Here’s a quick write-up of what I saw in Bowie last night. Aaron Nola pitched pretty well for Reading. His FB was sitting 89-93, per @stoltz_baseball, though the stadium gun had him touching 96 on one pitch. Not so much. Worked around the edges of the zone fairly well, and got some called strikes with his off-speed pitches. He got BABIPed pretty badly in the fifth, with a single, followed by two consecutive line-hugging bunts that laid waste to Carlos Alonso’s defensive positioning/mobility, a spectacularly-turned double-play grounder from Serna and Cartwright that pushed across a run, and a flyball out. Not sure what more he could have done except try to hex those two bunters.
Jake Fox’s homerun hit the LF fair-pole about 35-40 feet up, not far from the top. Were I to guess in a distance, it would be 700 feet. That’s probably an over-estimate. Kelly Dugan made a nice sliding grab early on, and Albert Cartwright stopped a grounder in shallow right with a fine diving grab and got up quickly to throw out the runner. Cartwright also bunted home Peter Lavin on a perfectly executed squeeze play. No chance to get Lavin at home. Colt Murray was solid in relief, sitting in the low-mid 90s, with a couple nasty breaking balls mixed in with some just-decent-looking offerings. That’s my untrained eye, so who knows. I had to leave after Top 8, so I missed the badness. Good move on my part. I did not need to see Nefi Ogando give up a grand slam.
Elsewhere, Maikel Franco went 3-4 with a double, as he looks to salvage a decent August. OPSing .721 now on the month, .685 on the year. Jessie Valentin picked up his first hit and first steal in A+, JPC stole two on Kyle Schwarber, Quinn stole one and was caught once as he went 2-2 with two walks in the night cap, while Brian Pointer (14) and Art Charles (15) went deep.
Not much to talk about from the two games on the schedule. Jason Zgardowski, the new UDFA, got his first pro start for GCL. Venn Biter has five triples on the year. Tow DSL guys hit their first home runs of the season. Ran and off-days everywhere else.
Heading out to see Aaron Nola and the RPhils tonight at Bowie Baysox. Anyone who might be around, please give me a shout on Twitter or send me an email in advance (brad dot dc dot engler at gmail) and maybe we can say hello. I’m going to try to squat on some seats behind the scouts if I can and then go out to the bullpen and ask them who reads PhuturePhillies.com and offer them my autograph.
Maikel Franco hit a walk-off three run home run for Lehigh Valley (12). Phillippe Aumont with two clean innings, including 15/17 pitches for strikes and three Ks. Hoby Milner threw a three-hit shutout, striking out five Binghampton Mets. He’s been hot and cold his last five starts. Roman Quinn 1-4 with a BB and a steal, and he was caught stealing on a pickoff. JP Crawford was 3-5, Brian Pointer was 1-4 with a double and a walk, and Art Charles was 0-0 with five walks, (five!!!). Kevin Walter threw five shutout innings and struck out six. Good for him. Jim Peyton wrote up that game here.
Five guys had multi-hit games for Lakewood, lead by Carlos Tocci’s 3-4 plus a walk and Andrew Knapp’s 3-5 with a double. Aaron Brown has multiple hits in all four of his games with Lakewood. Brandon Leibrandt had another strong outing, striking out five and allowing 1R on 5H and 1BB.
Lots to talk about today – I neglected to mention a promotion yesterday – Jose Pujols was moved up to WIL after they moved Aaron Brown to Lakewood. The 18-year-old Pujols has two doubles and three Ks in eight NYPL PAs thus far, after OPSing over .700 in his return trip through the GCL, with 15 XBH (5HR) in about 165 PAs. Striking out over 30% of the time is not going to cut it, though. Also of note from a personnel standpoint, JP Crawford was back on the field after a couple days on the shelf with what Amaro described to reporters as a “twisted ankle”.
Jesse Biddle left his start after some poor results, and once it became apparent to his coaches and trainers that he was hurt.
So he was hurt before the game even started, which means he tried to pitch through an injury. This is generally seen in the public as a good thing when it works (toughness) and a bad thing when it doesn’t (dumbness). Hopefully this one turns out to be in between – the “it didn’t work but he didn’t further damage himself.”
Seth Rosin pitching well lately – 12K and 4BB in his last 13.1 IP. And so the club will again have to decide whether to protect him in the Rule 5 or leave him exposed. For the record, I don’t know what to think about that. Aaron Altherr with his 14th home run, his fifth in the last ten games. He’s hit two more than his previous career high with some 70 fewer PAs, and his K Rate is below 22%, a 5% improvement on last year. Center field defense remains the key to his game. If he can do it, for real, he could be a valuable big league regular.
