Tuesday morning notes

Lets get right to it..

* Jason Donald was promoted to Clearwater yesterday and went 0/3 with an RBI in his debut for the Threshers. Will the Phillies move Cardenas back to SS now or leave him at 2B? He played 2B last night, but if he can play shortstop, I’d move him back there for the time being. We’ll see. Also of note at Clearwater, Lou Marson is now hitting .286/.361/.367. The low slugging % isn’t good at all, but he still doesn’t turn 21 until later this month, and he’s holding his own at High A, that’s a positive sign.

* Here is an article on recent signing Matt German, a LHP, which was brought to my attention by Jim Salisbury in his Q/A for me.  German was the closer for Northern Illinois, and bringing him in certainly can’t do any harm. The article mentions that he doesn’t throw hard, only in the mid 80’s, but because he is left handed, he’ll get a look. He apparently is very good against lefties, and the article mentions he’ll either end up in Lakewood or Williamsport. Might as well send him to Lakewood and see what he can do, he is a 5th year senior.

* As the draft rapidly approaches, and with the winds continuing to blow in the “position players are the priority” line, it kind of scares me. The Phillies have almost no track record over the last 8 years or so of developing high school hitters. Jimmy Rollins is the only example I can think of where they drafted a prep hitter high in the draft and he turned into an all star. The misses far outweigh the hits. The problem is, a number of hitters who are projected to fall to the Phillies have lines like “needs work on swing mechanics”, “needs to adjust his approach”, or “needs to work on his stance”, and to me, that screams “he’ll be a bust”, because it seems the Phillies can’t develop hitting prospects. Greg Golson was drafted as a 5 tool talent, but he “had an aluminum bat swing and would need work on his approach”….well, it’s been a while, and he’s still in High A, striking out with alarming frequency. The Phillies simply develop pitchers at a higher clip than hitters. Yet in this draft, they are targeting lots of hitters. That’s ok, because we have a real lack of position depth in the system, but don’t be surprised if these “raw projects” remain raw projects while under the Phillies control.

6 thoughts on “Tuesday morning notes

  1. I’m wondering what the promotion of Jason Donald to Clearwater will do to their current group of middle infielders. Already Fidel Hernandez isn’t getting the work he needs since they dropped Pete Shier down from Reading. Fidel has the baseball knowledge and raw skills to play SS, but he needs more ABs in order to get some consistency at the plate. This will only drop those ABs even further, unless there are other promotions/demotions to be made.

  2. The thinking on Cardenas should provide interesting discussion. Our 2nd base position is in good hands for the next 7 years…long after Cardenas will have made it to the MLs.

    Keeping him at 2nd base makes no sense to me…unless they want his bat to be emphasized w/o bothering him w a position change before a new position is chosen for him.

    SS may be beyond his fielding range; it is not YET known whether he has enough arm to play 3rd base…as a lefty hitter. Ideally he would fit at 3rd and we could at last resolve the MIAs since Schmidtty left.Even more ideally, he would be hitting from the right side since our other “sluggers” are also lefties.

    P.S. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the club RELEASE Costanzo after the ’08 season–or during it.

    The guy casn’t field, can’t make reasonable contact w his bat; hardly a promise for that position.

    MAYBE our June 7 draft will include a good one who could move quickly up…???

  3. I think Cardenas will probably be left alone at 2B until he reaches AA, then they will worry about a new position for him.

    They won’t release Costanzo. If he continues to struggle into next season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them shift him back to the mound, ala Matt Bush recently in San Diego. Costanzo was a decent relief pitcher in college, he had good arm strength, maybe he could salvage his career and become a viable middle reliever.

  4. Marson’s power outage is weird. I remember when I first heard of him years ago the the thinking was his power was fine, but his defense and the rest of his offensive game were questions. Still, given his season versus Costanzo’s–good power production, absolutely zilch else–I’d take the Marson model.

  5. As for left-handed bullpen help, the recently acquired RJ Swindle is a guy people should keep an eye on. He is already the go-to guy in the Lakewood pen and got his 2nd save last night when he came in with 2 on and 2 out in the 8th. He got the final four outs, 2 by strikeout, allowing no hits.

  6. Well, I guess my concerns about Fidel Hernandez have been somewhat alleviated, as Jeff Crupper is reporting on his site that Pete Shier was released. Personally, I think they should have moved Fidel to 3rd and released Welinson Baez. Baez just isn’t getting it done in my opinion. He seems to run like he has back problems and flails at pitches like he has never held a bat before. The Phillies brass must see something in Baez that I don’t.

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