Winter League Update

A Thanksgiving hiatus for those of us here at Phuture Phillies but we are back at it with updates from the WInter Leagues.

Domonic Brown has gotten off to a slow start in the Dominican, hitting .053 in his first 19 AB’s with 2 RBI’s and 6 strikeouts.  This is his first consistent game action since July.

Freddy Galvis is still below the Mendoza line in the Venezulan League, at .188/.291/.229 with 48 AB’s under his belt. The 21 year old SS is making contact with just 5 strikeouts in his 54 plate appearances.

Harold Garcia has taken it up a notch and stands at .294/.368/.324 with 3 RBI’s in 21 games in the Venezuelan League.

Cesar Hernandez, newly added to the 40 man roster is hitting .320/.393/.320 in his first 9 games in Venezuela.

Antonio Bastardo continues his early domination in the Dominican, not allowing an earned run or hot in his first 5 appearances, while striking out 6.

Yohan FLande has made 4 starts in the DOminican and is 1-1 with 4.91 ERA in 18.1 innings of work.  He has allowed 22 hits, and walked 5 for a high WHIP of 1.47.

Julio Rodriguez has made 6 starts and is 2-1 with an impressive 3.10 ERA in 29 innings.  Opponents are hitting .250 against him and he has struck out 18.

48 thoughts on “Winter League Update

  1. Good news on Bastardo, really have a feeling with JC gone and his spot on the roster solidified in spring training, he’s going to come out and really establish himself as a good left handed reliever in the bigs.

    As for Dom, probably not the worst thing in the world for him to struggle and learn to make adjustments. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger so hopefully he learns from this. Obviously his talent hasn’t decreased any, so learning from a slow start in a winter league can’t hurt in my opinion.

    As for Freddy G, let’s remember how long it took Carlos Ruiz to develop his offense and not get too excited just yet. What would scouts have said about his offense at 21? Not saying that means Freddy will be Chooch someday but he has sufficient time to develop that portion of his game.

  2. A bad day is when there arises nothing to discuss here.

    Good for J-Rod. At first it seemed he was getting hit around in winter ball. So he must have tightened things up to allow us to think, once again, that he represents another hope for the pitching staff in 2 years or so. Couldn’t ignore those numbers at Lakewood.

    Dom needs to get some significant playing time in. How long do the teams in his league continue to play? Do they play through and beyond Xmas?

    Let’s hope that Bastardo remains arm-healthy and that he can throw strikes with both his pitches. As such he should be one of two lefty relievers inh the pen—the other to be signed out of the free agent pile.

    On Galvis: at this point it seems that it would be a minor miracle if he would learn to hit some. Even a .260 BA w a .325 OBA would do, considering how outstsnding he plays SS. Seems that he never would learn to hit even that “well.” A superior draftee at SS should be high on the menu since Galvis could be a lost cause.

    Good for both Harold and Cesar. Garcia is supposedly learning to play multi-positions while Cesar looks like a soon-enough 2nd baseman and leadoff hitter in 3 yrs.

    Seems that Flande has hit the (unsurmontable) wall and may no longer be of significant promise for the big club.

    Onward and upward! Excelsior!

  3. I guess with players, there’s a few potential reasons for struggles. The worst one is that they just aren’t good enough. Unfortunately, guys like Galvis and Hewitt are around the point where we can conclude that this is the reason behind their problems. Other reasons are better. There could be a mechanical problem that can be corrected with coaching. There could be a health problem that could be corrected by a trainer. There could be rust, or the opposite, fatigue. There are people in the stands whom no amount of hard work, coaching, pointers, rest or playing time could ever turn into productive players because the other players are simply bettter. I’m still not going to give up on Hewitt because he hit 11 homeruns with an average near the Mendoza line last season and this points to the physical tools that got him selected in the 1st round in the first place. Imagine what he could do if he just hit .260! 30 hrs? But he just might physically incapable of doing much with Lord Charles.

  4. Not worried about Brown nor am I worried about Galvis. Galvis is going to be a no hit defensive shortstop has been since I first saw him at Reading year before last. At best you can hope for him to be a starting shortstop on a second tier team. Still he is only 21. Brown has not played regulary since July, its almost like Spring training for him.

    Flande is what he is a AAAA type player but since he is lefthanded he will be around at least for this year.

    Bastardo has a done of talent, I think he starting to put it together. Tough to find lefties who can get the ball up there at 94-95 with movement.

