Arizona Fall League Kicks Off Today

As most of you know, seven Phillies minor leaguers will participate in the Arizona Fall League this year as members of the Peoria Javelinas.  The list includes four Reading relievers, and three interesting position players: C Tommy Joseph, 3B Cody Asche, OF Zach Collier, LHP Jay Johnson and RHPs Colby Shreve, Tyler Knigge and Kyle Simon.

I will plan to update you all with some stats a couple times a week, likely once on the weekend and once mid-week.  I don’t plan to create box score recaps, but rather give you a “last 10 games” for each guy and we can all discuss from there.  I may hit Twitter with a couple notes other days of the week, like if someone hits a HR or has a multi-hit day at the plate or a great pitching performance, so give me a follow @bxe1234

Here’s a link to a nice primer from Matt Gelb at Philly.com on the seven guys invited this year. I read the story he linked to on Jay Johnson. It’s kind of a long read, and focuses a lot on the coach who helped get him into a Phils’ tryout a couple years back, but it’s an interesting, (if not expertly edited), piece on the way relationships in the game can move a career from the edge of the cliff to ink on paper within days.  We know this kind of thing happens, but it’s nice to read about it in detail.

Often these AFL guys turn out to be interesting names come Rule 5 time – Shreve and Collier would need to be protected or exposed this year.  Just last year, Jake Diekman pitched very well in the AFL and cemented himself a 40-man spot.  I’m sure Zach Collier is hoping to turn in the same kind of performance this year to push his position ahead of guys like Leandro Castro and Jiwan James, who are also in line to be exposed to the Rule 5 draft this year without a 40-man spot.

Colby Shreve is a long-shot for the 40-man roster, with his position in the organization lagging behind many other AA and AAA relievers.  His hope for AFL might be to prove he belongs at the upper levels of the organization, instead of fighting the numbers game this coming spring like he was forced to in 2012, when he ended up starting the year back in Lakewood before earning bumps all the way to AA by year’s end.

Tommy Joseph and Kyle Simon were new additions to the org this year.  A 2011 U of Arizona draftee, Simon came over as part of the Jim Thome trade with Baltimore.  His reportedly “funky” delivery, (and equally funky stache), served him well out of the bullpen after his arrival.  Joseph was the main prospect piece in the Hunter Pence deal.  Just today, he was named BA’s #10 prospect in the Eastern League for 2012, (where Cody Asche and RHP Jon Pettibone were also named). I’m sure the Phils are wanting to see as much of him as possible to help determine not only his fate, but that of Sebastian Valle, and to a lesser extent, Cameron Rupp.  Ideally, those three catchers all should see significant time in AA or higher in 2012.

The rest of the crop will be showcasing their talents in front of numerous scouts, and under the watchful eye (did I just write that?) of 2012 R-Phils manager Dusty Wathan, who himself is in line for a possible promotion after AAA manager Ryne Sandberg was added to the Philadelphia staff for 2013.

83 thoughts on “Arizona Fall League Kicks Off Today

    1. The following are Phillie System Rule 5 eligible players.

      Name Pos B/T AGE

      Trevor May RHP R/R 23.1
      Ethan Martin RHP R/R 23.2
      Jonathan Pettibone RHP L/R 22.2
      Nathaniel James OF S/R 23.5
      Julio Rodriguez RHP R/R 22.1
      Zachary Collier OF L/L 22.1
      Michael Cisco RHP R/R 25.4
      Leandro Castro OF R/R 23.3
      Austin Hyatt RHP R/R 26.4
      Harold Garcia 2B S/R 26.0
      Derrick Mitchell * OF R/R 25.8
      Justin Friend RHP R/R 26.3
      Tim Kennelly * RHP R/R 25.9
      Stephen Susdorf OF L/L 26.6
      Drew Naylor * P R/R 26.4
      Anthony Hewitt OF R/R 23.5
      Juan Sosa P R/R 23.0
      Colby Shreve RHP R/R 24.8
      Cody Overbeck 1B R/R 26.4
      Troy Hanzawa SS R/R 27.1
      James Murphy 1B R/R 27.1
      Chance Chapman RHP S/R 28.6
      Christopher Kissock RHP R/R 27.5
      Kyle Lafrenz C R/R 25.7
      Nicholas Hernandez LHP L/L 24.2
      Miguel Alvarez OF R/R 23.1
      Gabriel Arias P R/R 22.9
      Albert Cartwright 2B R/R 25.0
      Edgar Duran SS S/R 21.7
      Jordan Ellis P R/R 27.1
      Carlos Perdomo 2B R/R 22.5

