Daily Discussion

Just a few quick notes to get the day started:

In Lehigh Valley, Justin Lehr was named the International League Pitcher of the Week (5/10–5/10) for the second time this year, while in Reading Vance Worley was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week for the same time period.

In Clearwater last night, Kyle Drabek had another solid outing in CLearwater’s extra inning win, going 5 innings and allowing one run.  He did not get a decision. Dominic Brown has been on fire as well, hitting above .325, with a 6RBI game over the weekend.

In Lakewood, Anthony Gose stole his 19th base of the very young season last night.  Impressive.

Relief Pitcher Matt German, who has been outstanding this year for Reading, was placed on the DL with a strained oblique muscle.

214 thoughts on “Daily Discussion

  1. You would think a minimum of half a year at his current level to ensure its legit…kinda like Taylor’s progression last year.

  2. I noticed that Tim Kennelly, hitting right behind Brown in Clearwater, has been hot the past three games. 22-year-old catcher at A+ with an 810 OPS so far. Do we have something here? Pat Burrell (the poster, not the Ray) had asked back in April how he is defensively. Anyone have any ideas?

  3. I was looking at the play-by-play for Drabek’s start, and according to that he only gave up singles and only one of them was on a line drive (rest were fly ball singles and ground ball singles). So although he allowed a lot of baserunners, it wasn’t like he was getting battered. On the flip side, there were more balls hit in the air than usual for him; I have it as 9 batters hit it in the air (fly ball out or base hit to the outfield) and 6 batters hit it on the ground (groundout or ground ball single).

    So what does all that mean? Perhaps he didn’t have his usual stuff, but he was still able to be successful without it? It was also probably good practice for him to pitch with runners on base and to try getting out of jams.

  4. I’m with NEPP on Brown – give him a promotion after the All Star game. I guess his MLB debut could be next year.

    As for Kennelly, I’ve noticed that he’s been getting some time in at 3B as well. Considering that Naughton is a pretty good defensive catcher, I wonder if they are just trying to get Kennelly some ABs, or if he can also handle himself at 3B.

    Given that Mattair has been pretty awful offensively after his intriguing start (and it pains me to say it – I may be the biggest Mattair fan on this site – he’s looking like he might be a bust), I think we need to consider as many options as possible for “third basemen of the future” candidates. Kennelly is having a very good season – an .810 ops is nothing to sneeze at.

    – Jeff

  5. Last post, I promise, but Taylor had a nice game, HR and 3 BBs. He got the Ryan Howard treatment from Erie’s starting pitcher…

  6. Mattair’s got an odd batting line. He’s on pace to strike out 150 times this year, and walk 120 times. Perhaps he’s the new Anderson Machado!

  7. Kennelly is leading the FSL in doubles with 12. Nice gap hitter. Noticed they gave an IBB to Dominic Brown in the second inning two games ago so Kennelly must provide some protection so Brown gets something to hit. Down under he played right field for Western Australia in the Claxton Shield who won that national tournament. So he has played the corner infield and outfield positions and caught. Seems like he is being groomed as a super utility type guy who could provide some righthanded pop off the bench.

  8. Phillies will have to focus on drafting a 3B early in this year’s draft, IMO.

  9. saw Gose in person and he almost beat out several routine ground balls. He’s amazingly fast.

    The order in which i check for prospects when going to check the scores on MILB.com

    1-Dom Brown
    2-Michael Taylor
    3-check for pitchers to include Drabek, Worley, Stutes, Carrasco, Knapp

    Interested to see how Knapp bounces back from basically his worst performance as a pro.

  10. ****Is Worley for real? How soon until he gets promoted to AAA?****

    Seems to be…and probably not until the 2nd half at the earliest. Though, according to sources in Reading, the big club’s brass all attended his last start on Sunday to see him. That’s usually a sign of some pretty serious interest in a player.

  11. The Blanton trade seems to have been a win win for both organizations. We won a WS and they got some good depth (as well as one of their 5 starters). Both teams had goals going into the trade and both sets of goals seem to be accomplished.

  12. mike,

    Go here: http://firstinning.com/daily/phi

    to get daily box scores for the entire Phils system (really half a box score; you don’t see the opponent’s box). They also have links to the player’s stats if you click on a name in the box score. They don’t post until the day after, so if you want to know what happened the day of the game, you still need to go to milb.

  13. NEPP I never thought that Spencer would progress this much, he now is a legit homerun prospect, outman had a chance we all said that. and most thought Cardenas would be a big league player, but how good we never could tell. he’s young and has shown no power, but that could come. But I still think we had to make the trade, and would do it again, just can’t believe how fast these guys have moved though the A’s system.

  14. Thanks . I love this, it shows me all the scores without going to each site really great.

  15. Anyone know what’s up w/ Chance Chapman? He’s MIA on Clearwater’s roster and it doesn’t appear he’s been moved to Reading or Lakewood. He’s been pitching well and his last appearance was on 9 May. Any ideas?

  16. I can’t take the credit, that belongs to PP. I found first inning through our host’s list of resources (heading number 2 in the right-hand column of the page). I have it bookmarked, but I just noticed that the link is right there as an RSS feed.

    Thanks again for a great site, James.

  17. Worley is probably for real – if he were doing what he is doing at Clearwater, I’d be skeptical. Still, I’d probably keep him at Reading for the season – maybe promote him to AAA in July if he dominates, but there is no rush. He won’t be 22 until late September.

    – Jeff

  18. Just checked out the stats on Gavin Floyd. It looks like he has really struggled so far, 2-3 with an ERA above 7. I guess if he were still here he would fit right in with the rest of our starters right now

  19. A guy who has really interested me is 23 year old 1B Jim Murphy in Lakewood. The guy is hitting .321 with an OBP of .441. However, he’s only hit 2 HR’s and is only slugging .440. On the surface based on his age and BA you would think he should definitely be in at least Clearwater, but I wonder if the organization is holding him back until he starts to show some power.

  20. yes glen thanks and thanks James as well because i’ve noticed it before but never clicked on it. I will now, although many times I’ll go to milb.com when the big club is either off or getting blown out!!

  21. It’s funny how a player’s season is a bit of a mosaic and how often you don’t begin to get a true idea of the picture being formed for a little while. May, however, is when you start to look at statistics and see the picture that is emerging.

    Dom Brown’s numbers paint an impressive picture. They show he is a multi-talented young player with power, speed, bat control and plate discipline – it’s quite a package. Taylor is also doing quite well and, if his past exerpiences are any guide, he should begin to accelerate through AA in the near future.

  22. Yesterday was a typical day for the system. All three of the prospect teams allowed 3 runs which is consistent with the strong pitching all year while two teams scored 4 and won and one team scored only 2 and lost. We obviously don’t have very many legitimite position player prospects but oh that pitching… and you can always trade pitching for hitting.

  23. B-Mac: He’s probably being held back because he’s just org. filler. A 1B at 23 in Low-A not showing any power is just a space eater. They’d move him up if they needed the spot in Lakewood for a real prospect.

    Jeff O: Yes, I think it’s clear to most everyone that Mattair is nowhere close to consideration for “3B of the future.” He can’t hit at all in Low-A. No chance.

  24. I’m not sure if this is the place to post this, or if it has already been covered, but whatever happened to James, the proprietor of this fine web space?

  25. I think James is so thin skinned that he is off licking his wounds because some negative comments were made about him.

  26. Jeff O –

    Who would D. Brown replace if he makes the big show next year? All 3 outfielders are signed through 2010.

    He would most likely replace Jayson Werth in 2011, but it will be interesting, as that would give us yet another lefty in the line-up. Presumably Taylor will be ready by that point as well.

  27. NEPP, is it a coincidence that after some people accused him of being condescending he takes a sabbatical from the site. I’m not saying he was I’m just making an observation.

