85 thoughts on “August 4th Discussion

  1. Oops, message was sent before I even got close to fiunished.

    Zeid 6 IP, 5 H, 5K, 2 BB
    Hollands 5 IP, 3H, ER, 7K and a BB.
    Rizz had a nice day.
    Santana had a 3 R shot.

  2. Baseball is so unpredictable. Our old friend Lou Marson was terrible after being send down and Santana took over the catching. Now Santana is hurt. Marson had a good July and he is back and hit a HR last night. Even I shoveled the dirt on his grave prematurely.

  3. But I wouldn’t have exactly shoveled dirt on Marson either. He had one real shot this season at hitting MLB pitching. His catching skills were strong, he just struggled with the bat. He might get it going now.
    Overback up to 10 errors in 46 games at Reading. That’s to many errors.

  4. Are the Phils making any progress on their unsigned guys? What is the deadline for signing guys?

  5. Bryan Morgado and Percival Garner have been horrid so far. It feels like we have moved from “toolsy” positional players that need to learn how to hit to “toolsy” pitchers that have great arms but need to learn how to pitch. I jest. I jest.

  6. Valle has only 8 hits over his past ten games, but 4 have been homers. All that makes for an OBP of .214 and an SLG of .585. That’s one of the more unique combinations I’ve seen in a while. Hooray for small sample sizes!

  7. The power is definitely real for Valle…and impressive. I’d really like to see some improvements in his OBP skills.

    Any word on his defense this year? I mean, if he cant stay behind the plate, he’s really not much of a prospect.

  8. Guys… I know there is this on going debate about Rizzotti, and I’m probably just stoking the flames, but I reviewed PP’s review on Rizz and compared some of the “concerns” he had at that time with ranking him in the first half of his top 30.

    He goes on to say “That’s not a big jump. Its a massive jump. Rizzotti’s .404 BABIP at Reading is obviously helping his batting average, but his line drive rate of 18.3% isn’t absurdly high, just 2% higher than his 16.6% LD rate in 2009.” His LD% Is now over 20%, and perhaps starting to justify some of his BABIP (still at .404)

    Further “He’s drawn 13 walks in 153 PA, which is an 8.5% clip, slightly below what he’s done throughout his brief pro career. He has 28 strikeouts in 153 PA, an 18.3% rate, which is the lowest rate of his pro career, and an obvious reason for his increased success.” His walk rate is now up to 13.2% which is “slightly” above his career average, and his K rate is about 18.2%… a point on this I’d like to make here, while the K rate is a tad high, compared to the prototypical sluggers play 1B in the majors, a 20% k rate is not extremely high, the real question is will he have the power to justify it. If he hits 32-35 HR’s with a 20% k rate, and can bat .290 in the majors, he’d be an excellent prospect, even at 1B.

    However, his biggest arguement against Rizz (which at the time was certainly justified), was his home away splits… while I’d say their likely is something to those splits, they have normalized significantly. PP goes on to say “The biggest red flag in Rizzotti’s 2010 explosion is his home/road splits. Reading is always one of the best hitting environments in the Eastern League, and Rizzotti has taken full advantage. In 76 home AB’s, Rizzotti has posted a line of .421/.488/.868, compared to a line of .295/.338/.443 in 61 road AB. A noisy small sample? Possibly.” Lets compare the lines now. Home: .358/.432/.691 …….. Away: .353/.463/.581 … at first glace the numbers seem very comparible but with less power. What I would point out is, Rizz has hit 5 HR’s Away VS 11 at home… HR’s are one statistic that I feel is less affected by home vs away splits then say doubles or triples. (Most parks have “similiar” dimensions). That said, I think the difference in power between these splits are almost entirely attributable to the HR totals, and given the small sample size (16 HR’s), no conclusion can be drawn at this time.

    Given the above evidence, I no longer think it is reasonable to leave Rizz out of the top 15, perhaps ranking him around 10-12. (which for some of you here i’m sure is too conservative, and for others, too optimistic.) That said, if he continues batting over .320 with an OPS above .950 at AAA, he’ll jump to the 5-7 range by mid year next year. But regardless, the kid is a legitimate prospect, the question is… as with any prospect, can he keep it going? He’s obviously broken his trends, and maybe this is an outlier. But he is not far off from being a top level MLB prospect.

