AFL Update

The Scottsdale Scorpions  started their Arizona Fall League schedule on Tuesday and continued with games Wednesday and Thursday, getting out of the gate at 2-1.  Most importantly, looking at Phils prospects thus far, Domonic Brown got off to a quick start with a homer in his first game, followed by two doubles in Game Two, and is at .250 (3-12) with a homer and 3 RBI’s after three games. Steve Susdorf saw action in Game Two, and took a tough “0fer”, going 0-5, while Tuffy Gosewisch caught Game Two, going 2-4 at the plate.

Most impressive on the hill through their initial outings were  Mike Cisco and Scott Mathieson.  Cisco threw 2 shutout innings, starting last nights game, yielding a hit, while walking two and striking out three.  Mathieson was dominant in his two innings of work, striking out two, without yiedling a run or hit, throwing 20 pitches, 17 for strikes.  Edgar Garcia, who saw limited action in the 2009 minor league season due to VISA issues, got the win for Scottsdale in Game One, going 2 innings and giving up a run on one hit.  He walked one and struck out one.  Michael Schwimer saw one inning of work in Game One, giving up a run on two hits.

Look for the next AFL Report, next Tuesday. Go Phils.

49 thoughts on “AFL Update

  1. So who does Mathieson replace in the Phils bullpen next year? I think he’s more then proven that he’s recovered from surgery and needs a shot.

  2. Its pretty clear that Mathieson has a real legit shot to be in the Phils ‘pen. Brett Myers name immediately comes to mind, with Chan Ho Park entering free agency as well.

  3. I say Mathieson takes John Ennis’ roster spot for the WS 🙂
    Geez, PP was tweetin’ his thumbs off last night – love it!

  4. See Mathieson taking Chad Durbin’s spot. Durbin will probably be looking at over $2m per year next season and he isn’t a $2M per reliever.

    I expect they will try very hard to resign Park

  5. When I saw Sellers play at Reading this year, I didn’t think he could field at a major league level. He certainly does seem to hit though. He’s been around for awhile though, its not just the Phillies that didn’t give him a chance. I agree with the theory that Matheson will get a shot at winning a bp job in Philly. Remember however that he’s relieving for the first time, and with his arm injury past, the team might want to start him at AAA and see how he responds to back to back day use before they bring him up. I think Bastardo will also get a shot because Amaro made a comment that he’s better suited for relief.

  6. tuffy, tuffy, he,s our man if he can,t do it no one can. seriously mathieson looks like a serious dude.

  7. Keith Law says D. Brown and Mathieson are two of the most impressive players in the AFL thus far. Said Mathieson is 93-97 with a nasty slider, also said Brown is impressive despite being pretty crude in most areas. Has the athletic ability to make up for a lot of mistakes.

  8. What’s perhaps most interesting from that Law piece is that he said Mathieson is back to throwing his slider. That was his out pitch when he originally climbed to the majors, but I thought he’d scrapped it after the elbow surgeries. I guess it was just a temporary measure, and if it’s as nasty as Law says, then Mathieson will really be able to help out in the major league pen next year (though I agree with Murray that it’d be best to have him start in Reading or Lehigh Valley).

    It’s hard not to get excited about Mathieson and Bastardo as hard-throwing bullpen pieces that are cost-controlled for the foreseeable future. That’s how you build a good bullpen, not by signing free agents to expensive deals.

  9. i agree phillyfriar with that last statement. just look at the dodgers with all that young talent in the bullpen. even though they added sherill theyre set for years to come

  10. Phillies have some hard throwing guys between Schwimmer, Matheison, and Bastardo…even Rosenberg to a degree. Nice options going forward. It’s pretty obvious that Amaro’s #1 job this off-season will be re-tooling the bullpen with guys like Myers, Durbin, and Condrey unlikely to return based on cost/value.

  11. Bastardo was my favorite surprise of the year. When he came up agaisn’t the padres and his first pitch was 95 mph, I became really excited about that guy.

    in a couple of years, Mathison, Bastardo, and Schwimmer could be the new, cheaper versions of Madson, Lidge, and Romero.