  28. Pete –

    I was thinking September callup or injury replacement, unless he is tearing it up at AAA, then the team has a nice problem on their hands.

    – Jeff

  29. That type of “problem” usually leads to a trade of some sort before it becomes a problem. Though, they might keep both as Ibanez will be 38 or 39 when Brown is ready for the show and Vic isn’t signed long-term either…I wonder if Brown could handle CF?

    To sicko: You have to remember that James runs this site out of his free time…he does not get any compensation from it and in fact loses money and time on it as he doesn’t have ads and he has to pay for the URL. Its his site, his creation, his passion and he has every right to get annoyed if and when people trash him or it. He also has a real life, job and family that probably take up all his attention from time to time.

  30. Well said, NEPP. I’m sure the bulk of us agree.

    As for Brown, he played CF last year for Lakewood. I seem to recall a criticism of him being that he wasn’t the greatest at tracking down fly balls (something about he didn’t always take the best path to the ball). With some coaching from Garry Maddox and Milt Thompson, I’m sure he could handle CF and be at least major league average.

    – Jeff

  31. NEPP Do you wonder what the phillies will do in the draft. What I mean is will they do a number and pick a moss type or drafting at seventy five be aggressive and try to draft a hard to sign kid, and go over slot. Will they spend money in the international market or like last year do very little?

  32. Jeff,

    there are times that that guy in Queens doesn’t take the right track to the ball either, IMO. I too think Brown could work there and I would guess as he moves up they may try him there depending on their thoughts about Victorino and Werth and how each woudld progress into their 30’s.

    I agree also on the sentiments about James. If he did nothing more than put this site up so we all could talk about the Phils system that would be just fine with me and I’d appreciate it instead of bashing him for no reason at all.

  33. mikemike- I expect to maybe go slightly over slot with their first pick, but save the real slot busting for later rounds when it’s cheaper to do so.

  34. Certainly I echo NEPP’s comments about James. And that’s why I asked, because our blog master is generally level-headed, insightful, and ready with balanced evaluation about Phils’ prospects. Given all the interesting performances from some players this year, I’m eager to get his take.

  35. A exchange of ideas is what we are here for, If it gets a little heated okay by me. PP has great things to say He should do it more often . Sometimes we all have different views , if we didnt this wouldnt be much of a web site.
    I said before Raul will be great model to Brown and Taylor in a year or so

  36. It’s the internet. You are going to get people who are pricks for no reason. Remember what Ben Affleck said, the internet is for slandering people anonymously.

  37. I think both Worley and Drabek could join Hammels, Blanton, and Moyer in the rotation next year.

  38. It seems clear that Donald is going to replace Bruntlett not Feliz next year. I think this Phils will probably resign Feliz to play third for a couple more years.

  39. I would guess Marson will bounce back soon and simply share catching duties with Ruiz begining in September. I guess he would be considered the back up to start the season next year and take over the starting role as the season goes on next year.

  40. Don’t know James well, but I suspect that when he does deliver his thoughts about the progress of the season thus far, it will be voluminous, detailed, and level-headed.

    One of the reasons I like this site so much.

  41. Another rough start for Carrasco tonight. How much longer do you think they’ll keep him at the AAA level as a starter?

    He is relatively young for the level, does anyone think he could use some more time at Reading? It seems they rushed him through Reading without having any real success. Maybe it was because at the time, it didn’t appear that they had any big time starting prospects, but now that some are flourishing this year, maybe they can be a little more patient with him.

  42. man carrasco is getting hit hard again, hopefully he figures it out soon enough

  43. A couple of guys we drafted last year faced each other the other day in a juco tourney in Fla. Keon Broxton hit a 3 run HR in the ninth off Ryan Weber to win that game. We thought about going over slot for both of those guys, and might want to revisit them in this year’s draft.

  44. They won’t send him down to Reading unless he completely and utterly implodes and that likely won’t happen. He’s young, learning and still working on all his pitches. There’s nothing for him to learn at Reading at this point.

    On Drabek: He likely won’t start the year in the Majors last year…he could very well start the year in Lehigh if he progresses as we all hope that he does. Remember, he’s still in Clearwater.

  45. NEPP – I see your point in that theoretically, he probably has the pitches to be in AAA, but I’m not sure if he has the head to pitch in AAA. As far as imploding, he currently has a 6+ ERA, so he’s pretty close to getting to that point in my view.

    I said it in another thread, and I’ll say it again – This guy reminds me a lot of Vincente Padilla in that he seems to get flustered easily and lose focus. Him going back down to Reading and dominating would be to get his head back in the game and get some confidence. Let’s say he goes back down and finishes the year there. He’ll still only be 23 in AAA next year, on target to be 24 in the bigs.

  46. He’s had a rough stretch of 3 out of his last 4 starts being bad. His first 3 starts were very good. If he still has a 6 ERA in a month or two I might see your point. Its still early in the season to make such determinations.

  47. Case in point, tonight after putting his team in a 4 run hole, the Pigs battle back in the top of the 3rd and score 4 to tie the game.

    Carassco comes out in the bottom of the 3rd and walks the leadoff hitter (who’s batting around .230) on 5 pitches. What’s up with that? That’s how you come out after having your team gives you a fresh start?

    It’s little things like this that make me question where his head is sometimes.

  48. bastardo doing very well again.

    is it me or is he already a better option than Taschner for the big club? Probably Eyre too.

  49. Yeah, 10K’s through 6 innings tonight for Bastardo. This Reading team could probably win the Eastern league if they could get any kind of offense going, pitching is outstanding this year.

  50. Final line for Carrasco – 4IP, 11 Hits, 7 runs (all earned), 2 BB, 3K’s, 6.62 season ERA.

  51. imagine a rotation of Worley, Stutes, Bastardo and Drabek(when called up). That’s just not fair!!

  52. Ya gotta wonder whjy they switched Bastardo to relief then back. Musta saw sumpin.

    Really i wish i could get an answer.

  53. HR: Gose (1, 4th inning off Springston, 2 on, 2 out).
    Gose 2 (21, 2nd base off Eppley/Hogan, 3rd base off Nevarez/Hogan).
    These HRs are going to hurt his stolen bases lol

  54. It is tough to steal a bag when the ball goes over the fence…with his speed he should be putting the ball on the ground and legging them out.

    They switched Bastardo to starting so he could focus more on his secondary pitches as he wasn’t getting that opportunity as a reliever. They still see him as a reliever at the MLB level.

  55. couple questions for everyone.

    1. What does Monasteros project as? I know he was very mediocre last year but he has had a strong start to this season and he continued that tonight. What are his pitches?

    2. what kind of power does Anthony Gose project to have. he already has 11 xbh in 120 AB thats not bad. Does anyone else see him filling out eventually and becoming a five tool player?

    3. why does everyone say that Bastardo has to be a reliever, I know he’s a short left but i herd he has a great fastball change up combo with an average to above average curve thrown in. Why cant he be a Roy Oswalt type? He has dominated while starting at every level so far and has even lowered his walks this year which was a big knock on him in the past. He has done NOTHING at all to play himself out of starting and i think he should at least be given a shot before we relegate him to the bullpen.

  56. How does he dominate so easity and consistently with only 2 pitches? And if he really only has 2 pitches. Why can’t he be taught a third?

  57. On Gose, you can see a standard scouting report here: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/events/draft_report/y2008/index.jsp?mc=gose. Sounds like the raw toolshed that the Phils love. The description reminds me a little of Victorino, personally. Some power potential, but maybe not as much as he thinks he has. I remember at draft time that scouts were much more excited about him as an LHP that can throw 95mph than as a position player.

    On Bastardo, I agree with you to some extent that you should let him succeed until he fails. However, if he still only has a low-90s fastball and change-up, he may not be able to develop a third complementary pitch at this point. I guess we will see.

