Fall League Update

After winning their first two games, the Scorpions of Scottsdale lost three straight, including a loss to #1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg (Phoenix) on Friday evening, before evening up their record at 3-3 last night.

In the 7-4 loss to Phoenix, Steve Susdorf, blasted his first homer of the Fall off of Baltimore prospect Eddie Gamboa. Susdorf was 1-4 on the evening.  Domonic Brown was 1-4 with a run scored and a double on Friday evening. Edgar Garcia took the loss in his second game on the hill, giving up three runs over his 2 innings of work on 3 hits.  He walked 2 and struck out 3.  Michael Schwimer pitched a scoreless 8th for Scottsdale, yielding just a hit.

Scottsdale lost once again Saturday evening, 9-5 to Pao Javelinas 9-5.  Troy Hanzawa saw his first Fall League action, going 0-1 with a walk.  Steve Susdorf took an “ofer”, going 0-4 with a walk, while Tuffy Gosewisch had his second multi hit game in as many starts going 2-5. Hitting third, Domonic Brown was 2-4 with an RBI and two walks.

On Monday evening, Scottsdale was led in their 7-4 win by Domonic Brown who was 2-5, including his second homer of the young Fall League season, off of Rangers prospect Evan Reed.  The back end of the Scottsdale bullpen included Michael Schwimer who threw 2 shutout innings, and was followed by Scott Mathieson who threw a scoreless ninth.  Additionally, Edgar Garcia saw an inning of work in the 4th and left without yielding a run or a hit.

Hitters: Domonic Brown .320/.414/.680 in 25 at bats.  2 HR 5 RBI, 1 SB. Steve Susdorf, .077/.143/.308 in 13 AB’s. with 1 HR and 1 RBI. Tuffy Gosewisch, ..444/.444/.444 in 9 AB’s, Troy Hanzawa, 0-1.

Pitchers: Mike Cisco, 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 2 IP.  1 hit, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts; 1.50 WHIP. Edgar Garcia, 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 5IP. 4H, 4BB, 5K, 1.60 WHIP. Scott Mathieson, 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 3 IP.  1H, 2BB, 2K.  1.00 WHIP. Michael Schwimer, 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 4 IP. 4H, 2BB, 4K, 1.50 WHIP.

61 thoughts on “Fall League Update

  1. These results are pretty much consistent with what I would have expected, although, admitted, it’s a ridiculously small sample size. I have a pretty good idea of what we’ve got in Brown and Mathieson. Susdorf, Cisco and Schwimer are the ones with the most to prove. Gosewisch is fighting for the right to ultimately become the Phillies’ back-up catcher – not a bad gig, if you can get it.

  2. Awesome to be able to use PitchFX to check out what the pitchers are bringing to the table. Mathieson mixed in 3 sliders (80-83) with a fastball that he ran up to 96 and constantly challenged hitters with. Schwimer does what we’ve seen him do before — come in with the bases loaded and nobody out, and get out of the jam only allowing one run. He got his fastball up to 93, and kept hitters off balance by attacking both sides of the plate and mixing in an 81-83 slider and a change up he got as low as 77 at one point. Garcia’s fastball is a little shorter (89-91) and his change up looked a little hard (there’s only a 6-7 mph differential), but he threw strikes at least.

    Oh, and Dom Brown sat dead red first pitch fastball in the 9th inning, and took a 95 mph one out to center field. Remember when we wondered last year if his power would ever come around?

  3. Schwimm, congrats on the nice work. Keep it up and stay healthy. Everything else will take care of itself. Gregg, thanks for the great write up. I wasn’t aware that Dom was batting 3rd but I’m not surprised. The kid can hit and he’s still getting better. He literally could force his way into the lineup in 2011 if Raul’s production drops off next year. By the way, the Phils will only trade Taylor in a very good deal for the Phils. Alex Gordon is damaged goods at this point and not worthy of a prospect like Taylor. He could still become the player he was supposed to be but I doubt it will be in KC.

  4. I don’t know Schwim – for a deep thinker like you this site may make your head explode:-) I just looked at for the first time – umm, wow…

  5. I’ll be at tonight’s game and on here afterward with a little run-down of what I observe. Does anyone know the starters for tonight?

  6. Wow, that’s very cool. Notice Schwim’s excelent control while Matheson only threw 10 strikes in 20 pitches which isn’t MLB worthy. Matheson throws hard but he has to conquer his control to be truly effective out of the pen.

  7. Murray, this is an incredibly small sample size, so I wouldn’t go judging Mathieson’s MLB readiness from 20 pitches. Schwim and Mathieson are both legit big league prospects who should see lengthy stints in the bullpen in the near future. Just Mathieson’s will be sooner than Schwim’s due to age and experience.