  12. Glad to hear about Mathieson.

    Right now this would probably be the bulpen

    Coming back-
    Lidge
    Madson
    Romero- might be lost for the season
    Park- Hopefully
    Eyre- If not retired

    Gone-
    Durbin
    Condrey- Fringe
    Walker
    Myers
    Taschner

    So for those 4(possibly 6 spots), right now I would say Bastardo, Escalona, Mathieson, and maybe Rosenburg. Bastardo I think will be the prize of two lefties as he does have a really good breaking ball that he hasn’t thrown yet in the majors. I think winter ball would really help him.

    Mathieson should be with them from ST. It sounds like he has the stuff to be the Phillies future closer.

    Rosenburg might start in AAA, but really should be with them sometime next year.

    Schwimmer is a little bit of a wild card. As much as I, along with everyone else, want him to be with them, I think breaking with them is a little unreasonable. I’m looking forward to the scouting reports from the AFL. That should tell us a lot.

    You add in some low end free agents and I think the bulpen can get back on track.

  13. freddy ballestas started last nights game pitched 5.2ip gave 4run 2er got the loss but had 5ks and 0bbs overall an impressive outing for him

  14. Amaro’s number 1 job will not be re-tooling the bullpen. He is going to have plenty of options in system and Romero will also be coming back. He’ll have to do some things, but it won’t be overwhelming.

    His biggest problem is that this team does not have enough back-up on the bench. What the heck happens if any one of their infielders goes down? The bench is very weak – when Miguel Cairo and Eric Bruntlett are your second and third right-handed options off the bench in the playoffs, you’ve got a lot of work to do and, in fact, I was pretty shocked that they didn’t address properly address this need in July. Ben Francisco helped a lot, but he’s only part of the solution. Look for major upgrades on the bench this offseason – Ruben’s too smart to miss this a second time.

  15. It will be interesting to see how things are fleshed out pitching-wise at the various levels next year. Ballestas is an example of just one kid they have that same question concerning. I would imagine spring training will go a long way to answering those questions.

    Rotation-wise, I’m very curious to see LK, CLW, and RPhils next year.

  16. he has proved they can be starters freddy just had an off year last year they put him in the pen to work out his issue

  17. Durbin, Condrey, Myers,Eyre all likely gone for 2010.

    Replacing and refreshing the pen is the aim.

    Guys certain to have a shot during and out of ST are Matty and Bastardo. Rosenberg and Schwimmer later.

    Three position players to be added: back-up catcher, utility infielder who has some pop, outfield/PH replacement for Stairs.

    BUT…this offseason is the time to search out an oncoming 3rd baseman on an opposing MLB team’s minor lg “goodies.” Feliz is declining slowly even though he’d be “acceptable” at 3rd next year. But after that, he is likely to retire…or be obliged to…leaving that position bare.

    Offseason is the time to make a fix. There are several of OUR prospects “coveted” by others. A trade seems imperative!

  18. Prospect for prospect trades are extremely rare. It would likely cost more to get a top flight prospect for 3B than a guy who could produce right now, there’s more uncertainty surrounding that production and the fan base would not readily accept that trade, in my view.

    And let’s not overrate our prospects here. Michael Taylor, Dominic Brown and Kyle Drabek are good players, but there’s little “buzz” about them outside of the organization. I don’t see a team overpaying to get them. And I don’t want to see a good player dealt for a lesser one because we HAD to have that third baseman of the future. We don’t need a third baseman of the future. We need a Joe Crede type who can be average, make the plays he needs to and gets his fair share of hits.

    As far as the bullpen, performances vary widely from year to year. The worst thing you can do, IMO, is sit on the same seven guys and try and count on a repeat performance from the previous season. The best thing is to go into Spring Training with options. Leave at least one spot open, let Mathieson, Bastardo etc. duke it out.

  19. Not sure I agree with you in regards to “buzz” for those 3 players Alan. Drabek was one of the centerpieces in the Halladay talks this summer and the Phillies unwillingness to include him was was a key reason that deal fell apart. Both Taylor/Brown are highly rated by many scouting organizations.

    I do agree that there is no reason to sell the system for a lesser 3b prospect when their are serviceable ML options available. However, the team should start exploring ways to get younger/better at 3b via trade.

  20. Alan totally disagree with that statement.”there is little buzz about them outside our organization. That statement is not true ,brown is in the top three in outfield prospect, we couldnt get halladay because of the value they put on Drabek’. Michael taylor is a monster . we did y get your facts.