    Meanwhile, my new favorite 3B/OF/C is having a nice night with 2 2Bs. So what if he’s a little old for A+, I’m starting the Tim Kennelly bandwagon!

  58. also if he only has two pitches why would he need to start again to work on them? how many innings does one really need to fine tune 1 offspeed pitch. im assuming his fastball is already above average because otherwise idk how he would strike out so many

  59. He dominates because he’s going up against AA hitters. Some guys can’t learn a 3rd pitch that will work against legit hitters….so far, he’s been one of them. Part of having him as a starter is so that he can work on his secondary pitches and improve.

  60. thats what im asking. what are those secondary pitches? and AA hitters aren’t like single A. you can’t just block fastballs by them he has to be doing something right besides that.

  61. nepp is correct very few pitchers can get away with two pitches. koufax,hamels,santana.mainly you have to vary the speed and location of your two pitches,but gebenelly the average number 2 pitcher needs 3 pitches. as far as having a rotation of worley, stutes,bastardo,and drabek be careful your not exactly talking about mcnally cuellar and palmer. if we get one of the guys to fit the quality of hamels well be more than lucky. imo opinion our best bet is to deal any body but donald and marson for an ace. donald will be at 3rd next year feliz will be gone marson should be starting right now. we have 2 outfield prospects brown and taylor we only need 1 we have several pitching prospects carrasco,kendrick,worley, stutes,bastardo,drabek,cloyd and knapp. we can deal 3. plus we have various fillers or POSSIBLY more in d,arnaud etc. pick between brown and taylor deal the other with carrasco stutes and darnaud for haren, or a lesser package for another younng ace. we do need to draft infielders college imo but we really need to draft guys who can get it up over 95. you can never teach speed. not another savery who i saw alot at rice i dont know what they were thinking he never broke 90 no movement bad breaker. horrible pick.

  62. all philly plans major and minor league are based on Rollins snapping out of it

  63. Boston Phan:

    Considering that the Travis Mattair bandwagon has broken down and I’m stuck on the side of the road, is there any possibility the Kennelly Bandwagon could swing by and pick me up?

    – Jeff

  64. Bastardo’s fastball must have been jumping again as it approached the plate last night in Erie. He pitched a one hit , 10 strike out, six inning shutout against the team with the best OPS in the EL.

  65. He still has that worrisome FB/GB ratio but hopefully that won’t hurt him. 6 FB outs to 2 GB outs. Its nice to see him improve significantly on his second go around at the AA level. His effort against LH hitting is even more impressive…I believe LHs are hitting around .160 on him (don’t have time to check his exact splits but it was around that the last time I looked). All in all, very good.

  66. Just looking at Gose stats. I have a question he has struck out thirty times, and if I project that over a 500 plus season its about 150 strikouts, is that a concern for him now or because he is advanced it is expected, I look at him and think the worst case is he is a michael bourn , late inning, base stealing good outfielder. and wasn’t Collier thought to be the better prospect in the draft, more polised to hit?

  67. anonymous,

    i was actually speaking just of the Reading rotation with no delusions of grandeur that they would be able to take that to Philly. I’d be surprised if more than one of Drabek, Worley, Stutes, Bastardo made a solid major leaguer. I’d rate on potential Drabek a 2, Worley a 3, Stutes a 5 and Bastardo a solid LOGOY maybe once Romero’s contract is up.

    I also agree with your logic to trade some of those for someone proven although it’ll be difficult to pry Haren from the D’backs especially with Webb’s uncertainty now.

    I also think it’ll be difficult to get any ML’er to agree to trades/signing long term here with our bandbox. We’d be better off if we could develop them ourselves as normally is the case.

  68. I think the assessment of Drabek (2) and Worley (5) are accurate. I don’t think anybody really knows Stutes’ ceiling. Reports are that he throws between 90-95 with pretty good command. He may have a higher ceiling than expected. Bastardo is also interesting. When a player dominates like he has, even without a devastating FB or out pitch, it’s hard to tell exactly what he will become. I would expect that, at worst, he’ll be nice lefty option out of the pen. At best, he’s a Randy Wolf type of hurler which, frankly, would be a nice option in the team’s ML rotation.

  69. Lemme get this strait. A poster above is trading D’Arnaud, Stutes and Carrasco for Haren? lol

  70. Most scouts put Drabek as a potential #1 type guy…if he stays healthy…the rest are pretty accurate though. Though Worley as a 3 may be a reach…back of the rotation (4/5) or very good RH reliever are more likely results for him.

  71. i’m just thinking out loud here about Worley but very good RH reliever who originally was a starter? Comparisons to Ryan Madson??? I’d be fine with that.

  72. mikemike –

    (and I apologize in advance if I misread your post, but it sounds like you have expected more from Collier)

    I think Collier has been doing well at Lakewood. Considering that he won’t be 19 until September, a lot of his competition is at least two years older than he is. He’s been running well, not embarrassing him self with the bat, and hitting with some extra-base pop (even if he has no homers). If anything, he is striking out a bit too much, and I’d like to see him walk a bit more, but I don’t think he’s been a disappointment by any stretch

    – Jeff

  73. Jeff, hop aboard, mate! You’ll have to learn our theme song, Waltzing Matilda. I figure this bandwagon should hold up for at least as long as he’s hitting behind Brown…

  74. Jeff O, hop aboard, mate! You’ll have to learn our theme song, Waltzing Matilda. I figure this bandwagon should last for as long as he’s hitting behind Brown…

  75. Worley would not appear to have Madson’s velocity. A better comp may be Joe Blanton or Jon Lieber. Just thinking out loud here.

  76. Though it should be noted that Madson didn’t have Madson’s velocity until he became strictly a 1 inning guy.

  77. floyd i said taylor also but if its taylor carrasco drabek and myers as a closer i dont care. except for donald and marson and 1 of the 2 outfielders i would trade anyone in our system for haren.

  78. I would trade any three players from our system, except Drabek, right now I believe he is untouchable. The rest I would drive the bus Donald, Marson, Taylor, Brown, Galvis ,Worley, Stutes pick three.

  79. Catch 22 wrote: At best, he’s a Randy Wolf type of hurler which, frankly, would be a nice option in the team’s ML rotation.

    When I first read this early this morning my reaction was along the lines of “That’s ridiculous, Wolfy had 4 solid pitches and good use all of them effectively”. Then I sat back and thought about it for a while and decided to see if there were any real comparisons to be made.


    1. Wolfy made AAA early in his age 21 season and played there again at age 22 before being promoted to the Majors. He posted pretty good numbers in the minors (better than Bastardo’s as he was a level higher and a full two years younger).

    2. Wolfy’s best pitch was his curve (high 60’s) followed by a FB (87-90) and change (high 70s). He only threw 3 pitches early in his career and then later started mixing in a cutter and a slider. Bastardo throws a very good change up (which is his best pitch whereas his FB is mediocre to good depending on the scouting report. He usually works in the 88-91 range with a deceptive delivery).

    3. FB/GB rates – Bastardo is an extreme FB pitcher whereas Wolf has always been a very neutral GB/FB guy (0.95 for his career)

    4. Wolf had much better control than Bastardo in the minors (2.9 BB/9 vs. 4.1 BB/9) but Bastardo strikes more guys out (10.2 K/9 vs. 8.6 K/9)

    The key is that while Bastardo is pitching very well at Age 23 in Reading…Wolf was already in his second MLB season at the same age. Sorry to cut it off but my lunch break is almost over. 😦

  80. Briefly since his name came up .Removing Madson for Lidge was a cllose shave. So far Lidge hasnt hurt the club but
    maybe he needs the save situation stimulus to be good.
    Despite the solid outfield situation I would hold on to Taylor and Brown. I am totally impressed by Raul(going left with 2 ks especially) but in his third year he might get you more than an prospect. One more year to raise the youngster and off to the
    american league (Yankees?) Time will march on even for admirable players

  81. I still stick with the the belief any player is tradable in the right deal, but don’t sell low (Savery).

    Who is starting the 2nd half of the double header for the big club on Saturday? If Happ is needed for a long stretch in the next two three days it will have to be someone from the minors. I don’t think the big club can bear a bullpen start considering they work ~3 innings a night. I know the brass saw Worley’s last start, but it seems early for him and Kendrick and Carrasco are both getting knocked around right now.