    Garcia is intriguing to me all the guy does is hit (he is an average fielder) Wonder if a second tier team would take a shot at him for a starting position

  5. Gracia stays atleast until it is clear that Utley is healthy and last fall’s shortcoming were just transient. Even beyond that Utley doesn’t need to play all the games anymore. Even God rested.

  6. Bastardo scares me a bit here. I have watched him past few years and all of the sudden this guy is “dominant”. When he was called up late in the year to phillies….he looked like a different picture. I dont even want to say the name of what I am thinking about…but think J.C. Romero. I hope I am wrong and the light suddenly came on for him.

  7. tripod –

    I don’t understand your hesitation with Bastardo. He’s been a fairly dominant in the minors.

  8. Bastardo has always been used sparingly in the big leagues and knew one bad outing would likely send him back to AAA when someone else came off the DL. I believe that if he establishes himself as making the team out of ST and knows he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder, he’ll pitch much more aggressively and with confidence. With his stuff, there is no reason he won’t be good if he throws strikes and gets ahead of hitters.

  9. By the end of the season it became crystal clear that Bastardo was a better pitcher than Romero. My only concern about Bastardo is his health – he’s got great stuff and if he can consistently get his slider over he does have the ability to become dominant.

  10. J.C. Romero is incomparable to most pitchers. It’s highly unusual for a pitcher with Romero’s lack of control to have any kind of career.

    Bastardo’s fine in any case. In his brief MLB trial he struck out 12.5 batters per nine, and only allowed one home run. Opposing batters had a .669 OPS against Bastardo in 2010. That’s a lower OPS than Cole Hamels, Jose Contreras or J.A. Happ allowed. Bastardo stranded 9/12 runners on base when he entered a game. The only bad mark on Bastardo’s resume is his ERA, which is extremely erratic for pitchers who frequently pitch partial innings. A couple times the reliever following Bastardo gave up a big hit and that hurt Bastardo’s ERA.

  11. I would be concerned if Bastardo’s dominance came as a result of a sudden increase in velocity but he has always been a guy who throws hard with sometimes erratic control. If he improves his control and can stay healthy there is no reason he cannot be a solid lefty out of the pen.

  12. Bastardo has the stuff to be more than just a “solid” lefty. He just cannot command his it and falls behind in the count. I remember the Cargo at bat this past fall, if we can start getting that consistently he can be special.

  13. Bastardo will get a chance to earn a spot on the big league staff for the entire year. If he throws strikes, he’ll earn it and if he performs well, he could grow beyond just being a lefty specialist. As for Dom, I have a hunch that he’s working on things that the Phillies told him to improve on and its just not working for him yet. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Phils asked him to shorten his long swing and also asked him to swing hard on all pitches. He seemed to just slap at some outside pitches before. I hope I’m right… As for Garcia, the better he does, he keeps increasing his value and making it more likely that he’ll get traded for something we need more than a 2B.

  14. The philies need to bring up other players from their farm to replace Brown, Iam sure he is not the only one they have. Brown is not ready for the majors. You can see from his poor defensive skills to his weak, long, slapping swing and I agree about Garcia.

  15. I’ve heard Garcia is a strong defensive second baseman Wasn’t he voted the best defensive player in his league in 2009?

  16. @Anonymous: Funny. Never heard his swing as ‘weak’ before. Basically he hit over .300, slugged close to .600 (in the minors) by having a weak swing. I get where the ‘long’ part is coming from. He sets up high with his hands, but his swing is fast, whip like, which generates quite a bit of power as it moves through the plain. Again, you can quibble about the long part, but his swing is fast enought right now to make up for it. He certainly can not be described as a ‘slap’ hitter, as you also mention. Nice work on a Monday afternoon, appreciate the comments, keep them comin.

  17. I think the comments on this site are very intelligent and sound. If I don’t agree, at least they seem to be articulate and well-argued. This is some good stuff.

  18. i think tripod was talking about when J.C. Romero used banned substances and got suspended for 50 games. I doubt that Bastardo did the same thing though.

  19. LA Phils Phan
    Good point about “looking over his shoulder”

    If we here know Cholly/Dubee have no faith in young players , then surely the players do too. A change in method is needed to cope with changes that have to come because of money issues and core ages.