  8. wow twenty pitches, you must be a scout, i bet every big time starter has had the same type of outing, . gibson, Halladay, Seaver and many others ,twenty pitches to judge a guy/

  9. yeah thats a bit absurd. the guy has been lights out, and even when he clearly didnt have command, he pitched a scoreless inning. i think thats a good thing. when he didnt have his best stuff he was able to bear down and get people out.

  10. I have to agree that it is a bit absurd. Mathieson was dominant last week, and can carry a 93-97 slider. And as we can recall, that Law peice noted that he is back to throwing that slider — the pitch that boosted him into the big leagues before. Part of baseball is having those outings that aren’t as stellar as the last, but Mathieson has fantastic *stuff* and can maintain that ideal composure.

  11. So here’s a quick rundown of tonight’s game: Dom Brown was not in the lineup, although Susdorf did start. Steve was 1/3 with a run and an rbi when I left after the 6th. He looked very off in his first AB, like he was fighting himself and just guessing at the plate. However, he managed to hit a sharp broken-bat grounder to first to get an RBI (although he did NOT look pleased with the result). In his 2nd AB, Susdorf battled nicely, obviously trying to get himself out of his mini-slump. He managed to hit another sharp grounder to the right side that resulted in an error due to the pitcher letting his foot off the base. After getting on base, he stole 2nd nicely (quicker than I thought/remembered from Fresno) then advanced to 3rd before being driven in. In his 3rd AB, Susdorf ripped a nice single to right and he looked relieved after reaching first. He didn’t get much work in the outfield, playing in Right. BY FAR the most impressive performance of the night for Scottsdale was Jose Tabata. This kid is the real deal. Hit two stand-up triples and a double in his first 3 AB. He showed good range in the OF. A lady I sat with was GLOWING about Schwim and Mathieson from yesterday. She said Mathieson might be the nicest guy she’s met in her LONG experience with minor leaguers, on top of the fact that she said his stuff is nearly unhittable (she said his fastball was touching 97 mph with late movement and great location, liked his slider a lot too). Her thoughts on Schwim were exactly what you’d expect: great guy to talk to, a student of the game, and he’s got excellent control of all his pitches (she said his entire repertoire is plus, which reflects every scouting report I’ve read). I sat first row behind the Scorpions dugout, and I plan to do the same again tomorrow. A lot of fun for only 6 dollars, and I’m pumped to get a look at Dom and the bullpen guys (I hollered at Dom about his homer last night and he gave me a tip of the cap).

  12. Where did the Alex Gordon/Michael Taylor comment come from? Has there been talk of that somewhere? When you evaluate what the Phils may do differently next year, you would have to think a less expensive, younger option would be the way to go over Feliz.

  13. Mayberry has a strange hitting line in winter ball. He’s 0 – 8 with a .385 OBP. He has a couple of BBs and HBPs.

    I was noticing the PitchFx release point graph. Schwim’s was pretty varied. Is that the way he pitches – different arm angles? Or is it something to work on? I looked at Ian Kennedy’s and he has a very consistent release point. I couldn’t see any pattern to the Balls versus Strikes based on RP so it may be the way he wants to pitch and its effective. I guess you can’t tell what pitch he was throwing either but if certain pitches come from specific RPs, that could be telling sign for the batter.

  14. bellman i noticed that too. I’m not sure if schwimm knows about this or not. I can’t tell from the chart if his arm started to drift down or up, or if it is completely random.

  15. I don’t know if it is the same thing he talked about, but he made note of the fact that his delivery is very unorthodox with the way he hides the ball as late as he possibly can with his glove. I don’t know if he is able to get away with what you guys have seen with his arm slot because of that or if it is just something else.

  16. Nails – I think it was just something kicked around here and some other blogs as a move that would make sense.

  17. Patrick: thanks a ton for the firsthand report. Great stuff.

    A couple of points on Schwim. I’m not PitchFX expert, but I wonder if the inconsistent release point that we see might be attributable to two things: (1) his unorthodox mechanics and high release point; and (2) the fact that PitchFX doesn’t actually pick up the ball right out of the pitcher’s hand. Whatever the case, he’s certainly not tipping his pitches with his release point, and his command is obviously very good, so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.

    My second observation — and I wonder if we could eventually get Schwim’s thoughts on this — is that his change up certainly yields some interesting data. The 13 mph differential between his average fastball and average change up (91 mph vs. 78 mph) is quite simply fantastic. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like the change has any tailing action (think of Cole Hamels’ change up); it actually shows a similar break to his slider, just a few ticks slower. It’s clearly his third choice pitch — and with a solid fastball/slider combo, that only makes sense — but I wonder what his thoughts are on it.