      * Also Minor League FA

      1. May, Martin, Pettibone….maybe Castro. That’s it. No one else will be ready to help a MLB club next year

        1. But the standard isn’t “Can he help us this year”. It’s “Can we afford to park him on our bench or hide him in our bullpen all year, and will he progress in the minors thereafter”. It’s a long way to go, but it happens. Collier and James are in the mix, IMO, and depending if the Phils think he’s worth holding, JRod might be as well. I could see someone taking JRod and hoping they can develop some control or really figure out an out pitch to use him in the bullpen. Probably not. But possible. Jiwan James can probably be a fifth OF for a year. His defense would not be a liability. But to take him, some team has to think he’s going to be more than that in the future. Otherwise, he’s not really inspiring the pick. A non-hitting defensive outfielder isn’t hard to find. But he profiles to have some power, so there’s a chance someone snaps him up and takes a long look at him in the spring.

        2. Those guys may be the only players that would hurt to lose, but they won’t be the only ones protected. If Rodriguez and Hyatt are not protected they will be selected by someone. Collier being sent to the AFL as a High A player, indicates to me that he may be protected.

          1. No way that Hyatt or JRod will be protected. Collier will be protected in addition to Castro and the three pitchers but James will not.

            1. JRod was leading the EL in strikeouts as a 21 year old prior to being pulled from the rotation. He dominated at every level prior to this season despite younger than most of his competition. His control unraveled towards the end of the season, but I still think he’s worth protecting. I’d protect him over James and Castro.

            2. Respectfully disagree, Catch…JRod was leading the EL in strikeouts as a 21 year old prior to being pulled from the rotation. He dominated at every level prior to this season despite younger than most of his competition. His control unraveled towards the end of the season, but I still think he’s worth protecting. I’d protect him over James and Castro.

            3. I guess it’s always possible but, having seen him pitch, it just appears to me that he simply does not have the raw “stuff” to succeed in the majors and it doesn’t even look like he has enough stuff to succeed out of the bullpen. He’s a minor league wonder but I don’t see it translating to success at the big league level. I sometimes second guess the scouts, but this time, i think the scouts are right I regret to say.

  1. Looks like Zach Coller with a 2-out RBI simgle then gets thrown at a 2nd to end the inning…The living conundrum continues. Looks like Cody is 0-3 (1K). ToJO is 0-1 with a walk. Looking at MLB boxscore….

    1. Living conundrum after 1 CS? Collier has close to a 75% career rate. Not a problem IMO. While he has had 5 years in the system he still has only 1,417 plate appearances – not enough to make a judgement about a toolsy HS player. He is a good prospect and probably will be protected in the upcoming rule 5 draft.

      1. Nah- that exactly what i mean. We dont know what he is yet. He has great plusses and then minuses. He hits .250 but has a .320-300 OBP and steals 30bases. I cant figure out what he is – its been much longer than this game. Also, its not just % but WHEN he gets thrown out.

        I didnt say he was a bust. But its also not clear what we Do have. Is he looking like a star worthy of his draft position? Or just a fifth outfielder? Or someone who will never reach his potential or the MLB. We dont have many clear signals yet. Also for the record, Im not a complete fan of our toolsy OFer obsession so I dont see that as an excuse for not progressing above A+ ball by the time the Rule V draft rolls around.

        And other HS players in that draft (after Collier) that have made it above A+ (Anthony Gose, Jordan Lyles, Xavier Avery, Tyler Chatwood, Tyler Pastornicky, Robbie Grossman)

        Some guys before Collier….(Eric Hosmer, Brett Lawrie, Aaron Hicks, Jake Odorizzi, Cole)

        Obvy I’m cherry picking but my point is its not unrealistic sto expet for clearer progress than Collier has made form a 1st round pick. He only missed 1/3 of a season (even that indicates some potential questions) last year.

        Dont get me wrong – I am cheering for this guy to rock the AFL and end up in our CF in 2014 and hit 20HRS, steal 40 bases and OBP .350 and display that range and arm.

        1. Picking on a guy for 1 CS is a little petty though. He just had a good game. Let’s be happy about that. As for Collier, if he did not lose more than a year to injury he would be coming off a AA or AAA year now. The power is coming. I would not be shocked to see him hit 15-20 HR in Reading next year. It takes toolsy HS players some time. And then he loses valuable at bats to injury and a suspension that was overly harsh for the particular offense.