  9. Some context for BABIP:

    Suzuki .357
    Jeter .357
    Mauer .343
    Gwynn .341
    Howard .329
    Pujols .315
    Frank Thomas .304
    Prince Fielder .301
    Bonds .285

    These are stars – and in most cases, stars with exceptional BABIP (i.e., I’m not cherry picking players to support my argument – on the contrary, I looked for high BABIP players). The typical Major Leaguer is lower. I don’t think anyone has a better sustained BABIP for their career than Suzuki and Jeter in the last 50 years, though I may have missed someone. The average is around .300. Unless I missed someone, the best BABIP for Rizzotti type hitters is Howard’s .329. (Mauer, despite his position, is quite fast and athletic. Helton, who I didn’t list, is at .336, but his home/away split on BABIP is huge, which is why I didn’t list him.)

    NO ONE can maintain a BABIP of .400. NO ONE. The only players who maintain a BABIP over .330 are speed guys/ EXTREME line drive hitters. Rizz is slow; he may well have good line drive skills, but probably not comparable to a Suzuki or Jeter, both of whom are of course also a lot faster than Rizzotti. The best case argument for Rizzotti is that he can maintain a BABIP of around .330. Best case. Which would mean a BA of around .300.

    As an aside, I suspect that, because of poor defenses, all else being equal, minor league BABIP are higher than Major League BABIP. But I admit I don’t have data on that point.

  10. But even at .300 with a .390 OBP and .590 Slug, that’s still a .980 OPS, wonderful, even if it’s a career year. That upside has to rate out to a top prospect, especially considering how close to the “show” he is. To me, the debate isn’t about his potential, it’s if what we are seeing is real.

  11. Of course, sometimes in a single season of data, players do approach or even exceed .400 BABIP at the major league level. Some of them (e.g., Suzuki) manage to maintain a very high career mark, albeit well below .400. Others (e.g., Milton Bradley .388 in 2008, .315 career), not so much.

  12. “To me, the debate isn’t about his potential, it’s if what we are seeing is real.”

    Not sure what that even means. For EVERY minor leaguer, the question is potential. Obviously, PART of evaluating his potential is the extent to which his performance is “real” in the sense is it sustainable. But even to the extent that his performance is “real” (and I think even his biggest fans have to concede, as you seem to, that because of the BABIP issue his current numbers are at least somewhat inflated), what is the corresponding major league performance? Hitting (say) .300/.390/.590 in AA (assuming that is his “real,” BABIP adjusted, numbers) does not necessarily translate to .300/.390/.590 in the Major Leagues.

  13. Very good breakdown, Supra98x. I almost find it amuzing how when Ryan Howard was putting the ball out of Reading stadium, I never heard comments concerning the stadium being a hitters park. But if a guy not on the so called ‘prospect list’ does it, there’s got to be a reason behind it. The bottom line is the so called experts were flat-out wrong about Rizz. Suck it up and enjoy it. He’s a legit prospect.

  14. Larry, i agree with your premise. I am not saying he’s going to hit .360 for a career with a .404 BABIP. I am just of the opinion that if what we are seeing this year from him is real. He’s more then a fringe major leaguer. He’s a boarder line all-star. My post was an argument for his year being a true indicator of talent, rather then a blip, based on good walks, good power, lower strike outs and not having home/away splits. Though admitably, too small a data set to be certain, but thats he’s ceiling.

  15. Wow, we made it about 15 posts before the daily Rizzotti deabte started.

    NEPP – I seem to recall reading a few times that Valle’s future might actually be as a third basemen, and I would think that his numbers would play out fairly well at that position.

    – Jeff

  16. We lost a day of boxscores. We missed Monday’s games. there were some really nice pitching performances:

    Hyatt 6IP, 3H, ER (HR), 5K and a BB (I continue to be on the bandwagon that sends him the Reading)
    May 6IP, 3H, 0 ER, 9 Ks, 3 BBs. Too many walks but he’s overpowering the A guys.
    Buchanan 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 Ks.