  21. PP (James) suggested this summer that we go hard after Alex Gordon this off-season, possibly with Michael Taylor as bait. I love that idea. As far as I can tell, Gordon hasn’t been actively shopped at all, but I presume the rationale is that he has lost a lot of his lustre given his subpar performance in the majors to date and his ticking service time. He also had hip labrum surgery (same as Utley) this year and played really poorly upon his return. Extra medical due diligence would need to be done to complete the deal.

  22. SC, I could definitely live with a deal involving Taylor for Gordon. As much as I love Michael’s makeup, we’re logjammed in the outfield. Werth is the real deal, Vic is a beast, and Ibanez is the man until at least the end of 2010. I’d like to see us start working Dom into the mix by the end of next year, but outside of that I don’t see too much flexibility in the lineup. Alex would bring some much needed pop at the hot corner and his defense isn’t a detriment. I think he’d fit nicely into the clubhouse and I’d like to see what kind of positive influence Utley could have on the kid.

  23. Alan,
    Dom Brown and Keith Drabek are regarded as two of the best prospects in the game, especially Brown who is having an excellent Arizona Fall League against the best prospects in the game. People believe that Taylor will at least be a good leftfielder in the majors. Also, Joe Crede sucks.

  24. I’m aware of Taylor, Brown and Drabek’s pedegrees. I think they are excellent prospects. But were Toronto fans howling that they were unable to wrest them from the Phillies, or were they happier to still have Halladay? I’m talking about the view of the casual fan. Not front offices or Phillies fans.

    I’m dubious on Alex Gordon as well. A recent projection sees him good for a 248/333/415 line next season. That’s a hair away from his career line in 1360 career plate appearances. Now he could dramatically improve, but I’m certainly not betting a top prospect on it.

    Seeing what the Royals value in players though, I’d dangle Mayberry in front of them and see what they offer.

  25. Alan,
    With that clarification, I think you have admitted that the original comment was totally off the mark. Teams do not make trades based on how their ‘casual fans’ view players and prospects, they make trades based upon how their scouts and GMs view the players. Those folks view Taylor, Brown, and Drabek very highly. Toronto did indeed value these guys and insist on getting them for Halladay. That the casual fan was just as glad they weren’t acquired is totally meaningless. If we had been willing to trade them, Halladay would be a Phillies pitcher and Toronto would be willingly dealing with the reaction of their casual fan.

    Mayberry doesn’t get you Gordon.

  26. Just a note:

    The Toronto GM [Ricciardi ?] was FIRED right after the season’s end.

    Aside from his team’s mediocre performance, he cut his own throat when he failed to relieve the franchise of Halladay’s $20/mil (?) contract in the face of declining attendance. Management realizes that their GM overplayed his hand…and ended up as a diversion that helped the Phils get Lee.

    Amaro, game!

  27. Alan is right in a general sense. Everyone who reads this board tends to overvalue Phillies prospects. Case is point is the speculation that Schwimmer and Rosenberg could end up in the ML pen at the start of next season. Both of them are decent prospects, but neither of them have spent an entire season in Double A yet–the only time you see that kind of pitcher end up on a ML roster is if his name is Stephen Strasburg or if there’s some kind of midseason injury issue, a la Bastardo/Escalona this year or Zagurski a couple years back. The experts seem to think that the Phillies system is improving, but it’s hardly ranked up there with the Rangers’ yet. So really, back off on the ad hominem attacks–it doesn’t promote the kind of open dialogue that most people come to this site for.

  28. Agreed on overvaluing the prospects, but people just tend to go with what they know. Realistically, there is no way that the Phillies fill 4 bullpen spots with from within. If there really are 4 spots to fill, the team will sign some free agents. There will be one, maybe two make the team that were in the Phillies system this year and not the majors. Mathieson, and maybe Bastardo as your lefty (although he isn’t really getting lefties out this year).

  29. Sorry Andrew but I don’t see any ad hominem attacks directed towards Alan or anyone else (unless some comments have been removed that I haven’t seen).

    Expressing disagreement with his point is exactly the type of open dialogue you are advocating and I don’t see anything in the subsequent comments that are personal or even harsh in nature.

    As for overvaluing Phillies prospects, most Philly fans do, some more than others, but the 3 players mentioned are well regarded within baseball circles, not just by those on this site.