          We all want prospects to develop overnight. There is a reason most scouts say that HS prospects need 1500-2000 at bats before they are ready. Cody Asche is 3 months older than Collier and has 600 fewer pro plate appearances. But add 3 years in college and summer leagues and he has had many more high level ABs. It just takes time with some prospects. A 733 OPS as a CF at age 21 in High A in a league that saps power is not that bad. It really should have been his age 20 year if he did not lose the year to injury (an injury that also hurts power for a year or two).

          I know we want that 20-40 monster to show up. I think there is a fair chance that he is a 22-year-old 750-800 OPS CF with 15-20 HR and maybe 25 SB next year in Reading. That year plus continued improvement from Tyson Gillies would make me feel much better about our OF situation.

          1. Again I didnt intend to pick on him for just that 1 CS – I just felt that moment was kinda symbolic of my long up and down journey of hoping on him and getting mixed results. Not ready to give up on him and glad he made a nbreakthrough. In the same way, I kinda hope D’arby Myers found something I had long hoped he had in him. I totally long for that prototype CF/leadoff hitter.. man that would be great.

          2. But, of course, that’s 1500-2000 AB to be ready to play in the major leagues, not for a prospect to excel in an A-ball league. Collier has moved one level per season, but with a yearl lost to injury, so he has about 1300 AB. The plus is that his OPS has increased just about every year. The SLG, in particular, has been on a steady up-trend. The downside is that a .730 OPS for a 21-year old OF in A+ doesn’t flash out at you. As you say, it’s not bad, it just isn’t something which screams strong prospect. He remains a mid-level prospect and next season at Reading should tell the tale. I think he is a strong enough prospect to protect on the 40-man. I think another OF will be protected this off-season and Collier wins the spot over James, who disappointed in 2012.
            James also remains a mid-level prospect, but half a notch below Collier. He played just about all of this past season at 23. Allowance for time lost to injury and pitching, but although he has progressed a level each season since becoming an OF, his OPS has gone down, rather than up, and he has yet to put up an OPS over .700. An OPS of .651 at Reading, for an OF, is bad. He doesn’t walk enough and still strikes out almost once every three AB. That’s a lot of Ks for a guy who isn’t walking and also isn’t hitting for much power.

  2. Ryan Howard was last Phillies impact player in AFL in 2004. I don’t see much pop from current group but next year maybe a Franco in AFL?

  3. Aren’t there 2 Rule 5 Drafts? A minor league portion & a major league portion? Do some guys on that list qualify for the major league Rule 5 or are they all the minor league portion? What are the rules for the minor league portion. I know the major league one is they must stay on the 25 man all year

    1. The minor league portion they are your property (it is like 25k to select a player) this is how the Phillies got Friend. To be eligible for the minor league phase you have to have a certain number of years accrued (I don’t remember the number and it is different for the AA and AAA phases) and you must not be on the AA or AAA roster. Both of these rosters are 40 deep like the major league 40 man, this means that the only players available tend to be org guys and teams use it to fill a need here and there.

  4. I attended opening day of the AFL, and will be at the games over the next 2 days Game 1 was held @ the Peoria Sports Complex.  Three Phillies players saw action on opening day:Cody Asche, Zach Collier and Tommy Joseph. In short, Collier was very impressive. Neither Asche nor Joseph had a great game today. Sorry my observations aren’t overly professional…I’m just a casual fan.

    Tomorrow the game will apparently feature several of the Phillies’ pitchers…I will try to post some video. I sat in the middle of a bunch of scouts. Joseph’s name was mentioned several times.