  82. Rodeo,

    word from the papers says Happ as long as he’s not needed in long relief between now and then which is likely a YES. If not the suggested Kendrick, OUCH. I’d rather suffer through an 8IP 6R mess that was BLanton’s last start and see Happ’s stuff as a starter.

  83. Not sure where to post this, but lots of chat action on Phils minor leaguers from Keith Law and Ben Badler today. To me the most interesting Q/As I saw were these:

    Steve (Wilmington): Without a first round pick in the draft, I am hoping the Phillies will be more active internationally than they have been in the past? Any support for this notion?

    Ben Badler: (2:07 PM ET ) They might be, though that’s more of a speculative guess than anything else. I’m sure a revenue boost from winning the World Series wouldn’t hurt, and a month or so ago they spent around $330K on Domingo Santana, an OF from the Dominican Republic with some tools.

    Dan (Atlantic City, NJ): Is Dominic Brown blossoming into a top-15-20 prospect?

    Ben Badler: (2:08 PM ET ) Very early, but he could be by the end of the season. He’s one of the top five outfield prospects in the minors right now.
    So I missed the Domingo Santana signing, has anyone found anything out about him?

    Nice to see Brown labeled as one of the top five OF prospects in the minors!

  84. Mike – I hope that if they need Happ to relieve in the next few days it’ll be Worley. He’s college-aged so I don’t think he can be ruined by one outing. I think it would actually do a lot to motivate him for the rest of the year down there. I’d also prefer to put a guy out there that would give them a chance rather then Kendrick or Carrasco, who I don’t think would give them much of a chance right now.

    Before everyone flames me, it’s a SPOT start. One game up, go back down. I’m not advocating him being called-up full time.

    On our lovely host:

    From what he’s written he is working on some big projects, so I assume he’s focusing on those right now. I’m sure he’s reading all of our comments anyway. If that is his focus, then fine, it’s his hobby. I would like to hear his take on some topics more often but he did a great job in selecting some of the posters here to fill in for him. All of the weekly updates are well-written and fun to read and the guys who do other features have been doing a great job in my opinion. This is just and extended ‘thanks’ to all the guys who are writing for this site.

  85. Might be time to set Cairo or Bruntlett go and bring up a spot reliever or starter then maybe Marberry or someone. Ozuna
    can be called up on a minutes notice. Good place for Charlie
    since everyone else is confused also. Ruben you have to take charge. Seriously Charlie is good with the players but too attached.
    Happ has got to start. Trade Tashner to Houston. Tell Ed he can run fast . Ed loves guy who run fast even if they cant play

  86. Don’t think the Phillies would burn an option year on Worley just so he can make a spot start.

    If it isn’t Happ, it will most likely be Kendrick or possibly Carpenter

  87. 3up3kkk beat me to that comment…they won’t burn an option year on Worley for a spot start. If a starter were to go down with a serious injury, it would be more likely but not a spot start. Kendrick or Carpenter are both already on the 40 man roster though. (yes, I’m not thrilled with that option either).

  88. Hadn’t thought of that guys. Good point on the option year. I hope the big guys bring their bats if it’s either of those two.

  89. On Carpenter or Kendrick…neither is having a great season right now. KK has the better overall numbers but he was murdered in his last outing…though the 2 starts before that one were pretty good. Carpenter has given up 8 ER in his last 2 starts but only 10 ER in his last 4 starts. I’d probably go with KK…at least he has more MLB experience.

  90. Thanks, NEPP, that’s very interesting.

    Your observations are valid and mine were based on my visual take of both pitchers – release points and fastballs are similar, both have nice breaking pitches. It was a gross generalization – I am glad my comments prompted a reaction and caused someone to do research – it’s fascinating.

    Wolf, obviously, was more advanced at an earlier age. That being said, for pitchers, age comp.s aren’t nearly as important as they are for hitters. If you’re 24 or 25 and have good stuff, you still have a shot, even if you’re in the middle minors. A lot of super pitchers were just finding themselves at at age 25 or 26. However, if you’re 24 or 25 and not doing well as a hitter in AA, even if you’re a proverbial “tool shed,” your odds of ever succeeding are very slim. Hitters rarely wake up at age 25 or 26 and start advancing their career.

  91. Can someone tell me what the most was ever paid to a drafted player, not a international or japanese player. and then tell me what kind of number you think this kid would want from the nats. Strasburg will be the first pick unless they are nuts. but what would it take.

  92. Mark Prior has the record signing out of the draft for like 10 Million. I’m guess Strasburg gets 20-25 million and is with the team in September at the latest.

  93. Wow ten million and he was always hurt. I Think I ‘d Take the twenty million and get a lot of top hard to sign kids with that kind of money. .

  94. $10.5 million for Prior to be exact….and that was in 2001. Even counting for inflation, that would be about $12.8 million this year. My guess is that Boras will ask for his $50 million (with the real goal of $20-25 million), the Nats will counter at around $10 million…and they’ll meet at Boras’s real goal of $20-25 million. And Strasburg will never ever live up to it. History is not on his side as a hard throwing prospect.

    Brien Taylor is on line 2 if you have any questions…hell, I still have his rookie card somewhere…a card I adamantly refused to trade to my brother for years.

  95. I’d pay $20m for Strasburg. Best pitching prospect ever. By and large no injury concerns with his delivery. He’s a stud and the Phils will be facing him in September and regretting it.

    Brien Taylor hurt his shoulder in a bar fight, not baseball at all. Could have happened to Hamels, Cole got lucky. Strasburg lives with his mom, no bar outings in his future! 😉

  96. I wasn’t trying to compare him to Brien Taylor specifically but I figured he’s the best poster boy for “sure thing” pitching prospects. $20 million is a lot of money for a rookie that might never pan out…though if I were the Nats, you almost HAVE to sign him…just not at the $50 million because he’s a front line starter BS that Boras is spouting. He’s not gonna be able to step in and dominate at the MLB level no matter how hard he throws. There is a huge huge difference between his competition at SD State and the Majors. There will be a learning curve no matter what Boras spouts off about.

  97. I mean, he probably WON’T be worth that contract. But, if he lives up to even half the hype he will be worth more than what he signs for. You have to take a chance. He’s like the Ken Griffey Jr of pitching prospects.

  98. I don’t care what the level of competition at SD state is… according to the last scouting report I read the kid throws a ++ 99-102 mph four seamer high in the zone, a ++ 97-100 mph two seamer low in the zone, a ++ 92-94 mph slider, an average 85 mph change and an average 75 mph curve…. all with pin-point location. Check out this video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pVyw2JlloM

    If that arm stays healthy I’ll believe anything that Boras spouts off.

  99. Shunky The question is pitchers are very fragile. He is the best prospect ever by scouts, But the kind of money they want isn’t it better to try to go after for instance ,you could have a portello. who signed for 7 million, alvatez the third basemen. and still have more money for other top hard to signs. do you put all your eggs in one basket or go for more options to fill out your team. Look at Prior if I am not wrong he was coming out the winnest pitcher in college history. He had the best winning percentage all time. how did that work out? I just think it’s hard because of the money this kid will demand if he is a flop,it will hurt that orgization and will set the bar higher for money paid to draft choices and we know you build through the draft, and if it gets too expensive, then kids won’t sign until the big market teams go after them like the yankess, mets, redsox, and then the draft won’t be the thing to even out the leagues and give everyone a chance to win. I can’t understand why they just don’t set the draft as first round get x dollars second and so forth. why paid unproven talent all that money, let them earned it, Look they deserve money for being good at either high school or college levels, but who coming out of college deserves twenty million?

