The flow of minor league free agents continue to move in as the Phillies announced they have signed 29 year old journeyman infielder Chris Nelson to a minor league deal. Nelson, 29, was a first round draft pick by the Rockies (9th overall) in the 2004 draft. Nelson spent most of 2014 playing at the AAA level split between the Reds and Padres organizations, finishing with a .279/.355/.389 line in 319 AAA at bats, to go along with 6HR and 59RBI.
Over the last three seasons, Nelson has accrued 629 major league at bats (Yanks, Angels, Padres, Rockies), during which he has hit a respectable .269. Nelson has spent most of his time at 3B, but can play 2B and SS in a pinch as well. I would expect to see Nelson playing all around the infield in Lehigh Valley come April.
The disaster that is 2014 continues for Jesse Biddle with multiple media outlets reporting that Biddle has left his Winter Ball team in Puerto Rico and returned to Philadelphia after experiencing soreness in his left elbow. Biddle was 0-1 with a 15.19 ERA in his 2 appearances. He will undergo an MRI and be examined by Phillies physician Dr. Michael Ciccotti.
Per Baseball America:
AAA:BJ Rosenberg, Greg Smith, Brad Lincoln, Koyie Hill, Lars Davis, Sebastian Valle, Jim Murphy, Tyler Henson, Nate Spears, Leandro Castro
AA:Chris Bootcheck, Matt Hoffman, RayWily Gomez, Zach Collier, Albert Cartwright
High A: Brandon Short
The name that scares me on here is Sebastian Valle. He has underachieved with the Phillies organization but continues to have a solid skill set and still is only 24 years old. With so little true talent at catcher around major league baseball, Valle will be given a legitimate shot with another organization.
We hit the back end of the Arizona Fall League schedule with Roman Quinn continuing to excite almost anyone who has watched him in Arizona. In 66 AB’s, Quinn is hitting .258/.372/.364 with 1HR 7RBI and a very impressive 13 SB’s in 15 attempts, along with playing a very solid CF. C Logan Moore is hitting .154, playing every third day or so.
On the mound, P Nefi Ogando remains the most impressive and has likely solidified a spot on the Phils 40 man roster coming into next season. In 9 appearances, Ogando is 1-0 with a 2.53ERA and 3 saves. Opponents are hitting just .205 against him and his WHIP sits at 1.13. P Ryan O’Sullivan continues getting hit around with an ERA of 11.57 in 7 appearances including his last appearance during which he allowed two earned runs.The opposition is hitting at an astronomical .385 rate against him. RP Colton Murray has been up and down in his 8 relief appearances, and sits at 0-2 with a 4.66ERA in his 9.2 innings of work. Murray has walked just 1 and struck out an impressive 10 hitters, however opponents are hitting .300 in what has been a very long season with a lot of innings for Murray.
P Ethan Stewart has had an abbreviated AFL season, suffering from minor arm issues. He has struggled in his 4 AFL outings, sitting with an ERA of 6.75 and an abysmal WHIP of 2.06, mostly because of his 8 walks in 5.1IP. The bright side is the 9 strikeouts, which against this level of competition is eye opening. Finally, Adam Morgan has thrown in 4 games (9.1IP) and is 1-0 with a 5.79ERA thus far. Reports have his velocity increasing into the high 80’s–low 90’s which is a good sign but less production that that hoped for thus far. Morgan has walked just 1 and struck out 8, but the 16 hits allowed has shown hit to be very hittable coming off his significant injury.
The off season minor league free agent signings have begun with the Phillies adding two outfielders with major league experience to the mix, 30 year old Brian Bogusevic and 29 year old Darin Mastroianni.
Bogusevic was originally a 1st round pick (24th overall) by the Astros in the 2005 draft. He spent the 2014 season playing in the Marlins organization for AAA New Orleans, hitting .260/.349/.411 in 265 AB’s; with 6HR 33 RBI and 5SB. Bogusevic last played in the majors for the Cubs in 2013, hitting .273 with 6 homers in 143 AB’s. Primarily a RF, Bogusevic can play all three OF positions.
Mastroianni was the Blue Jays 16th round pick in the 2007 draft and split time last season between the Blue Jays and Twins AAA affiliates. In 364 AAA AB’s, Mastroianni hit .277/.354.,379 with 5HR 23RBI and 20SB. Mastroianni has spent parts of the last 4 seasons in the major league, hitting just .212 in 273 major league AB’s.
Certainly nothing here to be overwhelmed by, but competent AAA players if nothing else.
This weeks open discussion thread….A couple of quick newsworthy items today:
–RP BJ Rosenberg was outrighted off the 40 man roster by the Phils and can now test the free agent market.