The aforementioned JP Crawford was 2-4 plus a walk and a steal (7, he’s 21/31 across two levels this year), Roman Quinn was 1-4 plus his 27th steal in 34 tries (79%), and Brian Pointer was 1-4 plus a walk, and hit his 13th HR – he’s OPSing over 1.000 for the month and .760 for the year. That’s nearly a 100 point OPS improvement over last year, and his .904 OPS in the second half of the year is about 275 points higher than his first half. Colin Kleven was good in that one, and he’s got an FIP of 3.68 on the year. Not bad at all. We’ll see how he handles AA next year. For LKW, Cozens, Brown and Astudillo had multi-hit games. Astudillo actually drew a walk, (18 on the year matches his 18 Ks), and Cozens stole his 20th base. Sam McWilliams allowed 3H 0 BB 2K in 5 scoreless IP for GCL. Solid, if not spectacular.
Colin Kleven posted his 4th consecutive quality start, and third win among those starts, with a solid 105-pitch effort against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The offense, which was non-existent in Kleven’s 5-hit, 1-0 loss in his last start, staked him to 6 runs Saturday night. Kleven rebounded from a couple of mistakes and left after 6 innings with a 6-2 lead. The big righty kept the Tigers’ batters off balance most of the night and the Threshers held on to win 7-5. Kleven’s final line was – Continue reading
Kelly Dugan stays hot with a 2-5 night, including his fifth home run of the year. He’s got 16 doubles and a triple to go along with a 307/395/452 slash in essentially a half a season’s worth of PAs, with a K Rate around 19% and a BB Rate around 10%, but he hasn’t ISOed as low as his current .145 since 2011. I’d be curious to hear where you all would likely rank Dugan among your Top 30.
Brian Pointer was 2-3 with a double, a walk and a steal. He remains hot. Andy Knapp was 3-4 with two doubles, while Astudillo, Tocci, Brown and Green all had multi-hit games for Lakewood. Matt Imhof with a shaky start there. David Whitehead’s only walked 8 men in 62IP on the year. That’s some serious control. His K Rate remains quite low, so who know what the club has there, but worth watching as he completes his comeback from TJ surgery.
Kelly Dugan with another multi-hit game. He’s got six of those in his last ten games. OPSing .835 on the year. If only he hadn’t gotten hurt again this year. Injuries are dumb and bad and we should get rid of them. A pretty good night for Severino Gonzalez – 2R on 4H 3BB and 10K in 7IP. He seems to have benefited from skipping a start and resting. We’ll see how he holds up through the rest of the year. Also, depending when he throws, maybe I can slip out to see him next week in Bowie as well. Probably not. Also for Reading, a nice night from KC Serna, just a triple short of the cycle. He remains an interesting pick-up from the Indy leagues. We’ll see if they think enough of him to bring him back and give him regular time next year again. I would think they would.
Roman Quinn’s not been on base as much lately, and so he’s not been stealing as much. He’s right around the number of PAs he had in each of his last two years, and his steal total is just a couple shy of those other years (30, 32, 26, all at similarly good rates, though this year is the lowest). Still, with as well as he was doing the last month, I’m very satisfied about his return from injury. Brian Pointer drew three walks – half way through this month and he’s OPSing .926. He remains intriguing.
Aaron Brown was 2-4 with a double in his Low-A debut, and Andrew Pullin matched that line. Malquin Canelo hit his first home run of the year. Nice start from Ricardo Pinto – he’s been pretty good in his stateside debut, with a pretty good K Rate and a reasonable BB rate. The Phillies did sign another UDFA, Jason Zgardowski from Angelo State. Here’s the article from his school announcing the signing. He threw a scoreless inning for GCL in his debut. Sounds like he found some velo after the college season (up to 94-95) and pitched well in summer league.
Maikel Franco was 2-5 with his 11th home run – he’s cooled off a little bit in July, OPSing just .723 even aided by the spike from last night. If he finishes in that neighborhood for the month, he’ll likely not quite make it to .700 for the year, but after the two horrific months he had earlier, even an average August after that monster of a July would be a good sign in my book. Aaron Nola put up easily his worst start since his debut – 3R on 6 H 3HR 1BB 2K in 4IP. Kelly Dugan was 4-8 with a triple and Aaron Altherr was 3-6 with a home run (13) plus a walk and his tenth steal. Altherr’s got four homers in his last six games, and Dugan’s OPSing 1.038 in August. Dugan especially should be an Arizona Fall League candidate. Colt Murray got roughed up in his inning – he gave up two inherited runs and four of his own – they were his first earned runs since July 4, so credit where it’s due, that was a heck of a streak – around 17 IP.
