Some surprising news coming out of the Carpenter Complex tonight with Mike Stutes among the first group of cuts by the Phils, as he was optioned to minor league camp. Stutes, who has battled injuries over the past two seasons struggled mightily in his early Spring Training appearances, giving up 7 earned runs in 3IP. Also on the list of cuts are RP Luis Garcia, OF Kelly Dugan, OF Aaron Altherr, OF Leandro Castro and C Sebastian Valle. No major surprises except for how quickly Stutes was sent back to minor league camp.
In other news at the minor league facility today, OF Anthony Hewitt came up lame (hamstring) while running out a grounder and was in a considerable amount of pain leaving the field.
After seeing my shadow, I am crawling out from the winter malaise to get back into the baseball mix. Huge thank you’s to Matt and Brad who have held the site up over the last few months with hard work and well though out commentary. Continue reading
The Phillies announced that they signed 30 year old OF Clete Thomas to a minor league deal today with an invite to major league Spring Training. Thomas was originally a 6th round pick of the Tigers in the 2005 draft and has spent parts of four seasons in the majors, most recently in 2013 with the Twins where he hit .214 with 4HR and 13RBI in 290 AB’s. He spent part of last season with AAA Rochester where he hit .296 with 9HR and 25RBI in 125 AB’s.
It’s looking like a crowded Lehigh Valley outfield as is typical this time of year. Pitchers and catchers report February 12th (89 days…not like I am counting).
The Phillies are making their annual forray into the over 35 year old minor league pitcher market with todays signing of soon to be 38 year old Sean Camp. Camp began last year pitching for the Cubs after signing a one year/1.35M deal but was designated for assignment mid season after his ERA rose above 7 in 26 appearances. Camp finished the season in Reno, pitching well for the Diamondbacks AAA affiliate, going 0-0 with a 2.42 ERA in 17 games. If he sticks, I see this as simply minor league depth.
Two casualties today on the waiver wire for the Phils whose pitching “depth” takes a hit. Early today Pitcher Raul Valdes was claimed off of waivers by the Houston Astros. Valdes went 1-1 with a 7.46 ERA in several trips up to Philly during the year. Later in the afternoon, Tyler Cloyd, 26 was picked up by the Cleveland Indians after he was removed from the 40 man roster by the Phillies. CLoyd, who was the Phillies 18th round draft pick in 2008 struggled this year going 2-7 with a 6.56 ERA with the Phillies during 13 appearances (11 starts) with the big club.
I am not surprised that the Phillies removed either player from the 40 man roster as it was clear that neither was the answer to provide reliable depth for the club moving forward.
Geoff Broussard, 23; Phils 23rd round pick in 2013 draft; 35 games between CLearwater and Lakewood; 4-3 with a 3.59ERA; 1 SV; 72.2IP 84H 12BB 61K; 5 HR allowed; 0.81 GO/AO; .285 opp. avg; .304 vs. LH, .273 vs. RH, .244 with RISP; 1.32WHIP; 1.5BB/7.6K per nine; Broussard pitched in just three games for CLearwater before being sent to Lakewood where he had a fairly good season. Grade: B-; 2014: Clearwater
Chris Burgess, 23; Phils 26th round pick in 2013 draft; 24 games between Williamsport and Lakewood; 2-5 with a 3.75ERA; 5 saves; 36IP 36H 17BB 28K; 3.06GO/AO; .265 opp. avg; 1.47WHIP; 4.2BB/7.0K per nine; For Lakewood; 20 games, 2-4 with 5 saves, 3.19ERA; 1.48WHIP; .274 opp. avg; Burgess, out of Oklahoma Christian, did a decent job transitioning to professional baseball. Grade: C+; 2014: Start at Lakewood but a quick call up if successful Continue reading
Lehigh Valley–Note: There were so many call ups to Philadelphia in 2013, it was difficult to decide who should or should not be included on this list, so I included all relievers that either finished the year with Lehigh Valley or were called up to Philadelphia during the year except DeFratus, Diekman and Stutes. I consider the three of them (when healthy) to have solidified their status as major leaguers rather than members of Lehigh Valley at this stage. The final report, on lower level relievers will be out by the end of the week.