–RP Nefi Ogando and CF Roman Quinn were both named to the Arizona Fall League All Star team
–I have spent considerable time this week searching inside myself trying to figure out how Jayson Nix has landed on a team playing in the World Series. The rest of my time since yesterday has been spent wondering how the hell a receiver can get behind two defenders on a 3rd and long with less than two minutes left in a football game. Sorry, small diversion.
We will start the week off with an Arizona Fall League Update…then feel free to discuss as you please.
A good week for Roman Quinn who went 8-25 with 5 runs scored, 3 RBI’s and 3SB’s. Two weeks into the AFL season, Quinn is hitting .250/.333.300 in 40 AB’s; with 3 RBI’s and 7 stolen bases. C Logan Moore has seen limited action as most expected as had hit .143 (2-14) with a lone RBI.
On the hill we have a real mixed bag. RP Nefi Ogando has been most impressive of the group. In his 5 appearances, Ogando is 0-0 with a 2.70 and 2 saves. He has thrown 6.2 innings and yielded 2 runs on five hits. He has walked 2 and struck out an impressive 6, continuing to throw in the mid 90’s. RP Colton Murray had a rough week this week, giving up 3 runs in just 1.2 innings spanning 3 games. Overall in the Fall League, Murray is now 0-2 with a 7.94ERA, over 5 games. SP Adam Morgan did not look good in his start this week, going 1.2 innings and giving up 5 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits. He threw 42 pitches, 26 for strikes. RYan O’Sullivan’s production in the Fall League can only be described as brutal at this stage. He had made 3 appearances and is 0-1 with a 19.06 ERA and has allowed 12 runs on 13 hits in his 5.2IP, striking out just one. P Ethan Stewart did not pitch at all last week after 2 appearances the first week of the season in which he gave up just a run in 3.1IP. He did however walk five and struck out 6.
The Phillies have begun their post season minor league cleanup by releasing 9 players, none of whom are a big surprise. The following players have been released: P Mark Meadors, P Gregorio Santos, P Jeb Stefan, P Francibal Alejo, 2B Olvy Marte, 2B Robinson Torres, 3B Trey WIlliams, OF Nick Ferdinand and INF Anthony Phillips.
Trey Williams was the name from the list that the Phils probably believed had the most potential as their 7th round draft choice in 2013. Williams hits .197 in the Gulf Coast League, spanning two seasons. Jeb STefan was the Phils 22nd round pick in 2012 and showed some promise in ’12 and ’13 in Williamsport and Lakewood before an awful year this year in Clearwater.
Quick additional note that the Phils have outrighted SS Andres Blanco off of their 40 man roster.
First and foremost: Happy Columbus Day!
News and Notes over the last week:
–Rafael Chaves has been hired as the Phillies Minor League pitching coordinator . Chaves had been working in the Dodgers organization as a special assistant for player personnel. Carlos Arroyo who had been the minor league pitching coordinator in 2014 will return to his previous duties as a minor league roving pitching instructor
–Johnny Almarez was named as the Phillies new Scouting Director. Almarez most recently was employed by the Braves where he was Directing of International Scouting and Operatins for the last five years and comes with an impressive pedigree of recognized and signed talent.
–INF Reid Brignac, P Jeff Manship and P Jeremy Horst all elected minor league free agency.
–OF Tony Gwynn and P Sean O’Sullivan were both outrighted off the 40 man roster and are now free agents.
–The Arizona Fall League has begun with mixed results for Phillies prospects. OF Roman Quinn has had a rough beginning going 2 for his first 15 (.133) with 3RS and 3SB. Logan Moore has seen action in 2 games this week and went 1-6(.167). On the hill, Nefi Ogando has been impressive, appearing in three games in relief and throwing 4 innings, yielding just 1 run on 3 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 3 while earning a save. Adam Morgan made his AFL debut by throwing a perfect inning, while Ethan Stewart’s control problems have now translated to the AFL. He made 2 appearances and gave up just 1 run on 1 hit in 3.1IP, however walked 5 and struck out an impressive 6 hitters. The dark side of the Phils AFL performance last week clearly went to Ryan O’Sullivan who gave up 6 runs on 7 hits in 2.1 innings of work.
Transactions begin to roll in on the minor league side as the off season gets going as three players who at some point saw time with the Phillies have elected minor league free agency. Add INF Reid Brignac, P Jeff Manship and P Jeremy Horst to the list of former Phillies have they hit the free agent market. Very little concern about losing any of the three with plenty of similar players on the minor league free agent market to replace them.