Roman Quinn hit his fifth home run of the year, and Brian Pointer was 2-5. JPC did not play. Hopefully he’s back in action tonight, as Jim Peyton doesn’t indicate it was more than a night off in his game report, (which includes GCL notes as well – so don’t miss it). For Lakewood, Pullin, Astudillo (back in left field again) and Walding all had multi-hit games. Walding hit his sixth home run. Cozens and Knapp were also both on base twice with a single and a walk a piece. Jia Tromp had three hits as WIL was swept in their double header. Austin Davis allowed three hits and struck out three in 2.1 scoreless IP for GCL. He’s got 22:6 K:BB in 23.1 IP. Pretty good. Would be better if he were doing it against reasonable competition for a college junior, but I’m not going to complain too much about nice numbers. We’ll see where they place him in the spring. LKW would be the easy guess, but CLR would not be out of the question if he performs well in camp.
Freddy Galvis went deep for Lehigh Valley. He’s stroking it right now, with three homers and five doubles and an OPS of 1.102 over the last ten days. Wish they had regular playing time for him in the bigs right now. Willians Astudillo played both games of Lakewood’s double header in left field, while Larry Greene didn’t see the field at all. He hasn’t played since Saturday. Haven’t heard about him nursing an injury, but perhaps he is.
Reading was rained out, which means Aaron Nola’s start was delayed until tonight, which means I’ll get a look at him next week in Bowie. Solid. Too bad it likely won’t be against anyone good, unless the O’s decide to jump Dylan Bundy up to AA for his next start and it happens to line up. That could happen. Bundy’s in line to start tonight for Frederick, (he was supposed to go last night but they also had rain), and he was good last time, so if they’re happy with his progress and want to see him at AA next, we may get a real interesting match-up in Bowie. I’ll cross my fingers.
On another note, MiLB player pages have been updated, and while they look great and modern, they have gotten rid of the unique to MiLB.com full “Last Ten” stat pack, truncating it to exclude doubles and triples, CS, OBP, SLG and OPS. Anyone who agrees with me that this is dumb should send an email to, I guess, firstname.lastname@example.org. I suggested they add Last Ten as a function of the Game Log menu and told them they’re going to lose traffic from people who can get the same statistical info and more at places like FanGraphs or MLBFarm.com (which FYI – does have a game log and a Last Ten Days (not games) subtotal, which includes BABIP and a couple other useful things, and spray charts and stuff, but the page is very plain looking and less user friendly).
Jesse Biddle was back on the hill for CLR – he walked five in five innings, though he allowed just three hits and one run and struck out four. Not nearly as hopeful as last time with those five walks. We’ll see what they do with him now. REA has a DH Saturday, so if they wanted to, they could push him into that spot and hopefully save the bullpen some innings. Looks like a good chance of rain tonight in Harrisburg , so they very well might need the extra bullets Saturday. Whether they rush Biddle for that…doubt it. But if they like what they saw last night, then why not? We shall see. Also, if it rains out tonight in Harrisburg, I will be quite happy. Looks like my only chance to see Nola in DC next week. I know you’re all very concerned with my plight.
Nice job from the LV bullpen – Manship, Martin and Garcia threw a shutout, striking out nine. Wonder if they’re going to stretch out Manship. Kinda seems like a necessity, even with O’Sullivan coming back. Maybe they’ll rob AA of Adam Loewen instead. After a good outing turned bad in his last inning last time out, Brandon Leibrandt dominated Lowell on Monday night, striking out ten, allowing just two hits, one of them a home run, two walks and one earned run in seven innings. His second straight double-digit K performance. You’d have to think there’s a spot for him in CLR next spring if he earns it. Whether they’d move him up to LKW for a couple weeks right now remains to be seen. I kinda doubt it, but just kinda.
GCL has been on a tear lately, winning nine straight and now sitting a half game out of first place in the division behind Yankees1. Only the division winner makes the playoffs. Jose Pujols, Gus Martinez and Luis Encarnacion had three hits a piece from the bottom half of the lineup. And for those of you following him, Julsan Kamara hasn’t played in the last ten days in the DSL, but he is not currently on the DL. The rosters in DSL have a large limit of 35, so stashing someone who’s hurt up is not necessarily an issue if there’s no one worth putting in his spot. Continue reading