    Rosenberg is playing again. He pitched an inning in the GCL a few days ago and 2 innings at CLW on Monday. He’s given up 1 hit and no runs. Let’s hope he’s back to his old self quickly. Relievers knocking on the show’s door would be Mathieson, Zagurski, Bastardo, Schwim, Stutes and Rosenberg (in no particular order).

    Where are all those toosy outfielders when we need a couple at LHV and Reading? OF’ers are getting pretty thin in the upper levels of the organization. It must be tough watching a LHV game when there aren’t any positional prospects there right now? Worley and the bullpen are the only guys to see, if you want prospects. If you want too try Rizz in the OF, now is the time.

  17. Alright, look, IF you disagree with ranking him in the 10-12 range as I’ve suggested, I invite you to tell me which 12 (or more prospects) are better. Here’s what I will tell you, no player in the last 2 years has put togeather a year as strong at the plate as Rizzotti has, matter fact, the last player to put up numbers as insane (from a non-sabermetric perspective) was Ryan Howard. If that doesn’t make Rizz a top prospect, at the age of 24, in AA (and might be AAA/MLB by years end), I don’t know what the hell does. Fair enough, his 360 average isn’t sustainable over a career, but that doesn’t negate the magnitude of his numbers completely. I’ll say it again, he’s had the best year of anyone in years, and it’s not even close.

  18. What is the latest on draft signing If they paid over slot they will not anounce it untill after 8/15. I seenon gulf coast roster their names but not shore .They did not play.

  19. Need to point out with May, yes 3 walks too many, but they were all in first inning … none after that.

  20. “Unsustainable BABIP” is a myth. Not all balls hit “in play” are the same, which is essentially the premise of the statistic. Some players on that list hit the ball harder than others(Howard, Pujols, Thomas) or intentionally hit it away from fielders(Gwynn, Suzuki). Those are skills that should be measurable with advanced metrics. Eventually we’ll have a more precise method of analysis, which will replace BABIP, which cannot come soon enough. There could be some merit to BABIP, but I see too many flaws in its reasoning to use it in any meaningful way. Its slightly more useful for pitchers, but unusable for the similar reasons: some pitchers get hit harder than others.

    If anything, I’d advocate its reverse usage. When a pitcher’s BABIP rises, its not luck; he’s getting hit harder. Is there luck involved? Perhaps, but BABIP is not a measure of “luck”, as is typically implied.

  21. There was commentary in the lakewood blog about blog about how Valle started focusing more on defense and thereafter his hitting picked up… that was a few weeks back. I don’t immediately find it, but here is the site: http://blog.blueclaws.com/

  22. Rizzotti MUST be tried in LF this winter. If need be, make him run laps and lose weight. As a healthy 24 year old, would he really be worse than Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell or Raul Ibanez? If he could play at least a below-average LF, his value to the Phillies and other teams would skyrocket. The Phillies need an alternative in LF in 2011. Riz could be it.

  23. baxter,

    You are partly criticizing a straw man, and partly just plain wrong. Yes, as I made quite clear, some players can sustain a higher than average BABIP. But (1) No one can sustain a .400 BABIP, and (b) the guys who sustain a BABIP over .330 are FAST (and Line drive hitters) – i.e., part of the reason they can do that is beating out IF hits. No one thinks that that describes Rizzotti. (The fast part – yes, he may well have legitimate line drive skills, which is why it’s reasonable to assume that he will be able to maintain an above average BABIP, albeit nowhere near .400.)


    10-12 may well be accurate at this point – I might say 16-18, but you could easily be right. But 10-12 at his level of development does not equal potential border line all star.

    The reasons why his performance, as good as it is, likely doesn’t translate to all star status in the major leagues have been rehearsed at length. The comparison with Howard is interesting, but probably not in quite the way you think. Rizzotti and Howard may well be comparable in terms of BA and BB – but Rizzotti, whatever you may think of him, doesn’t have Howard’s power. Howard, with Rizzotti-level power (I’d say best case 20-25 HR power) – would not be an all star either.

