Category Archives: Diekman, Jacob

Baseball Prospectus Phillies Top 10

I have to run to work so I will fill in some details later, but BP released their Phillies Top 10 today, you can read it here, http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19360#131023.  For now I will leave the names and projection (OFP and what it means) and tools (if there is a * it is a potential not an actualized tool)

1. Jesse Biddle (6, #3 starter, moderate risk)

Tools: 5+ FB, 6* CB, 5+ CH

2. Maikel Franco (6, first division player, high risk)

Tools: 5+* hit, 6 raw power, 6+ arm

3. Adam Morgan (6, #3 starter, moderate risk)

Tools: 5+ FB, 6 SL, 5+* CH, 5* CB

4. Roman Quinn (6, first division player, high risk)

Tools: 8 speed, 5+* hit, 5+ arm

5. Tommy Joseph (hi 5, solid-average regular, moderate risk)

Tools: 6 power, 6+ arm Continue reading Baseball Prospectus Phillies Top 10

The Bullpen

A bit of clarity was added over the weekend with addition of set up man Mike Adams into the mix as the key 8th inning bridge to Papelbon.  Beyond Adams and Papelbon, the bullpen is filled with questions marks.  It seems the only relievers assured of Phillies roster spots are Papelbon, Adams, and Antonio Bastardo, who was less than solid last year.  After that, questions abound.

From the left side, Jeremy Horst is a front runner to land in back of Bastardo.  Horst was impressive during his second half call up to the Phils, throwing in 32 games and going 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Horst struck out 40 in 31.1 innings of work.

The health of Mike Stutes is the first question mark from the right side.  Recovering from significant surgery, Stutes may need some time in AAA before he reaches the level at which he pitched during the 2011 season for the Phils.  The rest of the pack consists of Justin DeFratus, Phillippe Aumont, Michael Schwimer, BJ Rosenberg, Raul Valdes, and Jacob Diekman. Continue reading The Bullpen

The case for Jake Diekman to make the opening day roster

As of this writing, the Phillies bullpen is still in flux, and Jake Diekman is still in major league camp. I had a chance to watch him close out yesterday’s game against the Red Sox, and I have to say, he certainly deserves a spot on the 25 man roster. He is currently on the 40 man roster, and thus a move would not have to be made in terms of clearing a spot for his contract to be purchased. I wrote this about him this winter when compiling my Top 30 prospects, where he just missed:

Jake Diekman, LHP – The Phillies protected him on the 40 man roster, and he’s a conversion project of sorts, as he’s begun to throw from a low-almost sidearm angle. You can see his delivery here in action against former Phillies farmhand Anthony Gose. That just looks toxic on lefties. And there is a good chance he carves out a JC Romero-esque career. But I’m not sure that merits a spot in the Top 30. Maybe it does. But maybe not.

He struggled a bit with his control last season at AA, walking 44 in 65 innings. He has swing and miss stuff, evident in the 83 strikeouts in those same 65 innings. And lefties can’t touch him. But I was impressed that he was able to generate some bad swings against the RHB he faced yesterday. The final out of the game did come on a mistake fastball he left up that was hit sharply to centerfield, but after watching him pitch, I think he has what it takes to stick in the big league pen right now. More importantly, Antonio Bastardo is still not 100% healthwise, working through a bit of a dead arm period. The Phillies leaned heavily on Bastardo last season, and he started to wear down a bit in the 2nd half of the season. With the Phillies current rotation being what it is, the bullpen figures to see less work than any other NL team again this year. Looking at the pitching staff, assuming the Phillies carry 12 pitches, these guys are locked in:

SP: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley, Blanton
RP: Papelbon, Bastardo, Contreras, Stutes, Kendrick, Qualls

That is 11. That also assumes that Contreras is ready for Opening Day. If the Phillies do go with 12, they can slot Diekman right in to the final spot. If they go with 11 and Contreras is not ready, Diekman can take his spot. With Kendrick in the bullpen, there is no real urgency to carry another multi-inning reliever in Herndon. The only other competition for the final spot would come from Aumont (who was optioned) and Savery. While Savery has pitched well, Diekman’s ability to destroy LHP should give him an edge. Its a nice problem for the Phillies to have right now, but given what he has shown this spring, especially the fact that he’s issued only 1 walk in 5 innings, I think Diekman deserves the final spot. We should know more in the next week.