  100. Imagine if he tears his rotator cuff in his 2nd outing as a pro…whoopsy.

    I hope everything works out for him, I truly do. No pitching prospect is a sure thing…no matter how great his stuff is.

  101. Mikemike There is also the way prospects of that magnitude are handled. The Yankee minor league people sent Joba with
    a list of instructions. Still the owner put pressure on the team
    to start him, right or wrong the baseball people were trumped
    That isnt even saying anything about bad coaching and manager who want to get ahead and do the wrong thing
    A team like the Yankees can eat a mistake like B. Taylor. Can Washington?
    One good point about Strasburg ,he probably wont sign for a while so he will get some rest after the CWS
    Ps Happ on Saturday about time I hope he does well

  102. I sorry to talk big club, but hope happ gets more than one start to see if he can help. When are we going to get into the draft, at 75 how much hope to get a stud do people have, do we spend more in international market, and do we consentrated on positon players like infield help or best athlete available. I really only have seen mostly the ten top players talk about, Does anyone know how Workman is doing at texas, just interested

  103. I checked out Stickles mock draft (above) on the second round he must be smoking something. we have lots of good fielding SS
    75. Philadelphia – Devan Marrero, SS, American Heritage HS (FL) – This is the Phillies’ first pick, so like the Mets, they’ll be looking for the player with the highest ceiling. Marrero’s bat is very questionable, but there’s very little doubt that he’ll stick at shortstop. He reminds me of Elvis Andrus.

  104. josh outman with a nice outing for the oakland A’s last night. looks like a win-win trade.

  105. Outman has shown so far in a short period of time that a pitcher can make location mistakes and get away with them as long as he throws fairly hard as Josh does (93.4 mph is his FB average this year). Though he really needs to cut down his BB rate if he wants to keep that ERA around 4 like it is now (4.05). He’s walked 12 in 26.2 IP so far.

  106. another night of jamie throwing bp. another example of the phils slowtracking players. outman a guy we were talking about last year as maybe making the big club in 2010 throws 6 innings of 3 hit ball in oakland. manuel “hes not gonna get better sittin down” no and hes not gonna get better pitching. ‘these are the guys we won a ws with last year’ its not last year charlie.

  107. Oakland will likely have two starters out of that trade . Cardenas is starting to hit, and they just move the other kid to doubleaa. never thought that spencer would progress this fast, or ever like him as a prospect. but Blanton even though he wasn’t great. Stop the bleeding and help us win so it is a win win. And outman to me throws hard but you saw a kid for the dodgers throw hard and walk a lot it usually means you over the course of a season will get hit.

  108. At the time I thought they overpaid and still do mostly because I liked Cardenas, Do you know what the prospect that the athletics go for haren are doing in comparison. He is the one we should have got.

  109. Not sure how Outman has show the ability to get away with mistakes by throwing hard. He has given up 5 hrs in 26 IP (in a pitcher’s park) and has made it out of the 5th inning only 2x in 6 starts.

    I hope he is successful in Oakland by he hasn’t shown to be much more than a swingman in a rotation at this point, kinda like Happ.

  110. Its was more of a “not all his mistakes have gone out”…unlike a Brett Myers or even Moyer so far. Its a little easier to turn on a ball when its coming in at 88 as opposed to 94/95.

  111. im officially throwing hat in the ring for a clay buckholtz deal. they need a catcher and of marson and brown or taylor. does anyone really have an idea who is better besides taylor being a righty i dont get a feel for who has the ad.

  112. ” another example of the phils slowtracking players”

    Vey samll sample size (in terms of innings) so far on Outman, but even at best he is one data point – versus hundreds of data points the other way, i.e., young pitchers whose careers were destroyed by being rushed. On top of that, the downside risk of “slowtracking” a pitcher is … what, exactly, in the age eof free agency? You still get the same number of cost controlled years, just delayed, a better chance of getting peak years, and less risk of injuries.

    John, I know I’m hard on you, but this is by far your biggest blind spot. Unlike, say, your belief that Jason Donald may be the Phillies’ third baseman of the future, where you could be correct (though I think you are not), your belief in the merits of rushing young pitchers is basically on the same level of believing that the earth is flat. No offense.

    Now, on position players there is more of an argument for “fast tracking” – there is less downside risk. But still not much upside benefit either. I mean, look at Utley, for example. He was to some extent “slow tracked” – in that players of his caliber usually are regulars at a slightly lower age (that’s one reason he is a longshot to have a HoF career). But the Phillies are getting his peak years. Maybe fast tracking would have been better for Utley, but not for the Phillies.

  113. Nepp, I agree with you in general that all things being equal, the guy who throws 93 is better than the guy throwing 88.

    But it still comes down to movement and location. While 93 in the middle of the plate is better than 88 down the middle, both will get you in trouble.

    Just not sure that Outman is a good guy to use to make the point…

  114. I knew my comment this morning would be taken out of contex. the kid had a good game, but anyone using josh outman as an example of anything negative against the phillies is ridiculous. he is a marginal mlb starter on a bad team. no way he should be starting for the defending champs or that he should be promoted over some of the other quality arms we have that can’t crack the line up. he throws hard, but has control issues. last night he beat kansas city, not exactly a run scoring powerhouse (4th lowest scoring team in the AL).

    and i honestly don’t care if outman, cardenas and spencer go on to hall of fame careers. we don’t get to the world series without blanton last year. that’s all that matters.

    stop bashing the phillies brass for not doing anything wrong. they have clearly turned around both the major league and minor league teams. our farm system is the best it has been in a long time. we have top prospects as pitchers and hitters. don’t always be so negative.

  115. larry once again a crystal clear post please my friend get back on the prosac. data points hundreds of pitchers destroyed,free agency,the earth is flat very coherent larry. please seek help with this compulsive disorder. cohereny is only a short stay away.

  116. PP when do we get into the draft, do you think that strasberg will go to the majors from the draft. That’s what they are saying.

  117. sorry about the above but our friends need help. now on to baseball. as i was saying i would move whoever it takes to obtain haren and buckholtz. the only players i would place off limits are donald simply because we have no other middle inf.with his ability. and dont be surprised if rollins does not snap out of this funk that is the only scenerio i can rationally think of for donald continuing to play ss i know it seems implausible but dont discount it. and the only other player is between brown and taylor. we only need one who is better? as far as our minors pitching that the a,s scouts are so far advanced that they would just happen to ask for a guy who if he were still with us he would be in the minors? i douldt it . thats called slowtracking.

  118. Now, see there you go John. And I’m the one who is supposed to be quilty of personal attacks?1?1?

    Particularly telling is this – while there are certainly arguments one could advance to counter my reply – not, I believe, valid ones, as I am not making a terribly controversial point – but it would seem to me that, if one disagrees with me, one should .. make the argument, instead of combining a silly accusation of incoherency (wrong or right, my argument was laid out pretty damn clearly) and personal attacks.

    One might almost think that you don’t have anything of substance to say on the point. Do you? I mean, am I wrong that, looking at RECENT evidence, most (yes, most) pitchers in recent years who were full time major league starting pitchers at a very young age had their careers derailed by injuries? Am I wrong that research shows that pitchers who pitch a lot of innings (specifically, whoes workload increases quickly) at a young age are far more likely to have arm injuries? Am I wrong about free agency rules? Maybe they changed the rules when I wasn’t looking, and free agency is now based upon age rather than years of service? Boy, I would sure have egg on my face if THAT was the case.

    I mean, where exactly do I go worng in my argument John? How many pitchers in recent years have been successful as starters at a very yound age without hurting their arms? Oh, there have been a few, but it is the exception, not the rule.

