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.
With less than 3 hours remaining before the deadline to add players to the 40-man roster, the Phillies have added 3 pitchers.
Beat writers Todd Zolecki and Jim Salisbury announced over Twitter that the Phillies have added LHP Jesse Biddle and Adam Morgan and RHP Nefi Ogando to the 40-Man Roster. They are now protected from Rule 5 Draft in December.
This leaves 2 empty slots on the Phillies 40-man roster. Their site only shows 37 players. For some reason they haven’t added Jerome Williams, who signed a $2.5M extension on October 21st.
Earlier, the Phillies announced that they would be keeping their major league coaching staff intact. Today they announced the coaching staffs for their minor league affiliates. Bold represents a change, Italics indicates the change is from outside the organization.
Lehigh Valley remains intact
- Dave Brundage, Manager
- Mickey Morandini, Coach
- Sal Rende, Coach
- Ray Burris, Pitching Coach
- Dusty Wathan, Manager
- Frank Cacciatore, Coach – steps up from Clearwater, replacing Rob Ducey
- David Lundquist, Pitching Coach
- Greg Legg, Manager – steps up from Lakewood replacing Nelson Prada
- Rob Ducey, Coach – dropping down from Reading replacing Frank Cacciatore
- Steve Shrenk, Pitching Coach – jumping up from GCL
- Shawn Williams, Manager – moving up from Williamsport replacing Greg Legg
- Nelson Prada, Coach – former Clearwater manager replacing Lino Connell
- Aaron Fultz, Pitching Coach – moving up from Williamsport replacing Les Lancaster
- Pat Borders, Manager – from outside org replacing Shawn Williams
- Eddie Dennis, Coach
- Les Lancaster, Pitching Coach – moving down from Lakewood replacing Aaron Fultz
- Rolano de Armas, Manager
- Brian Sweeney, Pitching Coach – from outside the org replacing Steve Schrenk
- Rafael Delima, Coach
The odd men out so far seem to be Bob Milacki, the Threshers pitching coach; Lino Connell, the Blue Claws batting coach; and Matt Tolbert who had been added to the Crosscutters as a coach after retiring mid-deason.
I have been a Clearwater Threshers’ season ticket holder since moving to Clearwater in November 2011. As a season ticket holder one of my perks is the option of purchasing individual game tickets to Phillies’ spring training games a few days before they go on sale to the general public in January.
When I asked if they had season ticket packages for spring training, I was told they did not because they had to make sure that the fans who came down from Philadelphia were able to buy tickets.
I guess it’s no surprise that the regular season play of the Phillies the past couple years has had an effect on spring training ticket sales. Spring training attendance has dropped each of the last two seasons.
So, this week I received an e-mail from Phillies.com. I incorrectly assumed that it was to trumpet a merchandise sale for the holidays at their online store, and didn’t read it until today. Lo and behold, I as a Threshers’ season ticket holder am being offered the opportunity to purchase spring training tickets 3 days BEFORE the 3-game packages go on sale next week. And with very few restrictions. I can buy 4 tickets to each of their four most popular games – Tampa, Boston, Tampa again, and the Yankees. Plus I can buy up to 12 tickets to each of the remaining 12 games. Lucky me!
What better barometer is there of the state of Phillies’ ticket sales when they don’t expect to generate enough spring training sales to Phillies’ fans traveling to Florida in March than this change in policy.
MLB Trade Rumors reports eight minor league signings by the Phillies. This isn’t too big a deal. Last week, Baseball America reported that 16 Phillies’ AAA and AA players entered free agency. The Phillies will be signing a lot of minor league free agents to fill out rosters.
The signings of John Hester, Brian Bogusevic, and Darin Mastroianni had been reported earlier.
Andres Blanco and Russ Canzler represent the resigning of players who were on IronPigs roster last season.
Outfielders Jeff Francoeur, Xavier Paul, and infielder Chase D’Arnaud will be new to the organization.
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.
And the Phillies finally announce that A.J. Burnett has declined his option and has elected free agency.
In case you haven’t heard (and really, what else were you doing with your Monday?), Baseball Prospectus released their Phillies Top 10 list today.
There aren’t any major surprises in the top three, with J.P. Crawford in the top slot, Aaron Nola at two, and Maikel Franco third. It’s pretty easy to expect that many lists will have those three guys at the top in some way, shape, or form.
Continue reading Baseball Prospectus releases Phillies top ten
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.