Daily Discussion

Before a couple quick daily notes on the goings on outside of the Lee trade I wanted to chime in as well with my opinion.  The Lee deal was a no-brainer based on what the Phils gave up.  Not to minimize the talent that Carrasco, Marson, Donald, and Knapp have, but the Phillies acquired a top of the line pitcher and a much needed bat without giving up the four names that they, as well as many pundits covet most (Drabek, Happ, Taylor, Brown).  While significantly upgrading their rotation and their bench, they have also given themselves more financial flexibility next year in taking on Lee’s contract rather than Halladay’s, money that potentially could be spent before the August 17 deadline to sign draftees to bolster problem areas within the system, as well as re-signing some key components from the team this year.

While Carrasco’s talent at times wins the wrestling match with what is going on in his head, the head games he plays while pitching may or may not continue, changing the perspective on his value. Marson has big league talent, but at a position where there are legit future prospects in the Phils system, and value must be given to get value.  Donald is an extremely hard worker and has a very good head on his shoulders but his future value is more than likely limited to super sub status, based on what we have seen in the last couple of years.  Knapp is the big question mark.  Guys that throw 98 mph do not come along every day. Again, however, being at least two years away from being major league ready giving up Knapp makes sense in an attempt to capitalize on the massive amount of talent collected in Philly vying for back to back titles.

Now….Scott Mathieson, who pitched for the Phils two years ago and is making his way back from two Tommy John surgeries was promoted from (A) Clearwater to (AA) Reading, after throwing  seven shuout innings in five appearnces for the Threshers.  While it is uncertain whether Mathieson can climb all the way back to the bigs this year, he has a huge arm throwing into the mid-high 90’s consistently.  While a starter pre-surgery, look for him in the back end of the bullpen in the future.

The Lehigh Valley roster will look very different without Marson, Donald, and Carrasco.  I would suspect that SS will be covered once again by Miguel Cairo, as it was during Donald’s recent injury, with veterans David Newhan and JJ Furmanaik getting time at 2B/SS as well.  The ‘Pigs need a backup catcher and from Reading may come Kevin Nelson, with veteran Paul Hoover sliding into the everyday spot.  The rotation spot opened with the loss of Carrasco, provides the most mystery as I am sure discussions have already occurred within the Phils organization as to whether Kyle Drabek should be moved up to AAA, or his innings scaled back a bit after his surgery of last season.  I would expect to see John Mayberry back in the Lehigh Valley OF after Ben Francisco arrives in San Francisco today.  With Mayberry and Taylor at the corners of the LV outfield they are certainly the largest in the IL, and should provide a good deal of excitement during this seasons last month.

45 thoughts on “Daily Discussion

  1. I think they should watch Drabek’s innings very closely, but I’m sure they are. I don’t see any point to moving him up this year. Let him finish on a strong note in AA and then see if he’s ready in ST next year for AAA.

    I’m very interested in watching Mathieson. I remember from his starts a few years ago he had that big arm. The bullpen could sure use him next year.

    On a side note, the trade was great, but I was really rooting for Marson and am dissapointed he won’t see time in Phillies red, but that doesn’t diminish my love of the trade at all.

    Sorry you lost some interesting guys to watch at AAA Gregg.

  2. It will be interesting to see how Drabek is treated throughout the year. Shutting him down completely is probably the wrong move, he’s already missed a lot of development time. Treating him with kid gloves by severely restricting pitch count and removing him at any sign of trouble does is a disservice as well.

    The best thing might be a 7-10 day trip to the DL with a “sore knee” or some other mysterious ailment which serves no other purpose than to give him a bit of a rest.

  3. If Reading gets into post season Drabek should come close to 200 innings with 8 more potential starts in the regular season and the potential of 2 more in the EL playoff. Nice to see that they continue to build up his arm strength. Good to see Mathieson is back at AA. Let’s see what he can do out of the pen.
    “Now 25, Mathieson returned to action earlier this month for the first time in two years and threw in five games at Single-A Clearwater, where his fastball averaged 94-95 mph.”

  4. How about moving Sellers to Lehigh Valley. He is now the third leading hitter in the Eastern League and I am intrigued to see whether at 27 this guy has become a serious prospect. I note form what others who have seen him play say that he a liability in the field but 9 errors in 102 games doesn’t seem that bad. Also, I think Kennelly should now be played exclusively at the catcher position at Reading to see if he can be the ultimate replacement of Marson at this position.

  5. Rickey Branch
    Not counting winter ball Drabek pitched 30 innings last year
    and only 110 in total before this year. Way, way too much
    already. Time to back off. What the hell is the hurry.