    Game 1 Opening Day
    ———————-
    ASCHE: 0 for 4, overall impression: great swing, but no hits today. Worked the count, but K’d swinging x 2, alot bigger than he looks in pictures
    Bot 1: swings @ first pitch and hit a high fo to CF
    Top 3: nice dbl play on hard hit ground ball to 3rd base
    Bot 3: K swinging
    Bot 5: weak ground out to 2nd baseman
    Bot 7th: K swinging, but reaches 1st on a wild pitch
    —————
    JOSEPH : 1 for 3 with 1 walk, 1 RBI, overall impression: looks like a little boxcar, solid muscle, hustles, really good arm, a very impressive catcher
    Bot 2: draws 4 pitch walk
    Bot 4: go dribbler to 2nd baseman
    Top5: guns down runner trying to steal 2nd with a pinpoint throw; 2 or 3 other attempts during the game were not successful
    Bot 6: single to RF
    Top 8: dribbler in front of home plate, Joseph with very bad throw to 1st…runner advances to 2nd
    Bot 8: popped out to 2nd
    —————–
    COLLIER: 2 for 4; lanky, lean and mean; appeared very confident and patient at the plate. Hits the ball hard. Very fun to watch today.
    top 2: made a great running catch on a tricky fly ball to CF…tracked the ball very well off the bat
    Bot 2: K swinging
    Bot 4: hard line drive single to RF but then caught stealing 2nd after reaching base
    Bot 6: pop out to third baseman
    Bot 8: single on hard line drive to RF

    More tomorrow!!

    1. Thanks a bunch. It’s great to get direct observations from other fans. It helps stoke the stove a little for the winter. I’ll be looking for the videos. Awesome.

    1. Unless they trade to acquire yet another catcher, I would be positively shocked if they traded Joseph and kept Valle. As far as I can tell, Valle is as good as gone if they get a good offer for him.

    2. If you are on the other side of that trade who do you want?

      If it’s a trade for Headley or Wright then Joseph is going along with Biddle, Martin and Morgan, and maybe Domonic Brown as well.

      1. These crazy “empty the farm system” trades for veteran players have to stop. The team is already too old, too overpaid, and too “young player depleted” to sustain this model any longer. Many of us here acknowledged that you can do a couple of these trades, but if you do one every summer and every winter, you will look up and, one day, the team will be too expensive and too old and, guess what? Ruben kept doing these trades and, low and behold, here we are with an old and expensive team. It’s not rocket science – the result was almost pre-ordained.

        If we are looking to trade for young players (and I’m not particularly saying we should), we need to trade for players who haven’t hit the big time yet or who are young and coming off a relatively bad year. One player who fits the bill on both accounts is Dustin Ackley. He had a relatively bad year in Seattle, but he’s great in the field at a key defensive position and could develop into a tremendous hitter. It would cost a lot in prospects (Valle, May, Morgan, Tocci?), but you’d have him for 5 years before he even hit free agency. That’s the type of trade that might interest me. Justin Upton might also interest me at the right price.

        But Ruben likes shopping at the retail stores, so I’m not sure we’ll see him pick up any bargains.

        1. I think an Ackley trade would almost certainly cost the team either Asche or Franco. The package I identified above would probably not be enough.

          1. That package is somewhat similar to the trade with the Indians (Valle is Marson, May is Carassco, Morgan is Knapp and Tocci is better than Donald.) Now..that package with the Indians got us Cliff Lee…Cy Young winner Cliff Lee. What makes you think the package above wouldn’t be enough for Dustin Ackley?

            If the Phillies trade young guys I bet you’ll see some of the bullpen pieces go in trades. I know they don’t hold the same value as starters but the are major league ready and we are pretty deep with young relievers.

            Back to your package above, Tocci is so far away, I wouldn’t be against dealing him, May’s value is at its lowest so I think it is better to hold onto him and see if he can improve but I would include him in a deal, Valle I would trade, but Morgan I would not. Valle, May, and a young reliever (Diekman) should get it done.

            1. Good points and analysis.

              As to the following point “What makes you think the package above wouldn’t be enough for Dustin Ackley?” The answer is (or may be) offensive and defensive upside at a key defensive position, years away from free agency and cost containment. The Indians traded Lee because he was coming up on free agency and they needed to get value for him while they could. Ackley could provide years of cost-effective performance, thus enabling the team to use their valuable dollars in other ways. It’s why guys like Latos and Gonzalez commanded such a large return.

            2. Good points but I still think it is a lot to give up. They guy hit .226 last year. Awful. Ackley is no Latos or Gonzalez. Now, if you can get him on the cheap…maybe Valle, Tocci, Hyatt and Diekman, then I am all for it (although I don’t think Seattle would have a reason to trade him for a bad package like that)

        2. How about Giancarlo Stanton?

          Mike Trout?

          Bryce Harper?

          Headley and Wright are reality, as well as signing Josh Hamilton.