Phillippe Aumont, 24, Acquired from Seattle in 2010; 32 games for Lehigh Valley; 0-2 with a 4.04ERA; 2 saves; 35.2IP 29H 38BB 42K; 1.22 GO/AO; .230 opp avg; 1.88WHIP; 9.6BB/10.6K per nine; .231 vs. LH, .230 vs. RH, .190 with RISP; For Phillies: 19 games; 1-3 with a 4.19ERA, 1.91 WHIP, .308 opp. avg;. My expectation going into the season for Aumont is that he could be a critical part of the Phillies bullpen. That expectation ended fairly quickly as it became obvious, Aumont continues to have little idea where the ball is going to go when it leaves his hand. He was sent back to Lehigh Valley on multiple occasions, (with perceived attitude problems to boot)and pitched poorly for the ‘Pigs. Although the opposition has a very hard time hitting him, there is generally no need with a walk rate approaching 10 per 9 innings. Grade: F; 2014: If he is back, which I think is very questionable, next year is clearly make it or break it with the organization. Continue reading
The report card on Starting Pitchers in the lower half of the organization. Remember, grades are against each pitchers pre-season expectations I had for them, not against each other. Next up are Relief Pitchers (LV, Reading and Clearwater)…lots of names, so I am shooting for Tuesday.
Mark Leiter, 22, Phils 22nd round draft pick in 2013 draft; 16 games (4 starts) between GCL, Lakewood and Clearwater; 45IP 34H 13BB 50K; 0.71 GO/AO; .210 opp. avg; 1.04 WHIP; 2.6BB/10.0K per nine; Leiter pitched extremely well after being drafted this year, having success at each level he pitched at. Grade: A; 2014: He will be 23 by the time the 2014 season starts and has done nothing to suggest he shouldnt start the season in CLearwater.
Miguel Nunez, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 26 games (22 starts); 10-8 with a 4.22ERA; 130IP 136H 38BB 80K; 5HR allowed; 0.82 GO/AO; .270 opp. avg; .315 vs. LH, .239 vs. RH, .265 with RISP; 1.34WHIP; 2.6BB/5.5K per nine; Post All Star Break: 13 starts, 5-4 with a 3.59ERA. Nunez really came on as the year moved along and was perhaps Lakewood’s most consistent second half starter. He skipped over WIlliamsport to play in Lakewood this year and his 2013 should be considered very successful. Grade: B; 2014: Clearwater Continue reading
The report card on starting pitchers at the upper levels. Next up: Starting pitchers at Lakewood, Williamsport and the GCL on Thursday or Friday.
Adam Morgan, 23, Phils 3rd round pick in 2011 draft; 16 starts; 2-7 with a 4.04ERA; 71.1IP 84H 26BB 49K; 10HR allowed; 0.73 GO/AO; .296 opp. avg., .284 vs. LH; .300 vs. RH, .266 with RISP; 3.3BB/6.2K per 9; 1.54 WHIP; Since Aug 1: 1-2 with a a3.18 ERA in 6 starts. A disappointing year for Morgan who spent a good portion of it on the DL with shoulder issues. When he came back, his ERA was good but he was pitching in and out of trouble in each start never lasting more than 5 innings. I am concerned that he was still hurt at the end of the year. Grade: D+; 2014: Lehigh Valley rotation; Prospect Ranking: 8
David Buchanan, 23, Phils 7th round pick in 2010 draft; 28 starts between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 10-13 with a 4.40ERA; 169.2IP 178H 53BB 108K; 1.10GO/AO; .274 opp. avg; 1.36 WHIP; 2.8BB/5.7K per 9; In 6 starts with Lehigh Valley: 4-2 with a 3.00ERA; 1.23 WHIP; and .250 opp. avg. Buchanan really opened some eyes during his call up to Lehigh Valley at the end of the year pitching very well with a lot of innings already on his arm this year. Coming back from a significant injury in 2012, Buchanan substantially raised his profile with his final month of the season. Grade: B; 2014: Lehigh Valley rotation and a 40 man roster spot; Prospect Ranking: 38 Continue reading
The report card on all outfielders who finished the year at Lakewood, Williamsport or the GCL. A reminder that grades are based on pre-season expectations against that same individual player, NOT against each other. Next up will be starting pitchers (Lehigh Valley, Reading and Clearwater)
Carlos Tocci, 18, Signed as a free agent in 2012; .209/.261/.249 in 421 AB’s; 0HR 26RBI; 6/13 SB; .223 vs. LHP; .203 vs. RHP; .227 with RISP; .169 since Aug 1; 5%BB/17% K rate; 117 games in the OF with 4 errors (.987); 10 OF assists; Tocci played with guys 2-3 years older than him and mostly held his own, especially in the field where he is an excellent outfielder. He has the build of a 17 year old and was wholly without power this year. His production dwindled further as the year went on and the “grind” wore him down. Grade: C; Tocci did no more or no less than I thought this year; I just can’t make myself give a grade higher than that to someone who hit .180 for half the year(.179 post all star break)…let the criticism begin. 2014: Tocci clearly has alot of potential…let him realize it and experience success through another year in Lakewood.; Prospect Ranking: 11 Continue reading