  30. I think the Phils may try to get Alex Gordon, but the Royals won’t take him for Mayberry or, in my view, even a highly regarded prospect like Taylor. Arbuckle advises them and he will want sufficient value in return (think Taylor and Bastardo). I’d be surprised if they would give up what Kansas City would likely ask for Gordon.

  31. With the coaching staff that the big league has I could see Gordon actually fulfilling his potential if he has the desire to do so.

    Ryan Howard, after one off season, has gone from butcher at first base to a defender who actually looks to be getting better and better.

    Then we look at the batting! Shane, J-dub, Ruiz and Howard have all gotten progressively better. It has a lot to do with how much they want it, but the coaching staff polishes talent if it’s there.

    If we can get Gordon, we can turn him into what he was supposed to become!

  32. You know, 3up3kkk, you’re right–the comments about Alan’s post weren’t ad hominem. They were just harsh (“where do you get your facts?”) and a little off-putting to me as a reader. I don’t often comment on this site, but I read it all the time, and I guess I don’t like to see someone treated rudely who didn’t really do anything but express doubts about the holy trinity of Taylor, Drabek and Brown. All three are really good, to be sure, and justifiably well-regarded, but not yet proven quantities above Double-A. Alan’s point–that a lot of Blue Jays fans would rather have Halladay than the package the Phils actually offered–is surely true.

    Here’s a question, apropos of Alex Gordon: why have the Phillies been totally unable to come up with any kind of 3B prospects since Scott Rolen? I mean, the only two of any note that I can recall are Mike Costanzo and Anthony Hewitt, who is obviously a point of some controversy here and now apparently playing the outfield. You’d think that after a decade they’d start to prioritize that consistent need.

  33. I think, more important than the Matheson to the Bullpen question, is when do you bring up Domnick Brown/ Taylor? Clearly we have two very good, very young corner outfielders that should be on the team in the next 2 years. Do you trade Ibeanz? can you even trade Ibeanz? Do you instead get rid of or trade fan favorites and locker room personalities Victorino or Werth? I think either would fetch a fine bunch of prospects in the trade Market, even if they are only signed for 1-2 more seasons.

  34. Andrew,

    I took a look at the guys drafted as 3b since Rolen in 1995 and found guys like Burrell and Holliday (98), Rios (09), Teixeira (2001), Braun (2005) who were drafted as 3b but were moved to other positions.

    Conversely, 3b prospects who are able to stay at 3rd go very early (Ian Stewart, Gordon, Zimmerman, Longoria, Vitters, etc.) were all top-10 picks.

    I think the main reason the Phillies haven’t been able to replace Rolen is that there just aren’t that many guys who are athletic enough to stay there as they move through the minors OR have enough bat to be moved from 2B/SS.

  35. Alan Maybe you know Taylors ceiling, because I surely do not.
    Huge size, unlimited power, hits for average, gets on base because of plate knowledge, a exceptional arm, and a man who will be a credit to any community, oh and fine intellect as well as a fine speaker. Have I missed anthing.
    TAYLOR stays.
    Oh yeah will work cheap for five years.

  36. Understand guys I am not trying to diminish Taylor’s ability. I’m just trying to be realistic here. Personally, I hope Taylor enjoys a Hall of Fame career. He’s a personal favorite.

  37. personally i like taylor but i would move him for gordon. but more importantly i would move taylor and drabek for halliday. i doult if drabek will ever approach halliday. as far as the of ibanez for 1 more year than bring up brown. vic and werth are going nowhere for 5 years, check their ops, for the playoffs, unreal. their both just hitting their stride. i think some people, understandably, do not realize the jump from aaa to the show. if taylor or brown ever amount to an ibanez we,ll have gold. if drabek averages 15 wins he,s a huge success. i,ll take halliday for 5 years.

  38. Ok Alan

    John no question Werth and Vic have improved during this year but people get hurt or get too expensive, so I am holding Brown and Taylor.
    Who was the young third baseman they were talking about last spring in a trade????

    I cant wait Turkey,Cranberries,Stuffing and baseball.
    Could you imagine if Denver was still in the picture It might look like Green Bay.

  39. nw injuries do happen but il not jinx it here. as far as expense there,s no reason financilly they cant up anyone. ais i keep brown for 2010 and i dont know who the young 3rd baseman was last spring. gordon? happy thanksgiving. do you agree about robbie throwing out the 1st pitch in honor of 1950?

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