  5. If they can deal for headly.then joseph and valle can both go,imo. chooch will be here three more years, and we need a
    third basemen,

      1. Headley and Pence are different players. I don’t want to overpay for Headley, but he’s a premium position who has more of a professional approach at the plate (but compared to Pence, who doesn’t?)

        1. Absolute worst time to trade for him though. I get that he’s been playing in a tough park and his road numbers are better than they are at home over his career. But he had a huge surge in power that came from a 21.4% HR/FB ratio. There is no way he sustains that so already you’re going to see his power numbers dip. They might not be Petco bad but they’re not going to stay that high. 10-12% is much more plausible for him.

          Pence has had higher wOBA’s than Headley almost every year they’ve both been in the league except this one and career wise is 10 points higher. Now yes Headley plays 3rd base and yes he’s got some better walk rates and some better defense (although it’s not like Headley is a stud defensively over his career either); but Headley’s market value is at an all time and his performance is almost certain to decline. Doesn’t this sound a bit like when we traded for Hunter Pence and traded away very valuable pieces to get it done?

          What would it take this time? Joseph/Valle, Morgan/Martin/Biddle, Quinn, and another piece?

          1. I couldn’t agree more. We can’t trade guys at their bottom for guys at their top. We need to turn that around. We need to trade for an undervalued player who has a chance to be much better than he’s shown. Chris Young in Arizona is such a guy, with one year remaining on his deal. It won’t cost much because he makes too much money @ $8.5M. I’m thinking Bastardo. Valle certainly looks like a guy that could be traded but if teams don’t value him much, he might be back next year which will cause quite a log jam because Rupp needs to go to AA.

            1. I like this idea, both the idea of turning around the buy low sell high equation in our favor as well as Chris Young (instead of BJ Upton). Hes RH with pop and can field. Yes, he bats 230….he may even be cheaper than Bastardo if AZ cant find anyone and can’t/won’t pay that $8mil. (or maybe they pay some of teh $8mil).

              Then he’s in a contract year and you have some flexiility going into 2014 (He has an option at like $14mil, which is what I bet BJs AAV will be.)

            2. John Mayberry’s a better offensive player than Chris Young. Neither hits righties and almost all of Young’s good #’s are produced by playing in Chase Field.

            3. Come on, Mayberry can’t play CF and he can’t run like Young either. Are you really saying their ballpark is easier for home runs than CBP? Sorry, Young is far superior.

            4. I’m not saying that Young is a star, I’m saying he’s someone that will come cheaply who has the chance of doing much better than he’s done and will be highly motivated with his option year coming. Buy low!

            5. … yes it is. That place is an absolute launching pad all year round. CBP plays like a pitcher’s park in April and late September/October.

              Mayberry.245 /.301 /.395
              Young.231 /.311 /.434

              last year. … and that’s including Mayberry’s awful first half.

              I don’t think Chris Young’s a worthwhile investment even for marginal prospects. There’s nothing in his history that suggest he should become anything more than what he currently is.

            6. Buying low is looking at somebody like Peter Bourjos and saying “he had a down year coming off the bench… let’s see if we can’t get him for a fair price and hope he rebounds.”

              Really, if I’m Ruben, I’m calling Anaheim and try to make a deal for Mark Trumbo or Peter Bourjos. That outfield is overcrowded and they’re more than likely willing to make a deal

            7. Agree there Ace…’John Mayberry’s a better offensive player than Chris Young’. Mayberry gets a bad rap, like eggs. And also as a 4th OF he is superb, plus he plays a pretty effective 1st base as a back-up

            8. I didnt think they were mutually exclusive actually, unless Ruf really proves he can be the LF answer as a RHB. I was thinking JMJ/Nate in LF and Brown in RF, Young in CF. Or Ruf/Nate in LF, Young in CF and Brown/JMJ in RF if Dom turns out to be a platoon-only guy (which I dont think but…).

              Now I forgot about Bourjos thats an interesting buy low if it was for a Bastardo, Lindblom or Schwimmer. I would LOVE Trumbo but I dont see them moving him. If Torii Hunter could still play CF that could be really interesting too IMO (no prospects).

            9. Trumbo has a problem with what position he will end up at. Third base he is considered average to below. First base is his forte. LF he is adequate but not spectacular, but then again what LFer is spectacular anymore.

            10. The only guys that they would give him up for are Lee and Hamels and I wouldn’t trade either for an unproven guy in A ball especially one who is already 20 years old and has a large set of flaws.

