Clearwater Threshers Review

It’s been a couple of weeks since we took a look at the Clearwater Threshers, and for that I appologize. I was out of town on business, almost immediately followed by being out of town another week for a funeral, so I haven’t had a lot of time to dedicate to baseball lately. This week’s report won’t be a comprehensive as I normally like to be, but I did want to get something up, so here we go.

The Clearwater team continues to hold onto second place in the Florida State League, after leading their division for most of the month of April. The team is now going into an off day on Wednesday after a six game road trip, including a sweep of the first place Brevard County Manatees (Brewers) to pick up some much needed ground as they look to regain first place.

In the last week the Threshers have seen both Julian Sampson and Freddy Galvis placed on the DL, while Walter Tejeda and Michael Cisco have both been activated from the DL. Also COdy Overback is seeing some playing time again after playing just two games in April. Overbeck was never officially on the DL however.

As I mentioned I have been out of town, and once I returned the team was gone, so I have not had a chance to find out why or for how long either Sampson or Galvis are on the DL. If I could speak Spanish I may be able to decipher Galvis’ Facebook page, but since I can’t I’ll remain in the dark. I did see a picture of his two middle fingers wrapped in a bandage for whatever that is worth. It looks like he may be needing surgery, but that is speculation on my part at the moment.

The big stars for the Threshers have been the pitching of Kyle Drabek, Yohan Flande, and Chance Chapman. Drabek is 3-0 in seven games with no decision in any of his ladt three starts. He leads the FSL in innings pitched (40.2) and Ks (51) with just 12 walks on the season. Yohan Flande leads the team wins (4-1) and is 9th in the FSL with Ks (30) but also 11th in BB (14) in 36.0 innings of work. Chance Chapman meanwhile has made a smooth transition to bullpen work and leads all Threshers pitchers with a microscopic ERA of 0.87 with 20.2 innings of work in nine appearances. He has mainly been used following the starter and leading to a late reliever.

For the offense Dominic Brown has stolen the show. He is in the top five in the FSL in 11 offensive categories. He is first in total bases(68), OPS (1.014), & SLG (.602). He is second in the league in walks (19), RBIs (26), runs (25) and home runs (6). He is third in hits with 37 and fourth in batting average, on-base percentage and triples. Tim Kennelly chimes in on the league leaderboard by leading in doubles with 11 of his 28 hits being two-baggers. And unfortunately Mike DUrant leads the league in Ks with 38 strike outs in 82 at-bats, nearly 50%…

In other news…

Those of you who know me and have followed my Threshers Nation website know that I occassionally dabble in a little bit of silliness while trying also to give informative updates of the goings on down here in Clearwater. If that is your thing, then you may enjoy some of the tongue-in-cheek player profiles I’ve done on a few of the Threshers stars this year. I’ve done a series of Good News/Bad News articles on the following players:

Chance Chapman, Derrick MItchell, Dominic Brown, Yohan Flande, Freddy Jose Galvis Gonzales, Chris Kissock, Kyle Drabek, Matt Rizzotti, Michael Schwimer and Yonderman Rodriguez. The Rizzotti piece especially has gotten a bit of play around the net. I fact it has had more hits than any other article I have ever written in the 7+ years of running my site.

Also, if you are a FACEBOOK user I’ve created a few programs for a bit of fun. There is …

Unbelievable but True: The Drew Naylor Random Fact Generator

Are you as cool as Chance Chapman?

What Matt Rizzotti Super Power do you have?

and last but certainly not least…

How much are you like Kyle Drabek?

I’ll be creating more stuff as the season goes on, so if you enjoy the fun side, and use FACEBOOK you can friend me (Jeff Crupper) to keep up on the newest and latest creations. Also, I usually uplaod 25-50 pictures of every home game, so if you want pictures you can follow those on Facebook as well.

Until next week, when I hope to get a good solid report up for everyone….

Jeff Crupper signing off for the THRESHERS NATION!

About Jeff Crupper

It depends on which blog you are reading, but now now you have either discovered that I am a huge baseball fan, or that I have a twisted sense of humor and like to rant about just about anything. Whichever it is I hope you enjoy your stay and spread the word.

33 thoughts on “Clearwater Threshers Review

  1. Jeff,
    Friend me on facebook. Your profile won’t let me friend you.

    Russell Williams, Midland/Odessa TX network.

