53 thoughts on “May 19th Open Discussion

  1. Zeid was the hard luck pitcher yesterday. He came in the save the LWD game and got two quick outs. He gave a double but then Villar had a fielding error and there went the save. Then after a single, Buschini had a fielding error and the loss goes in the books. I guess Zeid should have struck out the side. Oh well, live and learn.

  2. yeah I bet there were times, he pitched and guys made great plays to save him, it evens out most times, I believe.look at lidge last week two bombs but the winds were blowing in and he get the save.

  3. Regarding relievers, I tend to look at inherited runners stranded as a huge factor – and Stutes inherited a runner that scored the winning run. It’s a really tough job to come in with runners on (yet another reason why most of today’s closers are overrated), but I still think that stat is often overlooked.

    That being said, I’ve been a Stutes fan and think he could have a quality career. I think his velo is in the low 90s and he has four quality pitches. His control seems to be an issue, though.

    – Jeff

  4. Gose with three hits, though caught stealing twice and picked off a third time. Ew.

  5. with the ironpigs having a 15 inning game and then traveling all day and having a 16 inning game plus using all there pitching who’s going to pitch today for them. i don’t think they have anyone left in the bullpen?

  6. way to early to draw any conclusions on guys like – colvin, goose, aumont, james, etc.

  7. My sense is that, in Stutes, we are probably looking at another Chad Durbin . . . not that there’s anything wrong with that. I like Stutes.

  8. If Stutes becomes Durbin I’d consider that a success considering where he was drafted.

  9. Noticed that former Phillies Joe Bisenius and Jesus Andino have caught on with other clubs. Bisenius with the Nats and Andino with the White Sox.

  10. Great starts by Aumont, Colvin, and a good one by Sanchez. Bump continues to look like a guy that could help at the big league level.

  11. Gorman Heimueller in Greensboro N. C. to check out Way and Shreve in the noon start twin bill. Way shutting them down after five innings with his velocity at 73-75 on his change up and curve and 85-87 on his fastball. Singleton on an 0-2 pitch singles to drive in his 5th rbi in 6 games to give Lakewood a 2-0 lead according to Greg G.

  12. LHV’s Facebook page reports that Ty Taubenheim is headed to AAA, Andy Tracy to the DL. After pitching 31 innings the last two days, the ‘Pigs need a fresh arm.

  13. At 85-87 Way is going to need pin-point control and good movement to survive at higher levels.

    There aren’t too many effective ML pitchers that sit in the mid 80’s with their fastball.

  14. Certainly not the only guy to thwart the Phils with junk but Duke sat at 87 last night with his fastball. Hopefully Way can moveit up 3 to 4 miles per hour.

  15. just reading the klaw chat and thought this was interesting

    eitheror (pa) [via mobile]
    Can you give a scouting report on Cosart?
    Klaw (2:19 PM)
    Very athletic kid with plus-plus fastball and chance for plus or better breaking ball, some feel for a changeup too. Wouldn’t shock me if by year-end we were debating him as a top-ten guy.

  16. Cosart was would have likely been drafted in the top 10 rounds but he said he was going to college.

  17. I think Shwimmer predicted what KLaw said about Cosart…for his next mailbag I am going to ask him about my future lovelife and some gambling advice

    Im hoping after a few more outings we get a prospect profile on Shreve. Hes old for the league, but only because of injury. His baseball experience is still that of a 19/20 yr old roughly. Im looking to hear things like: projectible frame means more velocity should come, and Phils strike juco gold with future #1 or #2 starter…wait, that’ll be my third mailbag question

  18. Zake Duke was also sporting an ERA well over 5 going into the game. He just had one of those nights where everything went right.

  19. I’d be curious to know how many top ten prospects are in low-A. I suspect there are not a whole lot. If I was on my computer, I’d try to research that. Maybe I can get to it tomorrow.

    Regardless, that’s pretty heady praise for Cosart.

  20. My memory may be off, but at the begining of the season, the Mariners’ Ackley was the only A ball player in the top 25.

  21. Thanks Mike77. I’m curious about prior years as well, I’ll see what I can find on BA tomorrow.

  22. I think Mike Trout is thought of more highly than Cosart by klaw (like 14 in his revised top 25) and others, and he is in the Midwest League (A ball). There is not much company though at the moment for those two at the lower levels, people seem to really be liking what they see in Cosart this year.

  23. Mike Trout is in the Midwest league and ranked in the top 25. He is very highly thought of and probably the only kid ahead of Cosart at that level for most people. Cosart is really doing well this year and people like what they are seeing. I hope he continues to progress as a pitcher because he seems to have great stuff from all reports.