  18. Release point…
    Unlike most pitchers I pitch from two different spots on the rubber. I face righties from the right side, thus creating the appearance that the ball is being released from behind them. I face lefties from the left side of the rubber to create better arm side run on the outside corner, and the ball travels less distance to the inside corner.

    As for my slider, I throw a bullet type, up and down slider, which you can see from an earlier post when I posted an inning on you tube. I do not put any credence on the pitch fx movement scales because I define movement as the amount of inches a pitch moves outside its original path, which I explained in a different previous entry.

  19. Thanks for the insight, Schwim.

    I think the other thing that PitchFX fails to capture in a 35-pitch sample size, especially for a guy like you, are the nuances to your offerings. PitchFX isn’t particularly great at separating out 4-seamers from sinkers, and as you mentioned in your post on setting hitters up, sometimes you’ll take a little off of a fastball, try to sink it, etc. It’s easier to decipher those charts when you have someone like Oliver Perez who throws two offerings, and doesn’t really alter them all that much.

    Also impressive is the way in which you were used on Monday. Between that situation, and the situation you described in those videos, you’re getting valuable experience as a fireman — and coming through with flying colors, I might add. That’s an incredibly valuable skill to have and develop, especially in a day and age where too many relievers need to start with clean innings to be effective.

  20. I was talking to a Pirates fan who was likewise blown away by Schwim’s approach to the situation and his composure on the mound.

    Something I forgot to mention before: The lady I sat with was also very high on Edgar after his second appearance. Supposedly he found out he was starting about 30 min prior to his first start and she attributed his struggles wholly to that fact. In the second outing she said he recovered very nicely and made a lot of quality pitches (we have to keep in mind that with the AZL this is absolutely the TOP quality of minor leaguers out there…in a given inning you can face 3-4 #1 prospects from various organizations so your mistakes are greatly magnified).

    Seriously though, EVERYONE I’ve talked to (regardless of who they’re a fan of) has been more than complimentary about Schwim and Mathieson. Can’t wait to get a chance to watch them myself.

  21. Patrick – is this lady’s name Annie? Is she having these two guys wear women’s garters while they pitch? Are they looking through their eyelids?

  22. Hahaha, I know Ms. Savoy well from over at sports-boards. It is not her however, I actually forget what this lady’s name is, but she REALLY knows her stuff through and through. She’s a Dbacks season ticket holder and never misses a Fall League game. Her dedication as a fan is pretty astounding really.

  23. Hey gang – anybody know what’s up with Taylor and the Mexican League? Not sure the exact number but I don’t think he’s been in the lineup for at least the last three games.

    Anybody heard anything?

  24. I noticed Taylor’s last game was the 16th. I was going to ask if anyone’s heard anything.

    Valle finally got into 2 games and is rippin’ it. 4 for 7 with a Dbl, 2 HRs and 5 RBIs. That’s really nice to see.

  25. Now we know Hamels problem… he is looking thru his eyelids, not breathing through his eyelids…

  26. That is great news on Valle. The Mexican Winter League is probably somewhere in the High A/AA range in terms of overall quality. For Valle to excel out of Low A at age 19 is a big positive. Harold Garcia is also playing well in the Venezuelan League (probably a slightly tougher league) but is also several years older.

    Another piece of good news to note is 9 shutout innings so far from Carlos Monasterios. Maybe we’ll actually get a bullpen arm out of the Abreu trade.

  27. That Abreau trade also got us Sanchez who looked like a real major league prospect the second half of the year. It was his first season pitching and he improved all season and was unhittable at the end, inclduding the playoffs.

  28. did anyone see the stats for freddy ballestas 8.2ip 7er 8k 3bb opp avg. 316 and hes o-2 with a 7.27era

  29. This is great stuff.

    Oh, by the way, the Philadelphia team made it to the WS again. Just wondering if people were keeping up on that too.

  30. About Taylor — a friend got wind from the Phillies front office it is an injury… when I find out what that injury is, if possible, I will try to let ya’ll know.

  31. Harold Garcia has now hit in his 11th straight game in the VWL. Valle and Garcia have been impressive so far in Mexican and Venezuelan winter leagues.

  32. Thanks PABallGirl! Love to hear what’s up with Taylor.

    Also – would love to hear some takes on Neil Sellers. What’s his deal? Know he’s 27 so no kid obviously but he had terriffic numbers at Reading and doing well in the Mexican League (for whatever that’s worth). So is he a prospect, and I struggle using that term for anyone who is 27, but would love to hear some thoughts out there.

  33. It seems to me that this injury prone guy, Taylor, may be not such a reliable guy to remain in a lineup.

    Didn’t he sustain an “injury” losing him playing time in his past few minor lg seasons?

