Hello, it’s me. I have a few brief thoughts on the first few weeks of the season and of course the upcoming MLB draft. My hope is that I will be able to start writing more frequently. Work and other obligations have kept me very busy recently, and I have quite a bit of upcoming travel, so it may be tough, but I am going to do my best.
A lot of us have been curious about Jake Sweaney’s absence in Florida. I received the following embedded in a comment thread and thought it best to share with you as a report so that all can see. Thank you, Mr. Sweaney, for providing this information.
“Jim, Jake just had Tommy John surgery on Wednesday in Los Angeles. Dr Elattrache performed the surgery at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic and said everything went well. We’ll see!!!! He suffered a partial tear last year and they tried to just let it rest over the winter. It fully tore in spring training on a triple hit to the right field wall when he picked it up and threw in to the cutoff man. Keep up the great articles. I look forward to reading them every day, and I can’t wait to start reading them when Jake is playing again. Thanks Andy Sweaney”
I know we all wish Jake a speedy recovery.
Hot off the presses! The long-awaited roster for this season’s eXtended Spring Training (XST) is attached.
The weekly report will be back as a regular Wednesday/Thursday feature throughout the year. If there is anything additional that you all are looking for beyond what I am reporting, always feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!
The first week of the ‘Pigs season has had some good, some bad and some ugly after a 3-4 week which included multiple extra inning affairs, one ending with two position players on the mound. The week ended on the upswing with consecutive victories over Syracuse, including an 8-5 win in this mornings game. A week in, Lehigh Valley is in 3rd place of the Northern Division of the International League, 2 games behind division leading Pawtucket. Lehigh Valley hits the road for the first time this year with their next four games in Buffalo followed by three in Scranton.
News and Notes: OF Jordan Danks has hit safely in his first five games to start the year.
–The average age of the Lehigh Valley opening day roster is just under 27.
–Pitchers Ethan Martin and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez have both started the season on the DL with right shoulder inflammation
–There has been speculation about Phillippe Aumont moving into the role of a starter or long reliever after several years of mediocrity or worse out of the bullpen.
–Its scary that–Only three players on the Lehigh Valley 25 man roster were originally drafted by the Phils (Morgan, Knigge, Murray)
‘Pigs Prospects: Each week we will take a deeper dive into the details of three or four players. Those players will alternate weekly among those most likely to see time with the big club as true prospects. For this week:
Maikel Franco–The low light of the week for Franco was his one game benching after his admiration for a ball he hit off the wall on Saturday, a shot he turned into a single with his slow trot for 90 feet down the first base line, presumably thinking he had hit a HR. That said, Franco has come out of the gate stronger than in years passed and is hitting .296 with 1HR and 7RBI through the first week of the season. He has been solid at third and noticeably more patient at the plate, walking several times.
Tommy Joseph–A very slow start for Joseph, who is trying to bounce back from a lost year last year. Through 18 AB’s, Joseph is hitting .167 and albeit with a very small sample size, has struck out in 39% of his plate appearances, without walking. Joseph has thrown out 2 of the 6 runners attempting to steal on him thus far.
Colton Murray has looked very good with three scoreless outings, spanning 5.1 innings to start the season. Control has been a bit of an issue as he has yielded walks in each of his three appearances and that will catch up to him in time. Murray has yielded just 2 hits and struck out 3 while earning his first AAA save in his 3rd appearance.
Next week: Severino Gonzalez and Adam Morgan
Transactions: Sean O’Sullivan was called up to Philadelphia last Sunday. RP Cesar Jiminez was outrighted to Lehigh Valley in the corresponding roster move. On Monday, largely because of an overworked bullpen, RP Mike Nesseth was promoted to Lehigh Valley and Phllippe Aumont was (at least on paper) sent to Reading. Aumont in actuality remained in Allentown and was unavailable to pitch for several days because of an extended four inning outing. Prior to the game on Wednesday, Nesseth was returned to Reading and Aumont was “promoted” back to Lehigh Valley.
‘Pigs League Leaders: This feature will begin next week after a sufficient statistical sample from around the league is gained.
Probables: Thur: S. Gonzalez; Fri: Morgan; Sat: Clemens; Sun: Rodriguez
Domonic Brown has been assigned to the Clearwater Threshers to begin a rehab assignment.
I reported last week that Brown looked hobbled in a DH role in a couple of minor league spring training games. In the Threshers/GCL game Wednesday night, he was running much better, and was able to play right field.
As we start the 2015 minor league season, I thought I would publish your selections for Sleepers and Break Out Players. I received 25 responses, some with multiple selections. So if you are going to count the responses, that’s why they add up to more than 25.
Twenty-one players were selected to have break out years. Dylan Cozens was picked by 4 people to be the break out guy. Playing half of his games in Clearwater should allow him to increase his power output over last season. Continue reading 2015 Sleepers
Catchers: Tommy Joseph, Rene Garcia
Infield: Maikel Franco, Cord Phelps, Chase D’Arnaud,Chris McGuiness, Chris Nelson
Outfield: Brian Bogusevic, Darin Mastroianni, Jordan Danks, Tyler Henson
Starting Pitchers: Severino Gonzalez, Miguel Gonzalez, Adam Morgan, Joely Rodriguez, Sean O’Sullivan
Relief Pitchers: Phillippe Aumont, Jason Berken, Paul Clemens, Tyler Knigge, Adam Loewen, Colton Murray, Hector Neris, Seth Rosin
Catchers: Deivi Gruillon, Joel Fisher
Infield: Rhys Hoskins, Derek Campbell, Malquin Canelo, Grenny Cumana, Damek Tomscha
Outfield: Carlos Tocci, Cord Sandberg, Jiandido Tromp, Herlis Rodriguez
Starting Pitchers: Ricardo Pinto, Chris Oliver, Ranfi Casimiro, Tyler Viza
Relief Pitchers: Einiery Garcia, Matt Hockenberry, Joey Denato, Austin Davis, Calvin Rayburn, Alexis Rivero, Josh Taylor, Jason Zgardowski, Jesen Therrien
DL: Drew Anderson, Scott Harris, Nick Rodesky, Samuel Hiciano
Big day…here we go…
Catchers: Logan Moore and Gabrial Lino
Infield: Carlos Alonso, Edgar Duran, KC Serna, Gustavo Pierre, Art Charles, Harold Martinez
Outfield: Brock Stassi, Roman Quinn, Brian Pointer, Cameron Perkins, Aaron Altherr
Starting Pitchers: Aaron Nola, Jesse Biddle, Zach Eflin, Tom Windle, Ben Lively
Relief Pitchers: Elvis Arajuo, Nefi Ogando, Mike Nesseth, RYan O’Sullivan, Stephen SHackleford, Anthony Vasquez, Ethan Stewart
Official rosters haven’t been released yet, but a few player moves hit the transaction pages for the teams within the organization.
The Phillies released RHP P.J. Walters and signed free agent RHP Dustin McGowan (he’s been added to the 40-man roster).
Phillies/Iron Pigs released SS Tyler Greene.
Phillies/Reading released LHP Austin Wright.
Phillies/Threshers released RHP Aaron Baker.
Phillies/BlueClaws released RHPs Jon Prosinski and Frank Rivas.
Phillies/GCL Phillies released RHP Dan Child.