  24. Law re-ranked his Top 25 and after the list he had Cosart as the only Honorable Mention. Here’s what he said :

    Jarred Cosart, RHP, Philadelphia. He could also qualify as the player who made the biggest jump. I may be getting slightly ahead of myself here, but Cosart showed up in spring training sitting in the mid-90s, prompting one evaluator to tell me he was “the second-best arm in the minors,” after the guy at the top of the list. And so far, Cosart is lighting up the Sally League, with 33 whiffs and just only walks in 28.2 innings. Previous ranking: NR

    P.S. by the way the “guy at the top of the list” is Strasburg

  25. In Law’s current chat, he said that Cosart may be a Top 10 next year. Wouldn’t it be great if Cosart continued to develop and was ready to join the rotation some time in 2012? I am dreaming of this rotation: Halladay, Hamels, Cosart, Blanton and Happ.

  26. Hey…Cosart would need to climb 4 levels in one year? Better to hope for 2012 0r 2013.
    It takes time unless you are Strasburg.
    Phillies don’t like to “rush” their prospects. The idea is to have them fully prepared with repetitions until a lot of stuff becomes 2nd nature, along with development of “character”, i.e., facing failure and overcoming it to progress.
    He woul eventually become a part of the staff…if he cando the work.

    His initial pro time showed a need for more maturity. Apparently he has taken that to heart this season.

    Onward and upward!

  27. It’s a little painful to watch some of these players being moved through the minors so slowly, but, heck, they’ve got a great track record through this slow and steady development pattern. It also seems to produce players that are ready to produce as soon as they hit the majors (thereby maximizing their economic effect on the franchise). Still, Overbeck is overly ripe – he probably needs to be moved soon.

  28. Other than Overbeck, who is being moved through the minors so slowly? It is painful to watch one guy not be promoted after 6 weeks?

  29. The Phillies move most of their players slowly (by the way, if you read carefully, note that I am NOT criticizing them over this – their method works and I think it makes sense to be completely sure about a player before promoting him, but still, it’s often a little frustrating to watch)

    Okay, let’s see, who’s going slowly now:

    1. Domonic Brown
    2. Cody Overbeck
    3. Austin Hyatt
    4. Scott Mathieson
    5. Nick Hernandez

    Who’s gone slowly historically – well, these players, among many others:

    1. Chase Utley
    2. Ryan Howard
    3. Shane Victorino
    4. Michael Taylor

  30. They’ve been aggresisve as well with Stutes, Worley, Galvis, Santana, Singleton, Colvin, etc. So I think overall it’s tough to label them one way or the other.

  31. 1. Michael Taylor was not moved slowly. He played at 2 levels each year after being drafted.
    2. Domonic Brown has been moved at the appropriate speed. While playing well at each level he had not dominated at any level until this year at AA, and it has only been 6 weeks.
    3. Austin Hyatt is a RH pitcher with no breaking ball and low-average velocity on his fastball. He obviously has not demonstrated to the team that his ‘stuff’ is better than the guys ahead of him in AA. Who is he better than at AA?
    4. Scott Mathieson is coming off 2 TJS. He is not going to come into the season and just blow Major Leaguers away with just a Fastball. He has to show that he can command breaking balls on back to back days.
    5. Nobody would have jumped Hernandez to Clearwater before the season. Now he has to wait until one of the A guys graduate to AA. Who is he better than?

  32. My take is that everyone is right (see – much more positive than saying everyone is wrong! 🙂 ). I believe they really look at individuals, more than “here’s what we do”, and situtations. I think they look at the player, their makeup, etc. and determine if the player can handle the likely struggles or not, or maybe needs some more success to build up their confidence. All in all I think they do a fairly good job where possible. And then there is the “situational”. I don’t think it’s fair to say they moved Howard too slow – there was that Jim Thome guy. And there are other situations up and down the levels where there just may not be room to move someone up.

    Now ALL that said, I do feel for the poor folks in Allentown as I get the sense the Phils have decided that AAA is going to be the land of “in case of emergency” not necessarily “our top flight prospects”. So I think that gives them one less level to play with when moving prospects up. Thoughts?

  33. For the most part I have only nitpicking things to complain about durning the year. It is only the stinking winter meeting where an evil entity seems to take over. Owners or upper management I don’t know but it has been going on for a long time. If anyone has any insight please say it.

  34. The problem with not advancing Overbeck is that there is a need big time.

  35. Double jumping Worley and Stutes showed the organization the pitfalls of moving marginal talents (like Austin Hyatt) agressively. They could have allowed them to stay in Clearwater and dominated. They would not have been exposed as marginal talents and they would still have tradeable prospect value.

  36. Utley skipped AA ball so he appeared to have been moved rather aggressively and Victorino was a rule V pick-up who only spend 1 season at AAA after he was not take back when offered so I’m not sure how the Phillies moved him slowly.

    As for Howard, his path was blocked by a guy being paid a ton of money which slowed his progress by maybe a year.

    I just don’t see much evidence that the Phillies are holding their players back.

    The biggest factor affecting team prospects these days is that they have a quality veteran roster that doesn’t have holes that need filled.