  2. Flande has given up 6 runs in each of his last two outings. However, his BABIP for those two starts was .359 compared to .241 in the prior four starts.

  3. I think drabek and brown will be moved up to reading at the all star break as long as they continue to perform well, adding drabek to the reading rotation would give reading a very formidable rotation, and taylor needs some help in the lineup since he is the only one hitting anything on that team

  4. Have you seen much of Monasterios? He pitched last night and got the win. His numbers look pretty good this year. He’s cut his ERA and his walks significantly. His Ks per 9 innings are up. Hitters have a .220 BA against him. He turned 23 in March.

    We have a bunch of pretty good looking pitchers in the organization. Is he one of them?

  5. There seems little doubt that Brown and Drabek will move up, and probably sooner rather than later.

    I like Monasterios, and I really like Chapman and one guy I didn’t mention who is also pitching very well is Michael Schwimer. When Schwimer or Chapman come in from the bullpen you know you’ve got a couple of scoreless innings ahead of you.

    Dan Brauer had either a once in a lifetime game last night, or a breakout game to return to his form in early 2007 before he was injured. 3.1 innings 0R/0H/7K1BB. I hope he has turned the corner and it wasn’t a fluke. He showed so much promise before being hurt.

  6. Can you give us a little more on Schwimmer’s stuff. He has dominated this year and last. Any chance he goes to Reading this year, being 23? Also, is he really 6’8″, 246? That’s a big boy. I am thinking there is some projection here, for a guy who is already dominating.

  7. Nah, Schwimer I think is 6’8 (Crupper posted a pic of him on one of his writeups a few weeks back. He looks large). German is the one who is listed at 6’8 but is really around 6’1 or so.

  8. I think they’ll look to move Drabek up to Reading when its warm but who do you remove from their rotation? My guess is they’ll move Worley to AAA at the same time to see if his stuff plays as well there as they think it will. If his stuff is as good in AAA as they think, you’re looking at a guy in Worley who could fight for a spot next year in Philly depending on what they decide to do. Dom Brown is a more interesting case. They team played him together with Taylor all spring training so you know the team would like they both at Reading. But is there really a reason to rush him? Lots of these types of decisions are based on limiting when the major league arbitration clock will start. No team really wants to put a guy in the majors who will take time to become good when they think he could become very good but not yet. You can be assured that it will be a factor in the thinking on Drabek, Brown and Taylor because they have such high ceilings. Werth be likely be gone after the 2010 season and I think it will be because he’s going to do so well that he’s going to cost serious money and Ibanez will be gone after 2011. It would work awful well if Taylor played AAA next year and took werth’s spot the year after and Dom took it one year at a time as well and took Raul’s spot the year after. Victorino will be eligible for real money by then and Howard will be ready for real, real money and with two young players, they’d have the money to give. However, its rare that plans ever work out this neatly….

  9. Murray, if Drabek does move up, I think it is possible that Bastardo gets the call to AAA first. He’s older than Worley and has more pro experience. I think the natural move at AAA is to move Lopez out of the rotation, though Lehr is a candidate as well (he’s 31 and just a placeholder).

    However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Phils were more cautious with Drabek. This is his first full season after TJ surgery and while he has done well, I personally would want to keep his workload light and make sure he has lots of success. As James has pointed out, the jump to AA is probably the hardest one in the minors, and I would be wary of putting additional stress on Drabek (logic being that better hitters make pitching harder and more stressful).

    As for the arb clock, I totally agree that the Phils will have that on their mind, especially in light of how badly went with Howard. I don’t think it’s a big issue for any of these guys anytime soon, but it would seem logical for Taylor (another nice day today despite the Ks) to get the promo at some point to AAA this year and then play most of next year in AAA as well (assuming everything goes well), pushing the start of his clock to well into 2010.

  10. I don’t see how the arb clock can be said to have gone badly with Howard, at least from the Phillies stand point. He was not young when brought up and performed very well from the start. No arb years were wasted. What arb management really consists of is losing a year or two of arb time to a young future star who rides the bench and/or flounders when brought up. We got our money’s worth on Howard. His contract is expensive because his performance has been great. If they brought him up later, they either lose a year of great performance or pay the same price anyway, and/or have an extremely disgruntled player. If, for example, you think Taylor is going to duplicate Howard’s career performance, you would not bring him up to start the 2010 season, with the intent of his being the 4th or 5th OF and playing a game a week while pinch hitting. That would be a waste.