  20. Shhh! you guys are hurting D. Brown’s trade value. Ixkney on the weak swingney. We’re trying to lowball Werth here.

  21. The real DBROWN I contend is somewhere between the .300+ Hitter we watched in the minors and the .210 hitter we saw in 15 starts after his July call up. I also would not call him a slap hitter but his swing is long and it is vulnerable to being pitched a certain way.

    The kid is an athletic freak with a ton of upside but he has a great deal of work ahead of him. Once he understands how pitchers at this level want to get him out I think he’ll be fine. I’d say at minimum he’s a .270 guy with 20+ HR potential maybe higher. And honestly I would send him out there every day through the first third of the season and let Francisco platoon with Ibanez.

  22. Dmar i wouldnt do that .I believe Ibanez is a better hitter against lefthand pitchers than brown at this stage. Let the kid face righthanders and see how he handles them first.

  23. Ibanez is a better hitter than Brown at this stage vs. all types of pitchers (We already know that Ibanez is a .270+ hitter with 20HR ability). Not sure why they would want to weaken both LF and RF. Brown should start the season in AAA and continue to improve with regular at-bats with an eye on replacing Ibanez in 2012.

    Everyone seems to miss that Brown hasn’t even had a full season of at-bats above A-ball (490 at-bats). He still has some work to do before he’s ready for major league pitching. Facing a season of AAA breaking balls would serve him very well.

  24. When Michael Taylor was still in the organization he was slated for right field in 2011 after a 2010 mid-season call-up. Domonic Brown was projected as a top of the farm system prospect with a 2012 arrival, just because we do not have an organizational buffer until 2012 does not mean they should speed up the process with Brown. The Phillies would be wise to offer Werth and his right-handed bat 15-16 million over 5 years and hope he bites. With the current roster we have a window that will be open until 2013, if Werth were brought back next year, the outfield would cost roughly 37 million, but in 2012 with the addition of Brown and subtraction of Ibanez, the overall cost for our outfield comes in around 26.5 million. The money saved in 2012 will have to be put toward extending Hamels and making a decision on Rollins or his replacement, but after 2012 the transition begins and the prospects we have been following will be called upon to step up.
    In 2013 the outfield could be Werth(16mil), DBrown(500k), and Singleton(470k), Victorino will be gone, as will Oswalt(if he is still looking for 16+), Blanton, Polanco, probably Rollins, and Utley will be in his final contract year. The balloon in salary the Phillies are dealing with now will only be temporary, they have already increased ticket prices to offset a payroll increase, and 2011/2012 will be the highest their payroll will be for years if the prospects progress and perform like many of us anticipate. They will NEVER lower prices again, and the money made the past four seasons/postseasons should more than offset a fictious budget ceiling.

  25. Not sure an OF of Brown, Singleton and Werth sets the world on fire in 2013. Rollins and Polanco will be fairly aged at that time. Only tome will tell, but I have no problem with Werth at 5/75, but that dog don’t hunt.

  26. Half way thru that contract Werth might be half the player he is now. Speed is so much a part of his game since he depends on it to make up for shoddy fundamentals. I would overpay for two years but that dog won’t hunt either.

  27. Honestly, I don’t see Werth’s skills diminishing very much between now and, say, age 35 or 36. I think the 35 year-old Werth will be pretty similar to the guy you’ve got now. He’s a late bloomer, with a broad set of skills and talents and there’s little mileage on the engine. Paying him some dough is a good investment because, in a few years, he’ll probably be the only expensive guy in the outfield AND he will have trade value if we don’t really need him.

  28. If people haven’t seen the review of the Philly organizational All-Stars (regardless of age or prospect status) it is up. Lots of information and quotes from Chuck LaMar on lots of players.

  29. Of course Brown, Singleton, Werth doesn’t set the world on fire in 2013. Singleton won’t be close to ready in 2013, likely he’ll be playing in Reading. The 2013 OF if Werth is retained would be Brown, Vic, Werth, or Brown, Gillies, Werth.

  30. singleton spent 2010 in lakewood as an 18 year-old, the phillies, to the frustration of many, but a good business model nonetheless, move prospects station by station to keep arbitration at bay for as long as possible. His age 19 season will be spent in clearwater, if all goes well, age 20 will be in reading…and age 21(2013) could be in Philadelphia. I understand this is projecting a perfect world with a refocused prospect who adjusts to the rigors of 150 games a year and continues improving, but it just one possiblility. The Phillies organization is loaded with depth in the outfield and could be overflowing, based on minimal openings, by 2013…If a Werth contract were front loaded, and incentive based with an option year or two on the back end, he would still be a movable commodity 3-4 years out and not an anchor weighing down the team like Ibanez. Werth, coupled with our current pitching staff and early 30’s line-up only has a 2-3 year window left before they are no longer relevant as currently constructed. Florida is coming, Atlanta is almost here, and Washington will be competitive by 2013 with Harper, Strasburg, and the rest of the farm.

