Florida Instructional League – Game #4; 10/3/2015

Since Tuesday’s game, the Phillies have traveled to Tampa and had two camp days.  More camp days is a direct result of the Pirates decision not to schedule very many games this year.  I don’t believe they are travelling out of Bradenton at all this fall.

This morning at ten o’clock, the Phillies took the field against the Blue Jays.  Tyler Gilbert got the start.  He was followed by Edgar Garcia, Alexis Rivero, and Robert Tasin.  The top of the Phillies order was comprised of Roman Quinn, J.P. Crawford, and Domonic Brown. Cornelius Randolph batted fifth and Jhailyn Ortiz was the DH and batted seventh.  Sixteen year old Rafael Marchan also made a cameo at catcher but played the field for only half of an inning.

The Phillies received some good pitching and outscored the Jays 6-4.  Details below the fold.

Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #4; 10/3/2015

What? We Worry?

Darn Mets!  Darn Reds!

The Phillies will go into their final weekend series with a slim lead over the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball and the prize that come with it, the number one pick in the 2016 June Amateur Draft.

After sweeping the Mets (a team they were 2-14 against this season), the Phillies find themselves in danger of improving from the worst record in baseball for the first time since June 8th when they successfully held off the Milwaukee Brewers.  But the Phillies have won six of their last ten and the Reds are mired in an 12-game losing streak. Continue reading What? We Worry?

Phillies Activate Maikel Franco

The Phillies activated Maikel Franco from the DL this morning.  Todd Zolecki made the announcement in his post today.  He is expected to play this weekend.  Jordan Hall got a couple quotes from manager Pete Mackanin in this article.

Playing Franco in meaningless games in Philadelphia is not that big of a deal.  He would be playing in Instructs games in Clearwater anyway as he continues to ready himself for winter ball.  He may as well play the games in the big league environment in Philadelphia in front of season ticket holders and Phillies’ execs. Continue reading Phillies Activate Maikel Franco

Top Prospect Discussion: October 1st

This post is reserved for the discussion of the top prospects in the Phillies’ organization. You can tout the merits of your favorite prospects, instruct us on why your ranking is superior, talk about a prospect who intrigues/worries you, ask about prospects you haven’t seen and don’t know much about, or anything at all as long as it is about the top prospects. Continue reading Top Prospect Discussion: October 1st

Florida Instructional League – Game #2, 9/29/2015

Tuesday’s game against the Yankees provided a mixture of good, indifferent, and poor pitching with a very little bit of offense.  Starter Matt Imhof and reliever Felix Paulino both had poor outings.  Alexis Rivero and Will Stewart chipped in with satisfactory innings.  And Luke Leftwich and Kenny Koplove both pitched well.   Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #2, 9/29/2015

Prospect Discussion: Week of September 28th

Here’s an open discussion thread about minor league prospects.  Phillies’ talk and other non-prospect discussion should remain in the Open Discussion.

This is an open format for any minor league prospect you want to discuss.  This week I’ll introduce catcher Chace Numata to start the discussion.  Chace has had 6 injury-plagued seasons in the Phillies organization.  But the coaching staff thinks highly of him, and he was clocked with the best pop time in the organization this year.

  • Chace Kekoa Kenji Numata, catcher
  • Bats both, Throws right
  • 6’0, 175 lb.
  • Born 8/14/1992 (age 23)
  • Drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Pearl City High School (Pear City, Hawaii).
  • 2010; GCL Phillies (age 17, -2.7)
  • 2011; GCL Phillies (age 18, -2.0) injured, didn’t play until mid-August
  • 2012; Williamsport (age 19, -2.1)
  • 2013; Lakewood (age 20, -1.6)
  • 2014; GCL Phillies (age 21, 1.2) injured, played about 2 weeks in August
  • 2014; Melbourne (age 21, -3.0) in the Australian Summer League
  • 2015; Clearwater (age 22, -0.6) played first 4 games in Lakewood in early May

Phillies’ catchers share time in the GCL.  No one catcher gets a lot of innings or at bats. Numata finally got 184 plate appearances in 2012 at Williamsport where he put up a .233/.287/.319 slash.  He followed that with a full season at Lakewood in 2013 where he posted a .231/.307/.305 slash.

Numata exhibits good skills behind the plate and the Phillies planned on bumping him up to Clearwater in 2014, but another injury derailed those plans.  He returned to get 27 plate appearances in the GCL before heading off to Melbourne for winter ball.  In Australia, Numata broke out with a .259/.293/.322 slash.

He continued to show improvement at the plate with a .263/.322/.324 slash in 2015 at Clearwater.  In addition, he threw out 24 of 40 base runners (37.5%) and was charged with only 2 errors.  While he had a team high 11 passed balls, pitchers had a team low 3.06 ERA when he was behind the plate.

He went 0-3 in 2 games in the playoffs with 2 walks.

Assuming Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro get the lion’s share of innings at Lehigh Valley and Reading, and with Deivy Grullon prepared to move up from Lakewood, Numata might begin the season as the starter in Clearwater with some roster shuffling by June.