  11. Howard went badly because he ended up being a Super Two, meaning he got to arbitration a year earlier than he should have had the Phils managed his service time correctly. That means he got to the big bucks faster. Then in his next arbitration year they tried to low-ball him with an offer of $7m and ended up paying $10m. They blew it all the way around.

    They should emulate what the Rays did with Longoria – keep the “sure-fire major leaguer” in the minors until mid-May, then bring him up when he has an opportunity to play every day. By starting later in the year he cannot be a Super Two, meaning the team gets an extra year of him being extremely cheap (e.g. bring Taylor up for good on June 1, 2010, he will be under team control for 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. Bring him up for good on April 1, 2010, he will be under control for 2010, 2011, and 2012. If I just screwed that up, someone please let me know).

    You are right with what you say about Taylor. The point is to leave them in the minors until they are able to play regularly and will stick as a major leaguer. Then time that promotion such that they avoid Super Two status.

  12. Howard played because Thome was hurt. Not much you can do in a situation like that.

  13. “Any thoughts on the apparent closer, Simon”

    Simon is the closer because he has a side arm delivery, and I suppose the thinking is that it will throw off the hitters in the ninth. He has been mostly solid, though his last two appearances have been not so great. The ERA is ugly for what you want from a closer, but this early in a season a few runs can really skew the numbers with so few innings pitched.

    Seeing the dominance of Schwimer, and/or Chapman they would be a better choice for a closer, but I don’t see either one of them ultimately playing that role in the majors, so they will not be developed that way.

    I am comfortable with Simon right now. Everyone has a few rough games. If he continues to struggle though, there will probably be a change of roles for him.

  14. My thoughts are that De Fratus should be up there to replace Simon. Maybe a little early in the season but I thought I’d throw that into the mix.

  15. The premise that ‘the arb went badly w/ Howard’ will never truly makes sense because of an injury to Thome, a rookie of the year award, an NL MVP award, and a WFChampionship.

    Correct if I’m wrong, but a player cannot become a ‘Super 2’ under any condition unless his performance is ridiculously good, no?

  16. To achieve “Super 2” status: A player with at least two but less than three years of Major League service shall be eligible for salary arbitration if he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season and he ranks in the top 17 percent in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.


  17. boston phan,

    i agree totally. to that end I don’t know why the Braves brought up Jordan Schafer. Very good prospect but struggling mightily. He’s still 22, was in AA last year and while a huge prospect for them wasn’t lighting it up there. Against anyone but the Phils he’s been useless. They could’ve kept Anderson there until at least June 1st of this year while he had his way in AAA.

  18. My bad, forgot about Thome’s injury.

    NEPP, thanks for the detail. One could argue that if the Phils hadn’t brought him up in May 2005 to sit on the bench for half the month, he would only have had 92 days of service and hence been potentially less likely to be in the top 17% of those with >86 days. However, that is a lot of “hindsight is 20-20.”

    Anyway, based on their experience with Howard I bet the Phils will be very wary of triggering Super Two status going forward.

  19. The Braves probably brought him up for a couple reasons:

    1. Cox likes to get young players’ feet wet in the Majors and for them to learn on the job.

    2. Cox said and I quote “His bat might not help us as much right now but he can help us with his glove”. They’d rather have him in CF for defensive purposes than any of their other options. With their overall lack of power as a team it might not be a bad thing to focus on pitching and defense to win games.

  20. Did you ever think some teams are bringing up there best options, and trying to win, and won’t sacifice winning, because of arb years.

  21. In the Braves’ case, Joedan Schafer was probably their best center field option right now. Sad thing is, he’s still having a better season than Jeff Francoeur.

  22. Does anyone else remember that SI cover of Francouer from a few years ago?: “The Natural”

    Yeah, hows that working out?

  23. The one prospect who was the next great player I kept on hearing about Gio Gonzalez is he still a top 100 guy, can’t miss prospect. The more I read and see and learn from this site, is that these kids can dominate in the minors, but until they come up and do it for more than a year ,it means nothing. example Donte Willis.

  24. doe everybody agree its hot enough to move guys up, ive been surfing in the delaware its only 90.

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