General Discussion – Weekend of 7-24-2014 – Fire Ryne/Trade Deadline Edition

Here’s a fresh open thread for general discussion. And here’s my #HotTake for the day – Ryne Sandberg should be fired for allowing Burnett to throw that many pitches with a rain delay in the middle when the club is trying to trade him. Six innings of shut-out ball proved the point. Seven was ridiculous. Eight was borderline negligent. Phillippe Aumont was fresh in the bullpen to give you two innings, and the game was meaningless to the season.

In general, I don’t care for Sandberg’s managerial style. Last night with two men on he had Darin Ruf bunt so that Andres Blanco could take a crack at Madison Bumgarner. The guy’s barely allowing any baserunners all night, and you want to give him an out against one of your “better” bats so a guy who until two weeks ago hadn’t seen the big leagues since 2011 can take his chance? No. Bad. Also, there’s this, from Jim Salisbury this spring, partially quoting Sandberg’s book: Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 7/23/2014

Severino Gonzalez with an “avert your eyes” type of line. Just don’t look. (Just don’t look). In CLR, Gabriel Lino went 3-4 with a home run and a walk, while Roman Quinn stole his 13th base of the year, in what’s been about 40% of a year’s worth of PAs – figure that’s 30-35 or so in a full season after 30 and 32 in half seasons the last two years. Coming off his Achilles injury, I’m not too worried about that decline, as you’d expect him to ease back in to things.

For Lakewood, Mitch Walding is really hitting in the second half so far – in over 120 PAs, he’s got 15 doubles and 13 walks, both marked improvements over the first half, when he was fresh off having rib-removal surgery. He’s also limited his Ks, with about a 21% in the second half after ~33% in the first half. Big caveat – he’s repeating the league. Even so, I’ll take signs of life from a guy we had high hopes for coming out of the 2011 draft. Also for Lakewood, Yoel Mecias worked five strong innings, allowing one run on just two hits, and he struck out one.

Brandon Liebrandt has been absolutely dealing in his two NYPL starts – he’s allowed just one run, five hits, two walks and struck out 12 in 12 innings since his promotion. Derek Campbell was 2-4 with a double and a triple in Liebrandt’s win tonight.

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Lakewood Game Report

Thanks to @nyphilsmaniac19, we get a live report from todays Lakewood game:

Lakewood Game Report vs Greenville, July 23

Pitching: Yoel Mecias started and went 5 solid innings. Here is a sampling of his pitch speeds based on the stadium gun: 80,73,76,85,74,80,83,82,83,85,75,73,73,83,85,82,86,75,83,81,85,74,84,82,85,80. This is obviously not every pitch as I was tracking AB’s simultaneously. Here is a batter by batter look at Yoel’s outing:

1st: Weak GO 6-3/ Pop up by the mound(P-6)/ chopper towards the middle, Pullin made a nice backhand and a jump throw which was scooped nicely by Green at 1st.

2nd: HR (long AB- didn’t seem to be hit that solidly- ball was really carrying today which is odd since there wasn’t much wind)/Went 2-0 on the next batter and Knapp came out to calm him down which seemed to work- got the batter on a slow roller 4-3/4-3 GO on a 3-1 pitch/K on a 74 mph change-up (his only K of the day) Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 7/22/2014

Sorry so late – got caught up watching Whatever It Takes, Dude on the YouTube. Maikel Franco left the Lehigh Valley game early with what Greg Joyce (@gjoyce9) described on Twitter as back tightness. Jo-Jo Reyes, back from over a year in pro ball in Korea, didn’t have his finest game, giving up seven earned in five innings and not managing to strike out a single batter. Jake Fox was a single short of the Big Wheel, and Kelly Dugan was 2-4 with a walk, pulling his season OPS back to an even .800. If he starts to show signs of getting his power stroke back in the next two weeks, they should just promote him already. He’s proven he can hit at AA. JPC with a hit and a walk, while Brian Pointer was 2-5 with a double for CLR. Perhaps I did not jinx him with that write-up last week after all. It’s almost as if I have no power to jinx people…hmm…gonna have to look into that.

Jiandido Tromp was 4-5 with two home runs (9), his third two-bomb game of the year. Aaron Brown and Cord Sandberg had two hits a piece, and Drew Stankiewicz was 4-4 for WIL as they walked off against Batavia on a Rhys Hoskins double. Fifth rounder Hoskins has hit safely in five of his last six, including five extra base hits (3 HR). Mitch Gueller managed his six innings well, walking two and allowing five hits while inducing seven outs on the ground, though he didn’t manage to strike anyone out in his six innings. In the GCL, Trey Williams had two XBH, including his second home run, while Nic Hanson and Austin Wright both got hit around in their rehab outings.