  119. Wow and I am watching the phillies game and they mention that strasberg this year most likely will pitch in the majors, how’s that for timing. Fits what you guys are talking about I think.

  120. larry your wrong and i dont have the time to list the number of young pitchers who have been fastracked successfully.

  121. btw i,ll make it real,real simple.the phils are playing like hell. imo moyer is totally ineffective. blanton is on the ropes. manuel will not make the change to happ. rollins and ruiz are not hitting. like boston,tampa,florida,and others if our minor league system is so good lets see. deal for haren, and buckholtz. and obviously if outman is pitching well in oakland and he wasnt our top prospect than these guys we have should be further along. this isnt last year and i dont want to wait another 28 years. I LOVE THIS TEAM AND I HAVE FOR 50 YEARS.

  122. Well Larry You are missing one point a pitcher the same age who gets hurt in the minors is usually not on ESPN. Many guys get abused and are hurt or lose their careers in College and certainly the NCAA doesn’t send out press notes. IF the manager and pitching coach are smart and protective enough
    the risk to young pitchers would not be so harsh.
    The trouble starts with GOOD OLE BOYS who want things to be like they never were, at least not for a long long time.
    ( I have previously noted that Babe Ruth in a lot of ways marked the beginning of the end of the complete game era)

  123. Knapp five strikeouts out of first 6 batters. will he set a record tonight.

  124. i’d think Strasburg would go direct to the majors for two reasons.

    1-COST-he’s going to get around $20-$25 million by most estimates and you don’t want him wasting pitches in the minors with that cost.

    2-i’d expect right off the bat he’s the best pitcher the nats have with no disrespect to the younger Mr. Zimmerman.

    also keeping an eye on Knapp tonight. looks like he’s doing well after two straight sub-par outings.

  125. With Happ finally starting ,Lidge having a melt down, Condrey
    giving up run in three of is last four games, and Durbin caving in today,it isnt just the starter that are in trouble. Bruntlett pinch (not)hitting was pitiful. Koplove or Majewski or even Bastardo needs to be added.

  126. ****I knew my comment this morning would be taken out of contex. the kid had a good game, but anyone using josh outman as an example of anything negative against the phillies is ridiculous.****

    FWIW, I wasn’t bashing the Blanton deal…just saying I was happy for a former prospect that we followed. The Blanton deal was a good one.

  127. listening to Knapp online at:


    he gave up a leadoff double in the 5th down the line and then promptly struck out #8 and #9 on the night and got the 3rd out on a groundout.

  128. Everyone posts too much about the big-league team in ways that are entirely irrelevant to the minor leagues. It gets annoying after a while.

    Knapp’s looking good again- bouncing back from his last 2 starts with a 5.0ip 3h 1er 1r 1bb 9k effort so far. Collier and Gos both have hits, too.

  129. I am trying to think who the Phils will bring up,if they send Carpenter down after the game, So many choices(nice)
    Koplove really deserves a chance, Majewski no argument,
    German another ok, they love Esconla but if its to stay its hard to pass up Bastardo very consistent, can go short or long relief or start. Take away his “bad” game may1 and his ERA is .078

    Ps. I would love to see Taylor and Brown back together for a month anyway

  130. nw i dont want to see any mlb retreads i would love to see bastardo, he can actually brake a paine of glass. seriously i think he has a future imo the koploves zagurskis majewskis are more of the same mediocrity. as far as brown and taylor they should be together their going to have to decide whos a keeper no better way than both at aaa. i guess bastardo pitched or they should have called him up for tonite. when are they going to dump brunlett and bring up mayberry. certainly a more feared and dangerous bat.

  131. nw i cant take the retreads bring up bastardo and give him a shot. also bring up mayberry and cut bruntlett their going to have to put brown and taylor together to see whos the keeper

  132. John I was with you until you said Mayberry, how is he any different than Golson I would rather have Golson as a fifth outfielder, a michel bourn speed type. Even if he can’t hit late in games his speed and defense is great to have. instead of mayberry once in a while homerun.

  133. Mayberry has shown pretty good improvement so far this year in AAA…his BB and SO numbers are better as is his OBP. Though, he needs regular ABs, not the 1 AB a week he’d get in Philly.

    2008 – 15.8
    2009 – 11.6

    2008 – 5.59
    2009 – 4.06

    2008 – .790
    2009 – .922

    Hopefully its not a fluke of small sample size as he’s not only drastically improved his biggest weakness at the plate but he’s done so despite moving out of the PCL (supposedly a hitters league IIRC).

  134. Please flip my statisics…its supposed to read plate appearance per walk and plate appearance per strike out…not the other way around.

  135. either way the Mayberry/Golson trade has definitely worked out better for us. Golson is struggling as usual and doesn’t seem destinted to play anytime soon in Texas while I’d definitely expect Mayberry to be a Sept callup for us.

  136. john from philly.ne
    Since BA of .200 is already called the Mendoza line maybe we can .100 the Bruntlett line. Cairo was probably cursing all the way up the Blue Route. He did foul a ball off today and flied out much better than last night

  137. Mike I will make you a non wager bet. Before there careers are over Golson plays more years than Mayberry. reason to me is Golson glove and speed will keep him on majors league rosters, where Mayberry’s low average and occasional homeruns won’t just my opinion

  138. nw i know you love brunlett as much as i do here is the reason he is here and not donald. donald would be much better off with the phils than in aaa. he would get 200 ab,s he would play 2nd ss 3rd in giving each of those guys a blow he would be hitting better than he is now and ive seen it a million times when a guy gets recalled he starts hitting like he should, he would get used to the bigs. the reason hes not here is simple he would be a threat to rollins and feliz whereas brunlett threatens noone. this reasoning is as old as the hills anyone who doesnt think bb is political should think again. the same reason bastardo is not here a threat to jamie. obviously the phils are a better team with donald and bastardo than brunlett and taschner if you want bastardo in the pen. great to see myers throw a quality game.

  139. John may I give you an AMEN . The good ole boy thing. Every teams seems to ave a darling. A long time ago it was Vukovich
    bless his soul. Great guy but he didnt bat one year until sept
    No wonder Charlie is a players manager but it has gone too far

  140. Donald a threat to Rollins? We’re talking about Jimmy Rollins, also known as J-Roll? The former NL MVP and Phillies leader on the field and in the clubhouse? Donald is not a threat to Rollins. I don’t understand how you can say that. Sure, Donald is a good player, and J-Roll is struggling right now. But, so is Donald. Oh, he’s better than the level he’s at. He should prove it, then. It’s not politics. Bruntlett is still in Philly because Donald is striking out as often as Mayberry. We should be confident he can hit major league pitching when he’s not making contact with Triple-A pitching? I don’t care how many time you’ve seen it. It’s just crazy to assume that is the case.

    Bastardo is a threat to Moyer. That’s funny.

  141. Do you see Bruntlett better than Cairo Mr. Man?

    As far as Carpenter maybe he isnt a starter but a long reliever
    He throw a nice splitter and sinking fastball

  142. I think the club views Bruntlett as more versatile in the field than Cairo. Hard to disagree, with Cairo playing 1B so much in the past few years. And neither is a threat with the bat.

    I am not defending Bruntlett. Just the move to leave Donald in Triple-A for now.

  143. OK BTW can u see carpenter as a middle reliever instead of a starter

  144. Do you think they called up Carpenter instead of Bastardo because Bastardo projects higher?

  145. They called up Carpenter because he’s on the 40 man roster, and they can burn options of his because he’s never going to amount to more than a spot starter/long relief pitcher. It was a spot start people, you don’t call up your best prospects for spot starts.

    Also Bruntlett is fine, he’s a utility man meant to be the last guy on the bench. His value is that he can play every position on the field if there is an injury to some one. Bruntlett was fine last year on the WS team, he finds ways to contribute to the team.