  6. Just curious about the possibility of spending the money they “saved” by not getting Halladay on the draft:

    Is the draft money totally separate from and not dependent on the Big League Payroll, or are the two related? In other words, if they took on extra salary, would they then look to cut the budget by not signing as many picks. Conversely, if they dumped some salary, would they then say, “now we can go overslot and sign a bunch more draftees?”

    – Jeff

  7. From Lenny : “Also, I think Kennelly should now be played exclusively at the catcher position at Reading to see if he can be the ultimate replacement of Marson at this position.”

    D’Arnaud is the ultimate replacement of Marson and was the top C prospect in the org. even before Marson left IMO. I would like to see though if Kennelly can be a serviceable stopgap.

  8. Jeff O – I’ve discussed that on this board several times and it seems that answers vary. From what people have said it depends on the organization. Some orgs have seperate budgets, some do not.

    In my mind as a business of this scale they likely have to budget things in advance and Halladay would have been an approved variance, so I doubt they’ll be able to apply any savings to draftees, since you don’t really ‘save’ money you didn’t spend.

  9. i,d like to see kennelly get more time at 3rd. plus i think drabek should be cut back. with this deal its going to be interesting to see how our new prospects pan out.

  10. Are you comfortable that if Ruiz or Bako are hurt, Hoover can be a serviceable backup? He has 70+ games experience in the big leagues but can the Phils live with that? I was comfortable bringing Marson up at any time.

    I don’t think Kennelly can play catcher full time. It seems he has an error or a PB every time he catches. He’s a guy who can play Corner IF and OF positions and can catch in a pinch. Very valuable but guy if his bat continues to do the job.

  11. Jeff, good question. My hope is that the Phils look at this not from a payroll point of view and say, hey, we just shipped 4 of our top 20 prospects to other clubs for a guy that will only be around for about 45-50 starts if he stays healthy. I hope the Phils take that thought and sign some of the high ceiling talent they picked this year with all of those picks.

  12. Sorry got an extra “but” in there. S/B “Very valuable guy if his bat continues to the job.”

  13. I promise you that the Phils organization has a chart which projects the salary needs of this team at least 5 years in the future. In it, they can tell when they expect for Drabek to develop into a replacement starter, when into an above average starter, and what to do if he is ahead of or behind schedule. With that in mind, they will make sure he pitches the number of innings he should pitch this year, and no more or less.

    I’d enjoy seeing some enterprising blogger combining the current payroll with the projections of minor leaguers and such in a way similar to how front offices do it. Sort of wrapping it all up in one package to better evaluate the performance of the GM and the results of trades.

  14. It is exciting to see Mathieson making progress toward a return to the bigs; however, he is not on the 40 man roster. He was DFA’d in the offseason and subsequently signed a minor league contract w/ the Phils.

  15. It is going to be kind of neat having the two Stanford giants and former teammates in the LHV outfield.

    Philly jamaal is right about Mathieson. I’m a huge fan of Scott’s and I”m hopeful that he is able to make it back.

  16. i,d like to see brody colvin signed now if he,s all that ive read about here. any comments on him? also ais keep your eyes on jeremy barnes at williamsport. he just may be our future ss or 3rd baseman. btw when was profrocks 1st draft? this year or last ?

  17. There is too much talent in salary dumps to stop here Ruben
    You got some sleep so lets go. We still have extra prospects.

  18. I think the Phillies have to get a catcher off the street to replace Marson at AAA. Is there another Paul Bako laying around? I don’t think they will move Drabek or Savery or Worley or Stutes to AAA, look for a guy like Tristan Crawford Or Zagurski to fill in until Bastardo comes off the DL and is optioned back to AAA

  19. Just looked at Reading Roster and Nelson is no longer in it, I would assume he is in AAA. Makes sense they had 3 catcher Nelson, Kennelly and Guerva there. Haven’t seen a pitcher come off their roster

  20. Gregg, thanks for the update. I’m pretty excited about Mathieson! What an inspiration to come back twice and still be throwing in the mid-90s.

    I’m thinking Rodrigo Lopez will come back down to the AAA rotation…or had you already included that in thinking about the open spot in the rotation?

    On Drabek’s innings, I’m with nowheels.

    On budget, I think Jeff O’s implication is right – scouting/amateur budget is largely kept separate from MLB budget. Check out PP’s review of the draft – he gives some history on the Phils’ draft budget and I would be surprised if it changed.

    On signing Colvin, you can check out the 2009 Draft Picks thread to see what’s up, but last I heard he has not been in contact with local media, which could imply he has a deal and is keeping mum about it until the deadline. Could also mean he doesn’t like talking to local media. I hope it’s the former.