And finally, a little VSL update. The VSL squad was idle, but their playoffs start in less than two weeks – the Phils sit firmly in second place, four games up on third place Seattle for the last of two playoff spots to compete with runaway leader Detroit in a three game championship series. 18-year-old Ranger Suarez leads the five-team league in strikeouts with 68, (second place has 55), and he also leads all starters for fewest walks: he has allowed one, while the next closest starter has allowed four. Jesus Alastre’s OPS ranks ninth in the league, and he’s bested by four guys repeating the league, two 18-year-old league rookies old enough for the 2012 July 2 signing period, and two “men” (17-year-olds) from his signing year. I imagine we’ll see both Suarez and Alastre for instructs in the fall and vying for a spot in GCL (or possibly higher for Suarez) in the spring.

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Crabs beat Threshers; July 22, 2014

The Threshers were stymied in their attempt to take the third game of the four game series against the Stone Crabs. Jeb Stuart started and did a KK impersonation, allowing 3 runs on 1 hit in the first inning. The Threshers rallied for 4 runs in the fifth inning to tie the game but Stefan and Ethan Stewart combined to surrender 3 runs in the top of the sixth inning. The Crabs held on for a 7-5 victory.

Stefan has struggled in the first inning this season. Going into his 12th start, his first inning ERA was 14.34. After tonight’s first inning he had pitched 11.2 first innings and allowed 20 earned runs, raising his first inning ERA to 15.42. He has allowed the opposing team to score first in half of his starts. Continue reading

Lehigh Valley Report

Lehigh Valley continues mired in mediocrity but now, with a revamped roster that should provide some late season life. Over the last 11 games, the ‘Pigs went 4-7 and now sit at 49-55, 11.5 games behind division leading Syracuse in the Northern Division of the International League.  Wildcard hopes are dwindling as well, sitting 7 games behind Pawtucket with 40 games left in the season. Lehigh Valley continues with two more at home against Pawtucket before hitting the road for five games (Buffalo and Rochester).

‘Pigs Prospects:Maikel Franco left this evenings game with back tightness and is day to day.  Over the last 10 games, Franco hit .222/.237/.333 with 6 RBI’s. On the year, .233/.283/.366 with 6HR and 46RBI to go along with a 15%k rates.  Franco is hitting .266 against lefties, .219 against righties and .270 with RISP. Continue reading

Guth Guts Crabs; July 21, 2014

A day after Mark Leiter shut out the Charlotte Stone Crabs; Jordan Guth pitched 6 strong innings in his longest outing of the season. Guth and 2 of the 3 pitchers who relieved him pitched the Threshers to a 4-3 victory. Art Charles and Brian Pointer provided the offense.

Jordan Guth had been used primarily as a reliever since his call-up to Clearwater last season. He posted a 3-3 record and 6.28 ERA in 26 appearances in 2013. Guth had made 24 relief appearances before making his first start this year on July 4th at Dunedin. He pitched 4 innings and didn’t figure in the decision. The arrival of Cliff Lee for rehab temporarily squeezed Guth out of the rotation. He pitched a hitless 3 innings against Palm Beach on July 13th. Continue reading

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Box Score Recap – 7/21/2014

Darin Ruf had three hits, while David Buchanan and Ethan Martin pitched well for Lehigh Valley. They had the lead going into the ninth and then things went south. Then in the tenth things went even further south – so far south that the toilets flush the other direction. Which is an appropriate reference, I think.

Everyone in Reading’s lineup had a hit – Jake Fox hit his 11th homer. He’s only been with the team for 35 games. Hoby Milner allowed another home run – his 18th in 17 games. His HR/9 is nearing 2. At least he hasn’t had to face Jake Fox, I guess. Luis Encarnacion hit his second home run of the year while playing first base.  He’s only played two games in left and DHed some, and has not been used at third at all. That lines up with what we were told when he was drafted – they may have called him a third baseman, but it seems to not be an option going forward.

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Around the System–Middle Infield

A look at middle infielders around the organization.  Next, comes catchers.

Lehigh Valley

Nate Spears, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .338/.389/.500 in 80 AB’s; 2HR 12RBI; 3SB; 9%bb/24%k rates; 19 games at 2B without an error; 9 games at SS with 1 error (.957); Hitting .350 in July. Since being signed a month or so ago, Spears has done a very good job solidifying the 2B position both with his glove and bat.

Freddy Galvis, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2006; .214/.313/357 in 14 AB’s; 0HR 1RBI; 4 games at SS without an error.  Galvis spent the beginning of the year in Philly and then almost immediately was significantly injured upon being sent to Lehigh Valley.  Returned to the lineup just last week.

Reading

KC Serna, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2014; .282/.315/.384 in 354 AB’s between Clearwater and Reading; 3HR 32RBI; 10SB; 6%bb/9%k rates; 25 games at SS with 3 errors (.975); 33 games at 2B with 4 errors (.978); 30 games at 3B with 5 errors (.938). Serna has had a very solid year before going down last week with an oblique injury and being placed on the DL.  SHowed himself to be both a capable hitter and solid fielder. Continue reading