  146. Like I said his value is that he’s a utility man and can play every position for you.

    His OBP is pretty much irrelevant as he shouldn’t be getting at bats.

  147. let me get this straight replacing Bruntlett with a better player is wrong??????????????????????

  148. nowheels, you are referring to Donald as the better player? Besides Donald being more valuable to the club right now in the minors, he hasn’t earned a promotion to the majors.

    It’s not about Bruntlett. His deficiencies are magnified by the lack of a real righty bench bat. Utility fielders shouldn’t be expected to PH so often.

  149. he stinks at several positions so he is of value. Good thing Aristotle cant hear this,

  150. They use him as a pinch hitter because they are stuck using him there. They don’t have any right handers who can hit off the bench. Now that they dumped Cairo they need to get that right handed bat and everything goes back to normal.

  151. Gotta like Dominic “clutch” Brown. Clearwater trailing 8-6 in the top of the 9th Brown doubles driving in two runs to tie the game. Then he steals third with one out. Tiim Kennelly drives him in with a single to left which turned out to be the winning run. Let’s get him up to AA ASAP.

  152. Bastardo with another really nice outing today, 7 innings, 2 ER, 7 Ks and 1 BB.

    Seems like last year the biggest knocks on him were his walk and home run totals. So far this year in 34.2 IPs, he’s got 39 Ks to only 7 walks, and has allowed all of 1 home run. Has anyone heard reports of him maybe improving his secondary stuff and developing a 3rd quality pitch or is he still strictly a 2-pitch pitcher?

  153. so maybe bastardo becomes a closer but i Knew Mariano was a closer I was being funny

  154. hamels only has two pitches santana has two nolan ryan had two etc. etc. it depends on what you do with your two. con man who earned a spot out of spring donald or brunlett or cairo? as far as being a threat i dont think your looking at donald as rollins or feliz does. if your either one who would you feel more comfortable with behind you obviously not the guy who can take your job which bruntlett never will. same with bastardo and moyer you think bastardo being called up would make moyer or blanton comfortable? i dont think so. btw will charlie FINALLY move happ in and park out. best thing this weekend myers outing and jimmy starting to hit.

  155. John, I think you are overlooking the obvious. It’s not that I disagree with you about the organization. The Phils do have a “good ol’ boys” lean to them. One doesn’t need to look any further than Bill Giles to see that “baseball people” run the club. But, that doesn’t mean they check with the J-Rolls and Jamie Moyers before making roster moves. Comfort level of the stars isn’t likely to be the deciding factor when picking a spot starter or placing the last man on the bench.

    Donald didn’t blow away Bruntlett and Cairo in Spring Training. He really didn’t play any better than either of them, or even Ozuna. Of all the middle infield options in ST, Donald was the prospect. So he goes to the minors to play everyday. And it’s not like he’s been hitting everything pitched to him down there. He’s not even making particularly good contact. He isn’t earning a promotion with his play. His value as a trade chip still exceeds his value as a utility player. So, in the minors he should stay.

    All we needed Saturday was a spot starter. Carpenter is a starter. He’s pitching at the highest minor league level. He’s also on the 40-man roster. These things together make him a much better option than Bastardo. It’s not always a conspiracy to retain the status quo. Sometimes, it’s just the most convenient move.

  156. Mr. C. Man Bruntlett is 380 player in the majors before his hit today that means he is the worse pick a player any player and his is better. You dont like Cairo or Donald – Ozuna is better
    and actually play the outfield. If you want to argue get married its good practice, I am done talking

  157. John from philly-

    Hamels and santana have three pitches. Hamels has a curve he throws between 5 and ten times a game, and santana has a slider that he throws basically only to lefties. both are at least above average major league pitches. I can’t speak on nolan ryan though, as i’ve never seen him pitch.

    you are really starting to bug me, man. Its not just that you are completely fanatical about everything, but you also tend to exagerrate things or comlpetely ignore facts. try looking up info about players every once in a while, it really helps to make you sound like less of a moron.

  158. This discussion is going sideways . . . as much as you may disagree with someone, there’s really no need to call somebody names. I like to think the level of politeness on this website is what generally sets it apart from some other blogs.

    Turning to baseball, a few comments.

    First, I got a chance to see Carpenter and Escalona. Carpenter was extremely disappointing. It wasn’t that he got lit up – that happens to all kinds of young pitchers. What was disappointing was just how pedestrian his stuff was. I came away thinking “why the hell was a second round pick wasted on this guy”? I can understand an 8th or 15th round pick, but he just came across as having very little upside. Maybe we caught him on a bad day, but I doubt it.

    Now, for Escalona. He was impressive. I like his build, I like his approach, I like his nice rising fastball (not really fast, but a nice, upward movement – think Randy Wolf – sorry for that comparison again, I’m sure it will drive someone who reads the site crazy, but Escalone has that nice little 88-90 MPH lefty fastball that Wolf has – it’s the same pitch, thrown at the same trajectory with the same velocity – hence, the comparison – but the comparison will stop with that pitch). Escalona’s other decent pitch is a looping slider – it’s good pitch. He also threw what appeared to be a change-up, but that pitche will either have to be improved or dropped as it did not appear to be very effective. Aside from the pitches, Escalona’s build is somewhat similar to J.C. Romero – compact, sturdy, with very strong trunk, arms and legs. I like him and I think we’ll either see him around or included in a trade. He’s going to be a big league pitcher, perhaps for a good while. It surprised me.

  159. exactly what i was thinking when seeing him pitch…very similar to JC in his build as well as his pitching style, i liked what i saw from him….next move im willing to make is get rid of chan ho (bullpen i dont really care to be honest), move happ into his spot in the rotation. Despite taschner not killing us today he should be gone, and have escalona take the second lefty spot in the pen until JC returns, and if escalona pitches well ill keep him there till he shows he doesnt belong.

  160. I’m sorry abou that. IDK what it was that got to me, but i shouldn’t have gone off like that.

  161. I would like to point out how easily you can move your own
    farm hands as long as some underachieving FA isnt in the way.
    Escanola pitches well he stays if bring on Bastard or who ever

  162. Just from seeing the game on TV, I could see a bit of similarity between Escalona and Romero, but I was kind of expecting that just from looking at his minor league numbers: Lots of groundballs (even though he didnt have one in his inning today), good strikeout totals and maybe too many walks. I guess he doesn’t quite have JC’s velocity, but his stuff, and especially that slider he got the strikeout on, looks good enough for him to be a major leaguer.

  163. John, I realize that YOU think that part time play in the majors will help Donald’s development more than full time play in AAA, but pretty clearly the Phillies don’t think so, and conventional wisdom is on the Phillies’ side.

    Now, you may be right and the Phillies wrong, but I think that we don’t need to speculate about Donald “threatening” Rollins of Feliz. The obvious, simple explanation for why Donald is in AAA is best – the Phillies (rightly or wrongly) think Donald will develop better in AAA, and that’s why he is there.

    Of course, despite nowheels sarcasm, the fact that Brunlett can play more positions also is a factor – with 12 pitcher staffs, benches are thin, and you need guys who can play multiple positions.

    That said, I’d love for them to find an upgrade for Brunlett, but in the greater scheme of things, a light hitting backup infielder (mostly) is not a huge problem.

  164. Also to weigh in again briefly on the injury risk of rushing young pitchers (I was too busy this weekend to do so earlier), I want to address nowheels point about minor league pitcher injuries, which was really the only substantive response to my point (as opposed to John’s “no you are wrong, there are some young starting pitchers who succeed in the major leagues,” which managed the twofer of being evidence free and non-responsive to my point).