  24. “As a healthy 24 year old, would he really be worse than Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell or Raul Ibanez”

    Quite probably yes – at least worse than Burrell or Ibanez (well, maybe not worse than Ibanez THIS year – but Ibanez has been god aweful in the field this year). And the Dunn comparison is quite revealing. Dunn really COULDN’T play the OF. He is more valuable as a 1B than as an OF because of it.

  25. Larry – I’m ranking him 10-12 based on his whole body of work, if you look at just this year, clearly he’s the best prospect in the system (or maybe 2 behind D.Brown, but it’s damn close and only becuase of his position and defensive liabilities). If this kid had put up lines like this throughout his minor league career you wouldn’t be calling him a bench player. So what i did, was compromise, I said, well… he’s playing like top 5, but that’s only this year, previously he wasn’t top 30, so 10-12. (in light of comparisons to other players).

  26. My ranking of him is not a knock on his potential, but rather, doubts as to which is the “real” rizzotti, as we’ve already hashed out. Is he the .260 guy with limited power, or is he the .300 iso player batting .360 (with an admitably high BABIP)

  27. Baxter, I agree with you that over a career not all hitter will have the same BABIP due to differences in skill and that year-by-year fluctuations are normal. However, if a player’s BABIP is meaningfully higher or lower than his long-term average, it is an indicator that he is getting lucky or unlucky. Using LarryM’s example from before, I would bet that Milton Bradley got pretty lucky that year he had a .388 BABIP. I don’t think for that one year he was actually a significantly better hitter than the rest of his career. It just doesn’t make sense.

    I think that, for pitchers, it is pretty well accepted that pitchers do not have a lot of control as to what happens after a ball is put into play. BABIP is usually .300 for pitchers. For example: Roy Halladay’s career BABIP is .299 and his career xFIP is 3.24 (i.e. he’s awesome) whereas Joe Blanton’s career BABIP is .303 and his career xFIP is 4.42 (i.e. he’s average). If a pitcher is bad, would he give up a lot more line drives? Yes. Will he have a higher BABIP than .300? Yes, much higher. Will he get more than a couple innings in the majors? No. (A relevant example is my main man, Andrew Carpenter: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=9533&position=P. Maybe he shouldn’t be my main man anymore.) So for most major league pitchers, a BABIP meaningfully above or below .300 is probably due to luck. If they’re getting hit harder, they won’t be in the majors for much longer.

    Halladay: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1303&position=P
    Blanton: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=4849&position=P

  28. If Rizzotti can play LF better than 2010 Ibanez, then surely he can play it better than 2011 Ibanez…and that is the measuring stick. What kind of argument is that?

    and of course, a .400 BABIP is as unsustainable as a .364 BA. No one expects him to hit like that in the major leagues.
    a .400 BABIP isn’t even high for a guy hitting .364- the meaning is in the differential. Would a .300 BABIP be “unsustainable” for a guy hitting .270? Of course not. Look at line drive % for a more meaningful stat.

    What else do those guys with high BABIPs have in common with each other? High batting averages of course. The differential is the only meaning you can derive from those numbers. When a guy gets hot, his BABIP goes up and when he’s in a slump, it goes down. You need a wide differential to illustrate a point- for example, Marson’s .400 BABIP when he hit .315…

  29. Supra,

    We’re obviously not getting anywhere with this, so this will be my last comment in the exchange. What I think you still aren’t getting is that even “real” performance in AA usually doesn’t translate one-for-one with Major League performance. There are exceptions but many reasons to think that Rizzotti isn’t one of them. Assuming that his real ceiling is a Major League 1B whose hitting is average or a bit above for a 1B, with average fielding skills at best – which is certainly valuable, albeit not all star level valuable – then there are plenty of prospects in the system with a higher ceiling, albeit with a higher level of uncertainty, even if their raw number are superficially less impressive.

