

  9. If you can mash you’ll find your name in a line-up whats not funny is Browns offensive performance to start the season. I really liked how he looked at the plate in the Spring. I haven’t seen him play since so all I can see are his stats on paper and they suggest he is either hurt or he is sulking.

    Did anyone catch Scotty Pods was traded to the Sox for cash considerations? Not that he was getting much playing time in LHV but a roster move should have followed that and I didn’t see what it was.

    1. Yea, saw that a day or 2 ago. I believe that Pods had an out clause if he wasn’t on the ML roster by June 1st so it would appear the that Phillies decided to get a few $$$ for him now rather than waiting a couple of weeks for him to walk.

      1. I think that’s fine. Early in the year, nobody was getting enough AB’s to establish a rhythm. With Pods and Montanez both gone, perhaps the others can find their groove.

  10. Anyway the box scores can be posted each day? That was such a great asset to have. Any volunteers?

    1. One option might just be to post a link to this site, which does the work of aggregating the scores every morning itself:

      http://firstinning.com/daily/phi

      Especially if Gregg is going to be in the habit of posting these kind of summary posts (which I love, by the way) on a daily basis.

    1. He keeps this up, and he’ll likely see Reading by/before August. They’ve started him at Clwtr in ’12 despite his lousy offensive results in part of last season after he was drafted. He is the position player I’m most excited about — doubly so because of the crying need to fill that 3b position ASAP on the big club.

  11. Colebert wants 7 years length on his new contract. CC Sab is 7 @ $161M, so Colebert will be close or right on. Hmmm. Do you think the Mariners would be interested in Cliff Lee?

    1. It’s “Colbert.”

      Not a chance he gets 7 years on the free agent market unless the Dodgers go crazy… which I think is being overblown. The Yankees and Red Sox want to get under the luxury tax.

      I still see the Phillies and Cole getting an agreement on a 5 year or 6 year deal with some sort of easy vesting option.

      I think part of me’s hoping he stays just so that at some point in 2013 we could have a rotation of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley, and Trevor May.

      1. thanks for the correct spelling…I will only refer him to as Bert Hamels from here on out!

  12. Cloyd has shown better than Hyatt so far in ’12. So he could be the likeliest fill-in for a pitcher that hits the DL. Even out of the pen…??…because of the loss of DeFratus.

  13. Freddy Galvis…..in his last nine games, he is hitting .370 (10 for 27) with four doubles and a triple.

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