    Sure, yound pitchers are injured in the minors. But what is riskier: pitching (say) 120 inning in the minors, where player development is more important than winning, and pitchers simply aren’t left in past a certain pitch count, or pitching (say) 180 (or more) innings in the majors, where winning is the most important thing, and pitchers are often left in longer than they “should” be? It’s obvious, and the research confirms it.

    The physical demands of being a regular rotation starter in the majors are simply much, much greater than doing the same job in the minors. And, for a still developing young pitcher, the injury risks are much much greater.

    Hell, you don’t even need to do a lot of research. Try googling “research – risk of injury of pitchers whose innings pitched increase significantly” and you will see pages of studies proving that I am correct.

  165. Don’t know where else to put this, but a blurb from the Boston Globe today: “Bryan Price, former pitching coach, Diamondbacks – Price was always one of the best pitching coaches in the game, and it was rather surprising when he resigned once Bob Melvin was fired as manager. Price has hooked on already as a special assistant to Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro to evaluate pitching in the organization. This is quite a catch for the Phillies.”

    Interesting that he will evaluate pitching in the “organization”. Could we have a new roving pitching instructor-type person on our hands? It will be interesting to see what he brings to the table from a minor-league development perspective.

  166. Look at Worley, one of the guys that John wants to bring up. He pitched 69 innings last year. And you’re gonna put him in the Phillies’ rotation? You want to risk wrecking his career (and it’s not just the injury risk, there are confidence issues as well, along with the fact that it is much easier to work on secondary pitches in the minors where winning is less important) for maybe – maybe – a slightly increased increased chance that the Phillies will win this year. Maybe – personally, my guess is that rushing him to the majors after just 43 IP in AA would result in some pretty ugly numbers.

  167. jpd hamels throwing a slider 5 times a game is noy exactly what you call having a 3rd pitch its called a waste. same thing with any pitcher like ryan or spahn who ive actually seen better than reading about them although reading is one of the best things anyone can do. im not a proponent of having only 2 pitches but many great starters only used 2 pitches. im sure randy johnson had more than 2 pitches but he only used a fastball and slider. some pitchers are like seaver or martinez or clemens or roberts. some are not like ryan koufax feller santana guys who primarily use 2 pitches.

  168. John, it seems you’re right in saying that there are some two pitch pitchers who have been successful as starters, although as far as guys like Hamels and Santana, their third pitches aren’t bad, they’re just not on the level with their 1 and 2. When Hamels is at his best, his curve is working nicely, and Santana will use the slider against lefties.

    But since the origin of this discussion was Bastardo, even though reports are that he’s got a nice changeup, I haven’t heard anything to suggest that his change or fastball are on a level with Hamels’ or Santana’s. So if he were to become a starter, he’d probably need to get a third pitch that he can use effectively. His numbers so far suggest that something is different from last year. Maybe its just better location or smarts, but if his secondary stuff is getting better, it gives us more reason to have high hopes for him.

  169. John, Santana has consistently used his slider his entire career. He’s thrown it 16% of the time for his career. It’s not his bread and butter pitch but to brush it off and try to claim he’s a two pitch pitcher is laughable.

    Re: Catch, surprised you’re so down on Carpenters stuff. I thought his stuff looked pretty good. He’s never going to be a star, but he had good sink and run on his fastball and his split actually looked like an above average major league pitch. I wasn’t very impressed with his curve though, not sure how playable that is. Seemed more like a slider or slurve then a curve even. If he can develop his secondary stuff and locate his pitches I think he’ll find a spot on some teams big league roster.

  170. nowheels please Says:
    May 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm
    “Mr. C. Man Bruntlett is 380 player in the majors before his hit today that means he is the worse pick a player any player and his is better. You dont like Cairo or Donald – Ozuna is better
    and actually play the outfield. If you want to argue get married its good practice, I am done talking”

    So, then we should bring up Ozuna. Again, I’m not defending Bruntlett. Just saying, Donald should not be called up. Donald is better off getting everyday play to finish developing into the player most here think he will be – but is not yet. If he was, I doubt he’d be striking out so damn much. I don’t see how that makes him so much more useful as a pinch hitter than Bruntlett right now. And, if he’s such a good prospect, he’s more valuable as a prospect than as a utility player. At least until he hits his way onto the major league roster.

  171. That’s me, responding to nowheels. Sorry about leaving the name blank.

  172. hands i actually had forgotten what the origiinal point was about the 2 pitch discussion thanks, i havent seen bastardo this year but i think the origional point was that bastardo had better be damn good to use 2 pitches but it is possible if your good enough WITH MOVEMENT. b the point with santana is that if he uses a slider 16% of the time and i dont know where that comes from is that as a hitter your not afraid of anything but a change-up or fastball from both santana and hamels. hamels throws a slider but not of consequence, yet. maybe someday. rivera in reality is a one pitch pitcher a fastball that never goes the same place. you know its coming but you just cant hit it. guys like seaver pedro clemens had complete control of 3 pitches you had to worry about all 3. with ryan his fastball and curve with carlton his slider and fastball. this doesnt mean ryan and carlton never threw anything else only hitters did not worry about them. i hope bastardo has close to this ability and judgeing by his whip hes doing something right, actually his k to bb ratio more acturatly.

  173. Larry agreed Worley is next year but he threw 109 innings
    in College besides his pro innings.
    This has been a good topic in fact it got me wondering what kind of pitch Ruth was. Anyone know???? Surfing time

  174. Pitchers of Ruth’s era mostly followed the same style. Load up the ball with junk and lay it in there. Since driving the baseball was so ungodly difficult, pitching did not require much finesse. For what it’s worth, Ruth is listed as a fastball/curveball pitcher.

  175. This two-pitch, three-pitch discussion is interesting.

    Let me weigh in. There are a LOT of great major league pitchers who relied either exclusively or almost exclusively on two pitches. Sometimes those players had a third or fourth pitch, but those pitches were waste pitches just to throw batters off and were only thrown 5 to 10 times a game. Right now, Hamels has two effective pitches – the fastball and the change. He is trying to develop the curve, but, for now, it’s thrown only to make sure the batter isn’t 100 percent sure that the off-speed pitch is a change-up.

    You can be a great pitcher and have only two pitches. Those pitches better be pretty darned good, however.

  176. Alan
    Thanks that helps to explain why Ruth in effect was the end of the complete game era. Once the ball started to go out,that sytle of pitching doesnt work. It took Bob Feller to eclipse Ruth’s 35 complete games. Sort of ironic Ruth the batter protected Ruth the pitcher. I have to read more since work is slow. Baseball books are great and great history(STENGAL)

  177. Catch22 –

    I think that’s the thing. You can be successful with two pitches, but they need to be two VERY good pitches. Plus I think there are other factors – ball movement, ability to change speeds, hide the pitch, pick-off move, etc.

    And as a subject change, this question have been bugging me this weekend: To get a feel for a guy’s power, there is the ISO stat, is there a similar stat for on-base percentage/plate discipline.

    For example, a guy who hits .350 with a .390 obp won’t have as good a plate discipline as a guy who hits .260 with a .390 obp. So, just like they have iso (which, if I understand correctly, is slugging – batting average), do they also have a stat for obp minus batting average?

    Probably a dumb question, but I needed to ask.

    – Jeff

  178. Nepp thanks maybe the library until the courier business recovers. The Stengal bool is historical and funny e.g. his family’s busines was wetting down the dirt streets

  179. I would note that Hamel’s is not a 2 pitch pitcher, even without throwing a Curve-ball. Like most “2-pitch” pitchers, Hamels throws both a 4-seam fastball, which is a few mph harder than the 2-seam fastball, which has more movement.

    There are many ways pitchers can give several different looks with just one pitch.

  180. nepp i went to your blog great but i cant get back whats the key?

  181. btw the best books on baseball imo as nepp said bill james sbstact our game by c alexander a must for any bb history fan and any fiction by w.p. cansella you all know what he wrote. oh yeah and mine.

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