    Of course, the fact that he is blocked at the Major League level, is probably too limited positionally/defensively for a bench player* and, fairly or not, doesn’t seem to have a huge amount of trade value at this point, further explains why some of us are a little tired of the “Rizz is a future star” type comments.

    *Again an overlooked point among commenters on this site. With 12 man staffs, there are only 5 back up position players. Among those 5, you need back ups at every position, and, hopefully, some redundancy. Filling one of those 5 spots with a guy who can play 1B only places significant limits on bench flexibility.

  30. “If Rizzotti can play LF better than 2010 Ibanez, then surely he can play it better than 2011 Ibanez…and that is the measuring stick. What kind of argument is that?”

    2011 is not terribly relevant, as no one with even tiny bit of baseball knowledge thinks that Rizzotti could learn to play the OF that quickly (I mean, it is at least POSSIBLE, albeit IMO highly unlikely, that he could EVENTUALLY learn to play the OF well enough to be marginally acceptable there, but it wouldn’t happen over night. (Or over the course of an off season.))

    Honestly, any tiny amount of credibility that you might have had goes out the window with that suggestion.

    “The differential is the only meaning you can derive from those numbers.”

    That simply isn’t true. Look at the players with high BABIP. They share certain characteristics. Most of them … and ALL of them with truly exceptional BABIP numbers … are fast. The IF hits again (and I don’t have a link handy, but I’ve seen numbers which back that up – Suzuki has an INSANE number of infield hits in his career). They also tend to have high line drive percentages – and again, I do concede that Rizzotti MAY fit that part of the equation. Which is why from the start I’ve made the EXTREMELY GENEROUS assumption that he might be able to maintain a very high .330 BABIP.

  31. I suspect the best case scenario for Rizzo will be sending him to the Arizona Fall League to work on his footwork around first base. The Phils guys will go to the Mesa Solar Sox. Lakewood’s manager Mark Parent is listed as the batting coach for that team though no rosters have been announced. That’s good because Domonic Brown hit only .229 in the AFL last year. The AFL opens Oct. 12th.

    Hopefully Matt also gets a chance to play for Team USA in the Pan Am/World Cup qualifying tournament the first week in October in San Juan P.R. Training starts for Team USA, which is made up of the best American players in the minors, in North Carolina the last week in Sept. AAA and AA players are normally selected. The Phils usually place a minor league player or two on USA international teams like Bourn, Segovia, Donald, Marson and Outman in previous years. Other than Worley who’s on the 40 man and maybe Schwimer they really have no American prospects at AAA. A pitcher like Mike Cisco might get a shot. B.J. Rosenberg was on the gold medal World Cup team last year so a guy like Justin DeFratus could also be considered after the season he has had out of the pen so far this season.

  32. This is clearly hyperbolic, but look at K/9 to illustrate the absurdity of the correlation between BABIP and luck. Can a pitcher’s K/9 rise for a short period of time, like a batter’s BABIP? Of course, and like the batter, a pitcher cannot “control” what happens after he releases a pitch. However, this increase in strikeouts has as much to do with location and velocity. Likewise, a rise in babip has a lot to do with how hard a ball is hit and where it goes. Ask Tony Gwynn if he got lucky or intentionally “hit it where they ain’t” and he’ll point to his HOF plaque and ask you if that was luck. Gwynn used a 28 inch toothpick to direct his hits and Howard uses the biggest bat in baseball to hit it harder than anyone else in the league. Ted Williams’s BABIP rose when he learned to beat the shift by hitting the other way and there are countless other examples. I’m not suggesting BABIP is too abstract; I’m saying its too crude. Just because its too complex to be explained, its dismissed as luck, but that general conclusion is far too rash to be scientific.

  33. baxter,

    How can I say this without sounding nasty? Are you even reading my messages? You’re basically responding to arguments I’m not making. That’s the “straw man” aspect of this. You also happen to be wrong about SOME of the particulars, but its hard to even ENGAGE you on those points when you continue to pretend that I’m denying that there is SOME – even considerable – skill involved in BABIP.