  31. Guys, please let it go regarding Werth, there is no chance that he comes back to Philly. None! He’s looking for a 6 year deal and the Phillies are offering him a 3 yr deal. There is no way that impasse will be settled plus the Phils want the two picks. I continue to hope that the Tigers will be the team because their pick would be the highest for us. Also, its hard to see Singleton in Philly anytime before 2013 mid year. Even if he does well, he’ll likely spend all of next year at C Water and play most of 2012 in Reading. We’d be talking about a young guy with only 2 years of outfield experience who they won’t want to rush.

  32. I am only guessing but the phillies would do 4 years at 15 million per, i believe. especially since ibanez comes off books, next year. but werth is looking for 17-18 per year for 6 dont know if he gets it.

  33. Of the games I saw at all levels except AAA at the end of last season few positon players stood out. In the outfield Aaron Altherr at Williamsport and Derek Mitchell at Clearwater stood out with five tool plays. Valle was exceptional behind the plate at Lakewood. Maikel Franco at third and Nerio Rios at short caught my eye with the GCL Phils. First baseman Chris Duffy was good but a little old for the competition in the two games I saw there . Kennelly and Naughton both went deep in the Clearwater games but they apparently do not figure highly or at all in the organizational plans. It was on the mound where the true depth of the organization was apparent with May, Colvin, Pettibone and Zeid at Lakewood in the playoffs and Biddle at Williamsport all showing off their future major league arms. But I only know what I saw.

  34. Tom you mention Singleton as an OF prospect now but I think it remains to be seen if one the organization feels the same and two does he make that transition.

    I believe Brown will always tear up minor league pitching. True his ABS are limited above A ball but his numbers even in a limited sample suggest it is time to see if he can do it at the next level.

    I’m hoping I’m wrong but Cameron Maybin seemed to do the same thing. He tore it up in the minors. The Marlins would bring him up and he would show flashes of greatness but struggle overall. They send him back down and again he would tear it up. This is the guy they gave up Miggy Cabrera for and now he’s with the Padres.

    I’m not saying the same is true with Brown just that I don’t see AAA getting him anymore prepared for the BIGS. Now all this changes if they somehow get Werth back I’m just not seeing a scenario where that happens.

    I mean would you all agree its Crawford and Werth and a lot of teams with the need and $cratch to make sure they land one of those two players?

  35. DMAR,

    I agree that Crawford and Werth (in that order) are the two biggest position players on the market but I’m not sure there are as many teams out there with the $$$ and the interest as most expect. The Red Sox will most likely sign one of the two but the other big spenders in the market aren’t particularly focused on corner outfielders. The Yankees are going to spend their money on pitching as is Texas. The Tigers have money to spend and do need some OF help but they may decide their offense is good enough and target pitching instead.

    Teams like the Mets, Rockies, Cardinals, Giants who could afford the deal don’t appear to have any interest in the FA market since they have spent their cash taking care of their own players. A few other teams with enough payroll, (Orioles, Cubs) aren’t in a position to compete where signing a 30 something OF makes much sense.

    The only other possible players in that market are the Angels and possibly the Nats who have the $$$ but not sure they have the interest.

    I think the Phillies are a long-shot to keep Werth but Its quite possible he finds that a 4-5 year deal at $12m-$15m per year is the best available and the Phillies could fit a salary of $15M per season into their payroll moving forward.

  36. I believe its a 3 team race for those 2 players. I believe the Angels are hot for Crawford and don’t have any or little interest in Werth. I think the Red Sox and Tigers would be the biggest players for Werth. I do believe Werth is going to get $16-$18 but the number of years isn’t going to be what he thinks.

    The wild card is the loser in the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes so basically Yankees and Rangers. I can see the Rangers losing out on Lee then setting their sites on Crawford and Werth.

    We’ll see it should be interesting!

  37. I don’t know where to put this but
    who was the oldest pitcher to return after TJS. If Moyer does successfully
    return, will we be looking at a new trend.

  38. Brown returns home from Dominican league according to PhilliesZone. Feeling tired and sluggish. Not a good sign.

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