Daily Archives: March 26, 2007

Two more quick hits

Busy day today, huh?

Buried at the bottom of this article, it mentions Michael Dubee will open at Lakewood. I’m not sure whether this is an oversight or whether it’s true. Back in January, I guessed on the Lakewood roster (which you can see by clicking on the left side of the page) and predicted Dubee would get a spot. I had my doubts, but felt he might get a slot in the rotation based on his pedigree and his last name, and it appears he could.

Also, an MLB.com article released an hour ago talks about Condrey and Warden battling for a shot at the big league pen. Condrey has been good except for one awful outing, Warden has been up and down. They also mention that either Segovia or Happ could be needed as a 5th starter if both Lieber and Garcia aren’t able to make their normal turns. Segovia will pitch on Saturday and be stretched out so he could pitch on Thursday if needed, Happ will start this Thursday and could be stretched out as well. Dennis Deitch waxes poetic on Happ in this article, comparing him to Randy Wolf. Should be quite an interesting final week of spring training.

New VSL and DSL players at minor league spring training

Here are the players from the DSL and VSL who were on the minor league workgroup lists. Note that Moises Melendez was the only one who was on workgroup 4, so he may have a shot at something higher than GCL. He impressed in the senior Venezuelan winter league this fall.

Francisco Murillo – 1B/C – age 20 – VSL
Freddy Galvis – SS – age 17 – new signing
Jamie Morales – SS/2B – age 23 – VSL
Ambiorex Rincon – 2B – age 20 – DSL
Arlon Quiroz – OF – age 20 – VSL
Sergio Escalona – LHP – age 22 – VSL
Antonio Florentino – RHP – age 19 – DSL
Miguel Matos – RHP – age 19 – DSL
Mauricio Romero – RHP – age 20 – VSL
Moises Melendez – LHP – age 20 – VSL

6 total from the VSL (which was the league champ) and 3 from DSL. Melendez is the most polished and probably will merit at least a starting role at GCL. Matos and Florentino are intriguing projectible arms with good seasons in 2006. Murillo is the player most likely to make an offensive impact. Quiroz, a speedy OF, has been mentioned in several of the early spring training game reports.

More players cut, including Castro and Bisenius

Hmmmm, the picture is becoming a bit clearer now. Today, the Phillies announced that they were sending Fabio Castro, Eude Brito and Joe Bisenius to minor league camp, along with non-roster invitees Brennan King, Dusty Wathan, Rob Calloway, and Brett Abernathy. This is surprising, for a few reasons. First off, Bisenius has some of the best numbers of any pitcher in camp this spring, I can understand him not breaking camp with the team, but have they already decided who is staying and who isn’t? If this move is based on merit, it’s tough to understand, but if it’s based on managing the 40 man roster, then it makes more sense. However, as I mentioned in the Bisenius piece a few days ago, the Phillies have plenty of room on the 40 man roster at present. It’s also kind of surprising that both Brito and Castro were sent down. Castro has struggled mightily this spring, but the reality is that he was probably going to spend the majority of the season in Ottawa anyway, most likely as a starter. Brito is a bit surprising though. After showing up late to camp because of an injury, he’s pitched decent enough, and he’s one of the only viable lefthanded pitchers the Phillies had for the bullpen. Matt Smith has been, well, not so good, and he’s our only LHP at the moment in the pen. Brito has little value as a major league starter, but I think some value as a reliever…..apparently not though.

So, let’s take a look at how this latest purge affects the bullpen. If we do a tally, we have 8 starting position players, 5 starting pitchers, that’s 13 spots. The norm is a 5 man bench, so we’re up to 18 spots, which means a 7 man bullpen. Here are the “locks”

CL – Gordon (RH)
RP – Madson (RH)
RP – Geary (RH)
RP – Smith (LH)
RP – [Lieber] (RH)
RP –
RP –

So, theoretically, there are 3 open spots. However, you have to assume, barring a trade, that Lieber will occupy one of those spots, unless Garcia’s injury is more serious that believed to be at this point. So, for now if we assume Lieber will open in the bullpen (or traded for a reliever), we have two openings. Here are the potential fillers in those spots

Segovia: 10 IP, 2.70 ERA
Condrey: 10.2 IP, 4.22 ERA
Warden: 6.1 IP, 5.69 ERA
Alfonseca: 6.1 IP, 5.69 ERA
Happ: 16.1 IP, 6.06 ERA

You almost have to assume that Alfonseca is going to get a spot, simply because he’s dripping with veteranacity, even though he isn’t a very good pitcher. On merit, Segovia probably deserves the last spot, but with Warden being a Rule 5 guy, he’s probably going to end up sticking unless he implodes in the final week and Segovia dazzles. Keep an eye on today’s game, as Segovia is starting against the Yankees.