    Let me ask you straight out four simple questions:

    (1) Do you deny that a .400 BABIP is not sustainable?
    (2) Do you deny that BABIP, over a single season especially, is IN PART a matter of luck?
    (3) Do you deny that most if not all modern players with BABIP over .330 are fast guys who get a ton of infield hits? (I looked it up – Suzuki has 370!!! – Jeter has 200)
    (4) Speaking of Rizzotti in particular, are you claiming that his insanely high BABIP is sustainable?

  34. Hope they have Biddle pitch in a real baseball setting before the season ends. Williamsport has only three more weekend home stands left. I was at historic Bowman Field with 3,000 fans for Savery’s debut in the early Sunday evening twilight during the first week of August back in the day. Bet a Biddle debut there would sell out and see what he can do with fans in the stands.

  35. And the K/9 argument support MY argument. Individual K/9 rates tend to vary much less on a year to year basis than BABIP – yet at the same time, the variations between players tend to be much GREATER than the variation in BABIP.

    And to bring my contribution to a close, in this thread anyway, and hopefully make my position even clearer, OF COURSE one can use BABIP in an overly crude manner. But PROPERLY used, it can be illuminating. As it is here. If I was arguing that Rizzotti’s performance was CERTAINLY and ENTIRELY an illusion because of BABIP, and that we should expect him to regress to an “average” performance of (say) a .300 BABIP, that would be a poor argument. But I’m not saying that.

  36. baxter:

    1. Pitchers have little control over what happens once the ball is put in play, not after it is released.
    2. If a pitcher’s K/9 rose above his historical average for a little while, he has either improved his stuff, like you said, or it is just random statistical variation (luck), and one would expect it to normalize back to his average.
    3. Gwynn had a career BABIP of .341 because he was really good. In 1986 his BABIP was .331. In 1987 it was .383. In 1988 it was .328. Did Gwynn intentionally hit it harder and away from fielders more often in 1987 than in 1986 and 1988? Or was it just statistical variation around a mean? I’m leaning towards the latter. I doubt he was an appreciably different player in 87 than in 86 or 88.

    The point is, BABIP’s not all that complex and can provide useful information about a player. Rizzotti’s BABIP is much higher than his historical average this year (.416 for 2010 compared to .362 career average). Why? Well, one reason is that his LD% is much higher than in the past (22% in 2010 compared to 17% career average. Someone else has posted that you can’t trust minor league LD% due to its subjectivity. Let’s put that aside for a mo). Line drives result in a hit much more often than groundballs or flyballs. So does a higher LD% account for all of that BABIP increase? Probably not. What else could it be? He’s also hitting fewer infield flies per fly ball than in the past. Hmm, maybe that’s something, maybe not. Could there be some luck involved? I think there could. However, the larger the sample we get of this level of performance (~300 PAs and counting), the more convinced I will be that there is less luck and more skill involved. There’s my analysis, using BABIP as a starting point. I don’t think it’s too complicated.

    Go Matt!

  37. Rizzotti has worked in LF before, so I have no idea why you’re making these conclusions. Read some of his older interviews…and countless players have moved to the OF in a single offseason(Burrell, Sheffield,Soriano off the top of my head) so I don’t know where you’re getting that either.

  38. 01. Cosart
    02. Singleton
    03. Colvin
    04. May
    05. Valle
    06. Ramirez
    07. Gillies
    08. James
    09. Aumont
    10. Biddle
    11. Santana
    12. Worley
    13. De Fratus

  39. When I first read ‘Cosart is done’ I freaked. I thought that meant ‘arm is destroyed, done being a pitcher’ not ‘done pitching for the year’. I’m very happy he is being rested. There is a ton of potential there.

  40. Excuse me. Someone asked for 12 prospects better than Rizzotti. I see at least that many. Probably 3 or 4 more

  41. Yes folks, there was a Kelly Dugan sighting today in the GCL. 2-3 with a run scored. Biddle was smokin’. Juary Gomez is human. He gave up his first run this year spanning 14 outings (.46 ERA).

  42. Any reports on the stuff that Biddle had? The Ks indicate that something was working. Hoping to hear that the heater is sitting in the low 90s.