Florida Instructional League – Game #1; 9/28/2015

The Phillies played their first Florida Instructional League (FIL) game Monday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.  Because of a 70% chance of rain, I went over early and was able to watch Franklyn Kilome start the game at noon instead of the 1:00PM scheduled start time. Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #1; 9/28/2015

Open Discussion: Week of September 28th

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

  • Aaron Nola tossed 5 scoreless innings Saturday against the Nationals.  It became his last start of the season when the Phillies decided to shutdown Nola for the rest of the season.  Nola scattered 6 singles and struck out five while walking none.  In 2015, Nola threw a career high 187 innings.  He started 13 games with the Phillies and pitched 77.2 innings (there goes his prospect status).  Nola posted a 6-2 record with a 3.59 ERA.  He struck out 68 and walked 19.
  • With Nola and Adam Morgan both shut down, the Phillies will go into the final week of the season with David Buchanan and Alec Asher starting the first two games of the Mets series.  Jerad Eickhoff will likely start the third game.  After a bullpen game in the series opener with the Marlins (in Nola’s spot), the Phillies will probably finish the season with Aaron Harang and Buchanan on the mound.
  • The Phillies are in good shape in their drive for the top pick in the draft.  They have 97 losses with 6 games to play.  Their “magic” number is 4 over the Atlanta Braves. Any combination of 4 Phillies’ losses and Braves’ wins should lock up the pick.
  • The only other team that can pass the Phillies is the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds have 92 losses with 7 games left.  The Phillies hold the tie-breaker with both teams (lower 2014 winning percentage).
  • The first Intructs game is tomorrow in Dunedin.  If anything interesting occurs, I’ll post a story.
  • I’ll post the Weekly Prospects Discussion tomorrow.

Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL

We conclude our player report cards with a look at relief pitchers at the lower levels.  A caveat here, below Lakewood there is very minimal (if any) analysis and grades as I haven’t seen most of these pitchers and their sample size is extremely small.  It becomes guesswork at that point, which I feel obligated to stay away from.


Jason Zgardowski, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 34G, 4-1 with a 3.12ERA; 57.2IP 36H 26BB 54K; .184 opp avg; 1.08 WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 4.1BB/8.4K per 9; .176 vs LHH, .186 vs RHH, .180 last 30 days.  An excellent year for Zgardowski was went undrafted last year and was a very good find.  He throws very hard and was overpowering at times for Lakewood.  Walk rate needs some work.  Grade: A-; 2016: CLearwater

Calvin Rayburn, 23, Phils 16th round pick in 2014; 32G , 5-3 with a 4.44ERA; 1/3SV; 48.2IP 37H 24BB 26K; 2HR allowed; .214 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 1.50 GO/AO; 4.4BB/4.8K per 9; .215 vs LHP; .213 vs RHP; .313 last 30 days.  Rayburn was generally pretty effective but seemed to run out of gas during the later part of the year.  He will not overpower you, but knows how to pitch.  Grade: B; 2016: CLearwater

Jairo Munoz, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2015: 13G(3 starts) for Lakewood; 3-0 with a 2.67ERA; 33.2IP 26H 9BB 28K; 1HR allowed; .217 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 2.00 GO/AO; 2.4BB/7.5K per 9; .180 vs LHH, .243 vs RHH, .198 last 30 days.  I admittedly dont know too much about Munoz and have never seen him pitch but his line looked good.  Grade: B; 2016: Clearwater

Matt Hockenberry, 24, Phils 9th round pick in 2014; 42G, 4-4 with a 2.24ERA; 19/22SV; 52.1IP 34H 19BB 51K; 1HR allowed; .186 opp avg; 1.01 WHIP; 1.68 GO/AO; 3.3BB/8.8Kper 9; .207 vs LHH, .168 vs RHH, .167 last 30 days; .209 with RISP.  Quite honestly, I don’t know what more the Phils were looking for out of Hockenberry and was very surprised he was not promoted during the season.  He was consistent all year other than a very short stretch when he was injured, bounced back very strongly after a DL stint and was the primary closer throughout most of the season for Lakewood.  One homer allowed in over 50 innings to go along with a strikeout rate approaching one per inning, while holding the opposition below the Mendoza line.  Grade: A; 2016: Hockenberry’s age is what is working against him, however the calendar is out of his control and he can only worry about his performance.  No reason he shouldn’t be double bumped to Reading to see what he can do.  Closers mentality. Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL

Braves Pitch St. Petersburg Sports Complex

A friend sent me this article from a newsletter he receives.  In short, the Atlanta Braves are looking into moving their spring training operations from Orlando, FL; and have come up with a proposal that would place them in St. Petersburg, FL by 2018.  Atlanta’s lease with Disney is up at the end of the 2017 season and neither is interested in renewing the lease.

The move would benefit Atlanta (and me) since it would Continue reading Braves Pitch St. Petersburg Sports Complex