  21. Couple of points–
    Philly Jamal–Thanks for picking up the Mathieson 40 man roster mistake…It will be corrected.

    BellMan–No I dont think that Hoover could be a long term major league back up at this point. He could play a game or two a week and not hurt you but that is about it. If I were the Phils, I would be looking for another AAAA catcher to have around. The name Chris Snyder comes to mind, although he is a notch above AAAA.

    Boston — I did consider Lopez but the issue there is that he is out of options and would have to clear waivers. I wouldnt be surprised if someone took a chance based on how he has pitched. My prediction is that he is placed on the DL with a “shoulder strain”, goes down to LV to “rehab” and possibily rejoins the Phils 9/1.

  22. As far as the Iron Pigs go, we only have one prospect left to watch- Michael Taylor. I guess you can throw in Carpenter. When is Mayberry coming back and where will they stuff him?

  23. Think Lopez will move to the pen, at least until all of the injured guys are ready to return. Have to believe Lopez is a better option for middle relief than is Kendrick, Register, and Walker…

  24. I would think that Kendrick will be back in the LHV rotation soon. With regard to Lopez, I would think that he would want to get released at this point since it looks doubtful that there is going to be room for him in Philly and he’s pitched well enough to stick in the big show.

  25. I would think Kendrick gets sent down for Lee and Mayberry for Francisco.

    Then when we get Pedro we jettison Walker. I mean he has more of a shot to clear waivers and is pretty much useless. We hold on to Lopez and he goes to the pen. When Romero/Durbin/Condrey come back we’ll have to make some decisions. Register would be sent down next or tried to be pushed through waivers.

    We will run into some problems before September 1st. I mean we are looking to add to the 25 man before 9/1:


    We can option back or pushed though waivers :


    That’s 6 coming back BUT only 5 spots we can create room for????? Interesting. Wonder is someone gets “injured” on Aug. 17th.

  26. Depends how far along they consider Drabek and whether they’ve slotted him to replace Myers in ’10 or Lee in ’11.

  27. J Rollins grounded out to first.
    E Bruntlett hit for S Victorino.
    E Bruntlett struck out swinging.
    C Utley singled to left center.
    R Howard singled to right center, C Utley to third
    R Ibanez struck out looking.
    Two things here
    Is Francisco starting for Victorino tonight?
    You just can’t hide a bad player. Ruben help

  28. Organizational money is organizational money whether in MLB or spent on draft choices. If they decide signing a draft choice is a good future investment, they will move money into that area.

    There is no need to find a AAA catcher, whatsoever, not that there would be any good players on the street at this point anyway. Hoover will be fine as a September 1 call-up or as a back-up , if need be until the end of the season. Also, now that the nonsense about inserting the inxperienced Marson as a starter in MLB in the middle of important games will likely subside, though it is still probalbly just as realistic with Marson a Cleveland farmhand, the chatter about replacing one or both catchers can also go away. Defense is the most important need for a catcher, so if you find a better defensive catcher, who also happens to know the MLB pitching staff as well as Bako and Ruiz, then you can entertain the idea of replacing them.

    Similar is the nonsense about replacing Bruntlett. If you look at game management the Middle INfield Back-up is most always held in reserve in case they are needed to provide adequate defense at 2B or SS. That is what you need, and if that MI back-up can also play CF and be an emergency Catcher, that is all the better. It enables management to have game options.That positional flexibility is more important than average as a Pinch Hitter. That is compounded by the fact there is no one available who can provide the minimal defensive reliability required, and even if there was, they would not get but a very few at–bats. Even if they get 10 pinch hitting attempts in the final month, The diffence between a PH with a .333 Pinch Hitting average and a .100 pinch hitting average is 2 hits in the course of a month. You want to trade a prospect for 2 hits? So you come up with a player of equal versatility and defensive reliability, then you can make a change.

    As far as the pitching evaluations , they’re way off. Lopez could easily be traded or , if not, would likely be claimed on waivers. There won’t be any phony injuries. When and If the full compliment of pitchers is activated, one of the middle relievers would have to go. It is possible one of the injured players, maybe Condrey, will remain on the DL until after September 1. Post season wise, it has no effect, because both 25 man roater and DL players are eligible inclusion on the post season roster. This way the team needs to release or move anyone, and that is often how MLB teams play it.

  29. marfis
    Nice words about Bruntlett. The fact is he has ph twice in the last two loses. Is the worse player in baseball. Can be easily
    replaced. Their is no long any need for his outfield “skills”

    Personally You are a smart guy why defend a player about to go 1/2 Mendoza,who can’t field. You are usually point on.

    In old time baseball the last 3 or guys on the roster were
    cemented into the bench. Not Now

  30. Thanks for the logic, Marfis.

    Hey nowheels, two pinch hit appearances in the last two losses means that he made two of 54 outs. Pinning the losses on him makes absolutely no sense at all whatsoever. Statistically, he was more like 4% responsible. Get over it.