            11. For a 20-year old guy with ‘a large set of flaws’ he is ranked pretty high by MLB.com when it comes to OF. ‘As top athletes go, there are few in baseball better than Starling. Kansas City signed him away from a scholarship to quarterback at the University of Nebraska and Starling has all five tools in his toolbox. He has plus speed that should allow him to both steal bases and play an outstanding center field. His strong throwing arm is a plus defensively as well. He has excellent raw power and has shown enough pure hitting skills where there’s confidence he’ll tap into that power consistently and hit for average as well. It might take him a little time to put it all together, but the payoff could be huge.’ …MLB.com.

            12. milb.com has not truly updated their rankings since the beginning of the year. He came into the year much rawer than expected, he is also a year older than the rest of his class. His hit tool is a definite issue and there are many reports that he couldn’t handle breaking pitches and he struck out 70 times in 228 PA’s a 31% strikeout rate. From BA’s scouting report in their recently release Appy League Top 20 (he was #3) “Pitchers had success retiring Starling with good fastballs and breaking pitches away because a hitch in his stroke didn’t allow him to consistently get to his plus power. His lower half gets out of sync when his foot doesn’t get down in time, and he struggles to stay inside the ball or hit outside pitches with authority with his long, loopy swing path.”
              Next year he will be turning 21 and just making his full season debut (he is only 8 months younger than Biddle and only a year younger than Joseph, and a year older than Roman Quinn). He is a top 100 prospect in baseball, but John Sickels had #48 on his HITTER rankings going into next year.

    1. He’s going to be 34 next season and he spends a large amount of time on the DL every season. There’s no way he can handle the workload of an everyday catcher through his age 36-37 season.

      An intelligently run organization isn’t going to trade a talent like Tommy Joseph in this situation… I hope.

  6. Three years sounds a little hopeful depending on the number of inning and you know how Cholly rolls.

  7. I think we tend to overvalue our prospects here (which is normal, we get excited about our guys), but I think we’re really overvaluing Valle here. I think he has an average MLB career at best, and will most likely be a below replacement player.

    1. If he can’t draw a walk, he’ll never be more than a good back-up catcher with power. I’ve seen no evidence that his plate discipline is improving so, you have to project him as no more than a back-up. It’s a shame too, because he otherwise has a lot of physical ability both as a defensive and offensive player. He is also built perfectly for a catcher (he has a Pudge Rodriguez type of look – powerful, compact, athletic).

  8. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=joshhamiltoneticket

    Lost in the talk of how good Hamilton could be is another question: Just how good is he now?

    Forget the obvious — the 128 RBIs, the four-homer night in Baltimore, the first 40-homer season of his career — and dive a little deeper, to the third inning of a game against the Indians on Aug.31. Hamilton drew a one-out walk from Ubaldo Jimenez on an eight-pitch at-bat. (Yes, it does happen.) On a 1-2 pitch, Beltre hit a line-drive, one-hop single three steps to the left of center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, who fielded the ball when Hamilton was a step and a half from second base. Hamilton turned second and accelerated toward third without hesitation, his 6-foot-4, 230-pound body — timed at 4.5 in the 40 in one offseason workout — eating up 90 feet faster than Carrera’s throw.

    1. The two doubles came against lefties. It’ll be interesting to hear Bill’s take on it. I think he said he was going to the game. Also Johnson gave up a 2 run HR. Shreve gave up a hit and stranded him and Knigge pitched a perfect inning with a K.

  9. I see Chris Carpenter today and I can envision that for Trevor May and Jon Pettibone a few year down the road.

    1. 42 career fWAR, post-season horse. If either guy does half of what Carpenter has accomplished, Phillies can thank their lucky stars.

    2. Pettibone is very interesting because he throws hard, has great composure on the mound and has plus command. If he develops an “out” pitch of any kind, he could become a really good starting pitcher, better than even we imagine. Even without that, he probably becomes a very solid #4 (3.8-4.20 ERA, lots of innings).

    1. Damn – you beat me to that. Just about to post it. Simon with 7 earned runs in one-third of an inning, which will probably get him a job with the Mets.

      On a lighter note, Asche already has his obligatory hit of the day and Tommy Joseph has drawn a walk. It seems like ages since we had a real hitting prospect in AAA not named Dom Brown, but I think it’s about to happen this coming year.

      1. Don’t have a ton of information on it but the first hit of the game was a bunt single to Asche at third, I wonder if it was a range thing or just a good bunt

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