  43. Does anyone have any thoughts on winning in the minors v. player development? GCL Phillies 22-17- first in North Div.

  44. Yeah, Biddle is certainly starting to impress with his past few outings. I doubt he’ll get promoted this year, but I’m guessing he’ll be in Lakewood’s rotation next year.

  45. Mike77, You can throw together all the lists you want. It’s what you do on the diamond that really counts, day in and day out. And how you move up in the organization. You look kind of foolish ignoring what Rizz has done this year. Still not a believer ….

  46. I’m just saying the obvious: a change in BABIP directly correlates with a change in BA. I read the same chapters on why BABIP is purely luck and found the argument unconvincing…and yes I think a 5% change in LD% is extremely significant, because that amounts to 50 basis points in BABIP…so there you go: 5% more line drives means +.050 rise in BABIP, which accounts for the difference between his career BABIP total of .362 and his .416 in 2010. If you’re saying that extra .014 is due to luck, I’ll give you that.

  47. Does the graphic on this page suggest Phillie fans are neanderthals? Some of the fighting makes me wonder.

  48. not sure if this has been mentioned yet but according to the new york penn league transactions Kevin Angelle was released today.

  49. Philly.com is reporting that Cosart has been shut down for the season due to elbow injury and that surgery was not recommended.

  50. If Angelle was released, has to be something we will never hear about as it wouldn’t be performance related.

  51. Phillies have acquired first baseman Mike Sweeney from the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Here’s hoping it’s the cash (though I doubt the PTBNL could much of a prospect for a guy who’s only appeared in 30 games for the M’s this season).

  52. baxter,

    I’m beginning to think you’re putting me on. Okay, let me see if I have this right:

    (1) You think that Rizzotti legitimately has the best ability (as measured by BABIP) of any player in the past 40 years – better even than guys with the speed to get 20 to 30 infield hits a year (Suzuki, Jeter). (Because that’s the logical implication of what you are saying.)

    (2) You think the Phillies should take a guy who has zero professional innings as an OF, who is by all appearances marginal defensively even as a 1B, who is AT BEST borderline in terms of speed and athleticism to even play the OF at all, and move him to the OF in his rookie Major League season, when he is ALSO facing major league pitching for the first time? Sorry, that’s insane (even Burrell played a lot of OF in the minors in the season before his rookie year – and played a lot of 1B his rookie year to make the transition easier. The other guys were established major leaguers, were making a far easier transition, and were much athletic than Rizzotti).

    No point in further dialog. You don’t have a clue what you are talking about, and I don’t have the time to try to educate you.

  53. #
    RULZ says:
    August 4, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    You think that one homer in his return means that he can play in MLB?

    No dunk but it is a nice thing for the kid. That’s probably why you don’t like it.

    Get a life. From now on you don’t exist to me or my burgers

  54. Nice to see they have a catcher and corner utility guy in the system who is hitting .281 for the year and hit .388 in July and can handle the emotional Aumont. In the last week the Phils minor league player of the month for July, Tim Kennelly has started games at third, right field and tonight behind the plate. Too bad it was only all at A+ ball.

  55. rizzotti could not have been promoted to AAA because the Phillies hate him/don’t believe in him. So therefore he still is in AA.

  56. How high are you guys thinking of ranking Julio Rodriguez in the next round of top 30? The dude has frankly dominated Lakewood this year, although in not a lot of innings, and pretty much did the same in Williamsport. His K/9 is actually better at Lakewood and he’s been especially good since his recall. And he won’t turn 20 until later this month, plus he’s 6’4″, the kind of projection the Phillies love. I’m thinking he’s getting close to top 10 territory if there are any positive reports on what kind of stuff he’s got.

  57. 21-30 for Rodriguez, but that’s also an indication of how crowded the system is right now.

  58. Looking at tonight’s boxscores, noticed Julio Rodriguez’s line and checked out his stats.
    2.35 ERA, 61.1IP, 42H, 27BB 77K. What’s story on him? Seems pretty under the radar.