    Is his diabetes a factor?

    Would LOVE to see him and his righty bat readying for next season in some games alongside Ibanez, maybe by July. That would not only offer Taylor some unpressurized break-in work, but also give that 38 year-old-guy some rest.

    His health factor needs consideration.

  34. Taylor strained an oblique at the end of the season, and still managed to play 116 games. In 2008, he played 132 games. He played 66 games in short season ball in 2007 after being drafted. I’m gonna go ahead and say that labeling him “injury prone” is very hyperbolic.

  35. No Art the sky isn’t falling either besides YOU tell Taylor he is injury-prone and you too could be on the DL. Relax dude.
    By around Midseason I will probably be ready to say this is
    “the best Phillies team EVER”.

  36. does anyone trade taylor and drabek for halliday, now. brown in 2 years for ibanez. or simply taylor for gordon. 2010 howard, utley, rollins, gordon, ruiz, brown, vic, werth. staff lee, halliday, hamels, blanton, roll on phils.

  37. John:

    You are a nice man and I have always enjoyed your pleasant and insightful comments on the radio. But I cannot decipher what you have written above and I read it 3 times. Could you try it again? I am not sure what you mean.

  38. Catch, the best I can tell he traded to the Royals AND the Blue Jays for Alex Gordon and Roy Halliday. I know we all like Taylor on this board, but I really don’t think he’s THAT good that he could play for two teams simultaneously.

  39. Patrick — you mentioned his Diabetes. I highly doubt this is a factor (I work in the medical field). If you look at the body composition of Taylor, he is made of a lot of lean muscle tissue; which is primarily at a super lean/elite body comp according to standard. Meaning, he is sickly thin, like a lot of type-I diabetics that could potentially make them prone to sicknesses and catching icky bugs earlier to decreased immune system.

    Because he has dealt with it his entire life (Type I is not developed over time, you have it and you have it for life versus Type-II non-insulin dependent and you can get it over time), I would think he has his episodes of the condition under control.

    Still trying to find out what it is…

  40. Corretion — he *isn’t* sickly thin, as opposed to many Type-I diabetics that are, and more prone to being ill with the condition. Sorry!

  41. Catch 22: I think John meant this:
    Consider, hypothetically, a trade now — including Drabek or Taylor for Halladay.

    And I think he meant to consider, hypothetically, a change down the line in 2 years — Ibanez is gone and Brown takes his place?

    And then in 2010, that is the projected line-up (with his pick of 4 starters) in John’s eyes.

    Not sure.

  42. They aren’t trading Drabek (thankfully). They will not bring Taylor up to platoon with Ibanez. They will use Francisco to rest Ibanez more next year and they will add a 5th outfielder to the bench from either the system or some low cost free agent. Wow, what level are the pitchers that Valle is hitting off of? By the way, Startsburg got shelled last night in AFL.

  43. John said the Phillies’ future is so bright we’ll all be wearing Jayson Werth’s shades. Something like that.
    Roll on Phils.

  44. PABallGirl, usually type 1 diabetes manifests in the early teen years. I spoke to pitcher Jason Johnson this year who said he got it when he was 11 years old. I got it myself when I was 14. It creates problems with the circulatory system which leads to many other problems over time. With proper care, most of the serious side effects will not appear until late in life. I doubt it will be a serious problem for Taylor.

    Ron Santo has type 1 diabetes. In an era before finger testing (for blood sugar levels), Santo never missed more than eight games a season for 12 years.

  45. catch, you should know economy of words. paballgirl, btw, hello, has it right. taylor and drabek and 2 other minors for halliday. gives us the best staff in bb for 5 years. if toronto doesnt do it taylor for gordon since imo this is feliz, last year. 2010 brown will replace ibanez. all the other guys deserve extensions which financilly is no problem. up until the luxary tax at 160 mil? and have i FINALLY heard the last anti-howard whine. ” he,s going downhill” ” he,ll never resign” gimme a break.

  46. catch another thing , youve heard it 1st, only 1 guy should throw out the 1st pitch at cbp. the great ROBIN ROBERTS.

  47. Alan, I should say, yes you are correct with the adolescent onset — sometimes it is just easier to explain in less than 10-20 words what the difference are between the two towards the common everyday folk outside of it. I definitely know what you mean about later complications later in life — hence, why I don’t see problems with his condition now. I see a lot of it within in my field in terms of sports and its very interesting matching diet to the level of physical activity and working with medications.

    Agreed, he should be fine. And I am definitely glad there is better /more awareness today.

  48. Isnt Halliday’s contract up after this year. I would wait and go after him as a free agent . Next years starters seem fine.

    Where can i find a Crystal Ball to get an insight into next years bullpen?

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