  31. Like I say, the reserve Middle Infielder is nearly every game is held in reserve in advent of the need for a replacement Middle Infielder late in the game.. If they get into a game it will be late, and if used as a PH it will be the 4th (or, if as in Bruntlett’s case they can be an emergency Catcher) or more likely 5th option. If one thinks a better replacement is available, other teams will not give away a player capable of playing on the MLB roster, unless they are unloading some kind of financial liability. The increased offense this player would provide, would likely be minimal for the 5th offensive Pinch Hit option and minimal use spelling Rollins and/or Utley. The difference in a .333 hitter and .100 hitter is 2 hits every 10 AB’s . The 5th option offf the bench might only get 10 AB’s until September 1. The minor league call-ups can do some pinch-hitting till season’s end, and in the playoffs the need will be greater for defensive reliability. If Phillies make it to World Series, It will be American League at home, so the Designated HItter Usage will make Pinch Hitting from the 5th option off the bench , almost non-thought of. In short, not worth giving up a prospect for marginal and dubious improvements.

  32. You have to be kidding . There are teams who will GIVE you a guy twice no three times as good as Bruntlett just to dump
    salary and a token player.There is no reason not to fix this.
    There must be a hundred better fielding infielders in the minor.
    I really dont understand your position.
    BTW shunky argees with you.

  33. If they do get a middle infield back-up they will play little, as I said above, so why waste excess salary or a good prospect to get one? The better fielders in the minors are mostly prospects who can not be got. The back-up MLB types are virtually all in the MLB. Look at the Lehigh Valley roster, none of them would serve as a reliable late inning option at SS, and the other positions Bruntlett could fill in. If they need a starting Middle INfielder they would need much better than the types that could be available as a back-up now. So why play around with a marginal roster spot by wasting payroll and/or a prospect that might be needed later?

  34. are you saying Bruntlett is reliable! He recently fumbled a late inning DP ball but however was pitching saved him.
    Get with it in the series and postseason things happen.
    How many times have things come down to some lesser names
    Why would you care about money(so little)
    Any prospect trade would almost a filler type.
    My last post on this matter.

  35. Rodeo- I think the only question is how soon Drabek is pitching for the big club next year, not if he’s ready for AAA…I think if Mathieson makes it to the bigs and is successful it will be a minor medical miracle. I’m rooting for him.

    I feel bad that you won’t get to experience any Lounacy as a Phillies fan, but just remember that this means more CHOOOCH over the next few years.

    Btw Rodeo, when you use big words like variance it makes head hurt. It’s the summer!

  36. If you look at what Boston gave up for Victor Martinez , it was almost as much as we gave up for Lee. Damn those bean eaters

  37. They gave up far more than was given up for Lee. Few would say Victor Martinez would even be a candidate for regular catching in the National League. I saw nothing that said a National League team pursued him, despite his offensive prowess. He is not well regarded as a defensive catcher , (despite being adept at throwing out runners) due to lack of maneuverability and reliability. He needs to be spotted at 1B and DH in addition to carefully selected appearances behind the plate. The 1B and DH options would be unavailable in Philly. He also plays some 3rd , but the defense would not bring much playing time. Playing Victor Martinez as a full time National League Catcher could have bad results in the won-loss area.

    Vis-a-vis last post on the matter. Given enough time everyone will make an error. If looking around professional baseball , most Middle Infielders are far worse fielders,(some real butchers who would jeopardize any kind of lead if played in the field) and the better ones would either be prospects which teams won’t surrender or key reserves they will not give up. There was a campaign on this issue in which it was argued that an imminent dismissal was at hand, and that one should be made. The professionals did not see the need , all through the offseason, and so far up to now.
    If they did make that move, they would be acquiring someone who will not get many at-bats or chances in the field regardless. Not only that, I see none better available.
    During last season’s campaign the request was made for a list of all better candidates to be a reserve, Middle Infield back-up with the ability to have positional flexibity, and also offering offensive prowess in a rare plate appearace situation. That list has not yet been seen. Since the previous was the last post , this should really be the last word.

    Organizational notes: Austin Hyatt- another3 inning, 9 batters faced, 6 strikeout save. He had at least a couple of these before. ERA now 0.34. (save all the age appropriate , small sample, too advanced for level stuff, Hyatt has displayed the ability to pitch multiple innings in relief on a relatively frequent basis. Even if his resullts are taken down to moderately effective through advancement, these endurance traits , should enable Hyatt to rise quickly through the ranks to be a strong MLB candidate.

    Bernardo Solarte back in action in Venezuela, 3 for 3 with a steal , after a long lay-off.

  38. bako, brunlett, and stairs should never start a game for the phillies. charlie is determined to prove he is right.

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