  59. I think I’d put him around 15 right now, but that’s without hearing anything about his velocity, movement and pitches. There are a lot of guys who are probably close to the same level in the 12-25 range but I think J-Rod is flying under the radar, as Nik said, with all the attention Colvin and Cosart have gotten. He’s not up with those guys because of sample size but also because I don’t think we have a lot of reports on his stuff.

  60. I look at Julio Rodriguez as a top 10 prospect. Here is James’ evaluation of Rodriguez in his preseason top 30:

    Green Lights: Rodriguez was an obscure 8th round pick out Puerto Rico in 2008, and though the Phillies have been cautious with him, I see a lot to like. He has a very projectable pitcher’s frame, at 6’4/195 pounds with long arms and legs, and that should help him add a bit of muscle and improve an already average fastball. His secondary offerings are raw, as is his game in general, but he did manage to post excellent K/BB numbers in 2009, striking out 10.2/9 and walking just 2.6/9, both improvements over his brief 2008 debut.

    Red Flags: Rodriguez has thrown just 60 innings in 2 years, and is still very young. His success came as he was repeating the GCL, but he was age appropriate, so its not a huge concern. The big issue that jumps off the page is the home run rate, as he allowed 6 in just 49 IP, a 1.1/9 rate, and a big issue. The GCL is a very pitcher friendly environment, and the HR rate coupled with the low GB% is a worry going forward. His curveball was very soft and loopy when he was drafted, something that he’ll have to improve.

    Final Comments: When trying to settle on the last guy for the list, I tossed around a bunch of names, but I settled on Rodriguez for a few reasons. One is the quick arm action and long limbs. From the video, it looks like he’s releasing the ball on top of home plate, which adds some deception for him. Admittedly I’m no expert when it comes to pitching mechanics, but when I see a pitcher throw a baseball, my mind says to me either “that looks like it will work” or “that doesn’t really seem to add up”, and I stick with it until proven otherwise. I also picked him for the last spot because he is very young, and he’s shown swing and miss stuff at a young age. He has a long way to go, but I think he obviously has a shot to remain a starter. He has a solid pitcher’s frame, he could add a bit of muscle and velocity over the next 2 years, and if his secondary offerings are even average, he profiles as a #3/4/5 starter. Its obviously way too early to tell, and he could easily flame out, but its the last spot on the list, so I don’t really care, I’m going with a personal favorite.

    Now let’s look at the two red flag areas – HR rate and GB%. He’s cut his HR rate in half, down to .55 HR/9 IP. In addition, his GO/AO rate has jumped from 0.38 in ’08 and 0.65 in ’09 to 1.20 across two levels in 2010 (1.14 in Lakewood). Meantime, he’s averaging 11+ K/9 IP (close to 14 at Lakewood)!

    Let’s compare those stats (and more) to Brody Colvin (appropriate, since Colvin is actually two weeks older than Rodriguez).

    .56 HR/9 IP
    7.7 K/9 IP
    1.15 GO/AO
    1.277 WHIP
    3.46 ERA
    .246 OP AVG

    .55 HR/9 IP
    11.2 K/9 IP
    1.20 GO/AO
    1.133 WHIP
    2.01 ERA
    .196 OP AVG

    The one caveat is that Colvin has logged nearly twice as many innings as Rodriguez this season (112.0 IP vs. 65.1 IP) – which is why I would still have Colvin in my top 5, as opposed to Rodriguez in the back of my top 10. I don’t think any pitcher has improved his standing in the org more than Rodriguez this season.

  61. Staying on the catcher front, Angel Chavarin got some playing time today with the GCL club behind the dish. marfis posted his signing back at the end of June. BA says “The Phillies signed 19-year-old catcher Angel Chavarin out of the Mexican League. He batted .273/.429/.364 in 11 at-bats for Monclava. The thick-bodied, lefty-hitting Chavarin is a solid hitter with an average arm. (Ben Badler)”

    There are four catchers vying for PT on the GCL team. I wonder if each pitcher gets his own???


  62. Most encouraging start yet for 17 yr old GCL RHP Miguel Nunez, surrendering a run on 1 hit with 4 k’s and a walk in 4 IP. Nunez signed for $220K this past winter.

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