    When they have need, they promote quickly (See Kendrick in 2007 or Bastardo last year)

  37. Placido Polanco says “There is no big time need for a 3b.”

    There may be a lack of organizational depth, but the 3b job on the big club seems to be set for the next couple of years. As such, th FO has the luxury of moving Overbeck slowly – and given the down year he had at A in 09 (injury or not), slow seems to be the smart play.

    Six weeks = six weeks, yes?

  38. Biggest single factor (by FAR) for not rushing players is the They have players for 5-6 years in the minors. Then they have them for six years in the majors, with an average salary during that time that is pretty cheap. You have to average the first few years in.

    If you rush a player and give him 3-4 years in the majors to really hit stride, you are paying major league salary for less than optimum performance.

    If you keep players in the minors until they becomes dominant there–and then maybe some more seasoning, you have a better chance to be paying for premium performance during that time.

    J-Roll vs. Utley/Howard is a case in point. When they brought Jimmy up at age 22, he was not a very good hitter despite his talents, striking out over 100 times his first three full seasons and hitting 14, 11, and 8 HRs in those years. In two of those years, his OPS was .686 and .707. Over the next 4 years, his OPS was, ,803, .770, .811, and .875 (!!!!).

    Utley, coming up at age 24, had two partial years with .696 and .776 OPS. Then it has been in the .900s since, with no exceptions.

    Howard cane up in a partial year at 24, and was productive from age 25 on.

    Phis want to maximize the productivity they get over those 6 years and minimize salary and risk during that time.

    There is really no argument against that method. Of course, as with Rollins, you bring a guy up for need if there is no other choice, but if you have a good farm, the best way to maximize your investment is keep them moving slow and steady. So many other benefits too, such as a more rounded player and a more mature person. This has been a big factor in the pHils team makeup.

  39. That’s all well and good but no matter what age you can’t
    learn to hit major league pitching in the minors. You assume because a player is older he will adjust much faster.questionable. I am not saying you are wrong just making over simple.

  40. My point was that there is a better chance for faster success and better return on investment if you give an extra 1-2 years. Especially if you give the player time to fail and then learn to adjust to whatever the problem is, such as hitting breaking balls or attacking the plate for a pitcher.

    Don’t think I “oversimplified.” The fact that some players still will need to adjust to majors was not the point that I was making. And I covered that with Rollins’ and Utley’s progressions. It was clear they both needed time. But Utley needed less time and got close to peak performance faster. That is what GMs are building their strategies on.

  41. Again, people seem to be confusing my comments about moving players slowly with whether I think it is wise or unwise to do so. They are generally cautious – I didn’t say it was a bad thing. To the contrary, it’s probably a good thing and it certainly enables them to maximize their investment. It also gives them players that are major league ready.

    I could quibble all day, but those who followed this site know how painfully slow M. Taylor’s ascent through the minors was. As for Brown, he’s also been moved slowly – not too slowly, just kind of slow. Utley did skip a level, but he played two full years at AAA, the second year, he was hitting well over. 300 and then, after he finished that year, they were slow working him into the major league line-up. Howard was blocked, true enough, but his being in AAA after tearing up the minors for a year was such a big deal that it was drawing national press coverage (NY Times actually wrote an article about a Philadelphia farm hand – how often does that happen?). On Hyatt, the reports you give conflict with what I’ve read – but, yeah, they’re taking it slow with him too. Again, IT’S NOT A BAD THING, I am just making an observation.

  42. Catch 22: I never thought you were saying it was a bad thing. Since the topic was raised, I just wanted to bring in the maximizing investment angle, since it had not been mentioned. We get involved in individual cases, and it’s worth reminding ourselves that management has a well-conceived plan.

    I’m no management apologist, but I have come to recognize the importance of long-term development strategies in keeping production high and salary down as much as possible.

  43. Keith Law said that if Jarred Cosart keeps it up you might see him in the Top 10. Good Lord.

  44. As to some of the comments I have read that suggest the Phillies new “strategy” at AAA might be filling it with minor league lifers and gap fillers, I am not so sure. Too early for us to tell yet I think.

    More than anything I think this is just a reflection of trading away arguably what would have been 7 of the top 10 or 15 prospects over the past 18 months for Joe Blanton, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay.

    Without those trades it is likely that Michael Taylor, Kyle Drabek, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, Adrian Cardenas, and Carrasco would have been in Lehigh Valley right now. As such the Iron Pigs wouldn’t have had the same “re-tread” feel they have right now.

    The Phillies have basically emptied the top half of their farm system while Lakewood and Clearwater appear loaded. Add in what I hope will be a productive and agressive draft this year and the Phillies have a chance to re-stock AAA with some more homegrown, developmental talent by 2012.

  45. I agree with Nobody. It isn’t so much that it is a new strategy that the Phillies have as much as it is that they don’t have a choice!

    All things being equal, I’d rather have a AAA team stocked with minor-league retreads and a WS trophy than an awesome AAA team and no trophy. So, I can’t at all fault them for their approach.

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