Open Discussion Post – 25 February 2011

The Phillies played a game yesterday. The long winter is finally subsiding. And we have things to talk about. I’ll open the floor for discussion. And I’ll post the prospect highlights from the 8-0 win over Florida State to get everyone started.

Naylor: 2 IP – 1 H – 2 K
Stutes: 1 IP – 1 H – 3 K
Schwimer: 1 IP – 1 BB
De Fratus: 1 IP -2 K
Mathieson: 1 IP – 1 BB – 2 K

Michael Martinez: 0/2, RBI
Rivero: 0/1
Larish: 0/1
J-Berry: 1/1, R
Brown: 1/3, R
Galvis: 1/2, RBI
Barfield: 1/2

Annnnnnd. Go!

89 thoughts on “Open Discussion Post – 25 February 2011

  1. How Charlie handles the prospects and roster will be a focal point for me. Does he build for the future or fall back totally on aging players. Gone are the days of xeroxing 164 copies of the same lineup. I believe that is what is holding up his resigning.
    Brown is vital and complex. I don’t see a player guru to mentor him. Charlie may have to be it. I wonder if any of the “group of four” will become a Moyer type instructor.
    It’s exciting to get started.

  2. I wish I was there. Woke up to another inch of slush on the ground and my front yard still has 5 feet of snow on it. I love snow but it’s ST… go Phils.

  3. Schwimer’s never gonna make the bigs if he keeps walking so many batters. Yeesh!!! ;^)

    All of the pitchers had nice lines, but Stutes’ 3k stands out most to me. He had a nice year last year, but did it rather quietly (at least with regards to this site)

    – Jeff

  4. BP’s Top 20 out this morning:
    5-Star: Brown
    4-Star: Colvin, Singleton
    3-Star: Cosart, May, Biddle, James, Altherr, Mathieson, Valle
    2-Star: DeFratus
    Others: Bastardo, Garcia, Worley, Santana, Galvis, Aumont, Ramirez, Garner, Hyatt

      1. I should clarify that I listed them in order (i.e. Cosart was 4th, Mathieson 9th). It has been interesting going through the various published rankings that Mathieson gets a lot more love elsewhere (in terms of his spot on lists), even though just about every writeup notes the same concerns people here note.

      1. I think Mathieson will have a good year and might be a very valuable piece before all is said and done… He did all that was asked of him in LHV and if he continues with his velocity and improves a bit on his command and second pitch he will either see himself in Philly or possibly be part of a significant trade…

    1. This seems an ill-considered list. How do you totally exclude May? How do you list Garcia and Galvis, but not Hernandez, who is probably the best of our, admittedly not stellar, middle IF prospects? Cosart seems low. He has injury questions, but supposedly is healthy at the moment, and has the best stuff of all our pitching prospects.

    1. That isn’t a joke at all. Mike Minor had a 1.89 ERA and a K/9 over 10 in AAA at age 22 last year.
      He is basically what Cosart might be in two years.

        1. Different strokes for different folks. I have no issue with Goldstein ranking Minor ahead of Cosart. Cosart will skyrocket up the charts once he has a healthy season. That’s all people are waiting to see at this point.

          1. Nothing is a “joke” when it comes to prospect rankings. A large, large % of these guys will never be above-average Major Leaguers.

            1. FWIW, the BA Podcast where they discussed the Top 100, they threw out Brian Bixler and Cesar Izturis as comps for Villar, although one of the writers dismissed those as Villar has more upside offensively. I guess the point is (and it’s been made elsewhere on the board) that outside of the clearly elite guys, a lot of the Top 100 (especially after 40 or so) are likely going to have mediocre careers if they even make the majors. Or, more properly worded, it helps put perspective on all of these types of lists–guys towards the end of the Top 100, you’re hoping to get a few decent years out of them and it’s a bonus if you get more than that.

  5. So is this a look into Mathieson getting a chance to replace Lidge when he gets hurt this season and when the Phillies don’t pick up his option next year? will he finally break through or what!?!

      1. Agreed. His velocity was touching 100 last year, so if he can put a wrinkle into that and have a decent second pitch he would be very valuable… I know ‘IF’…

        My mamma always used to say ‘If ‘If’s’ and ‘buts’ were candies and nuts we would all have a Merry Xmas’… So here is hoping he finally breaks loose. He has been through a lot to get back to this stage, he deserves some good fortune…

  6. Durbin did a real nice job for the Phils but I really hope he signs elsewhere, time to give a young pitcher that spot. Freddy G well on his way to the Grapefruit League batting title…

    1. Dont forget Mayberry Jr, OPSing a lusty 2.000. Mitch Williams already has him pencilled in as the Phillies starting right fielder this year. RH Power!!1!111.

  7. a couple things the box score does not say: Mathieson used his splitter to record a strikeout, but was criticized by Dubee for other splitters he threw in this outing. He’s going to use it a lot this spring to prove that it’s an effective pitch, although he doesn’t think he needs it. He was offered a contract by the Yomiuri Giants in the offseason but wants to pitch in the big leagues. Brown’s single was served nicely into rightfield, but a big league outfielder would have caught it. It was a nice soft liner though. Brown also smashed a ground ball to first but was robbed of a hit. He also misplayed a fly ball, hesitating to charge, coming too late, nearly catching it anyway, but the ball popped out of his glove.

      1. It is often instinctive as with Griffey Jr but more a matter of repititions and confidence to trust what we hope will be good instincts.

  8. Some observations from Thursday:
    1) Rivero is massive but struck out on off speed stuff in his one at bat in yesterday’ s game. Earlier in the morning he hit one out against the wind in BP at Schmidt Field. Looks like they are going to work him at third.
    2) DeFratus’ slider is his out pitch. The Gators could not touch it. He might force the Phils hand for an opening day roster spot.
    3) Naylor froze a Gator for a called third strike on his 12 to 6 curve ball.
    4) Galvis rbi line drive single to left batting right handed was the hardest I ever saw him hit a ball. Then on his second at bat he took a pitch on the inside corner of the plate for a called third strike.
    5) Amaro was at yesterday’s morning workout at the Complex closely watching BP and ground balls for Cesar Hernandez and Galvis. Bozied was also taking ground balls at third.
    6) Mayberry crushed a single to center off a left handed Gator. If he could only do that against righthanders.
    7) Hope to catch the B game tomorrow morning at Brighthouse. The lineup is posted on High Cheese.

    1. Thanks for the insignt.

      I really have high hopes for DeFratus. If his slider ticks up to be a plus pitch we have a legitimite closer on our hands. A well located, boring 95-96 mph fastball with a plus slider? Killer combo. Have him shadow Brad Lidge and learn how to throw it from him.

      1. Dang 97 from someone that young is impressive, plus he’s a lefty, that’s almost drool inducing. Plenty to dream on there.

    1. I’m not sure that the Clayton Kershaw comparisons are all that far off.

      Biddle might be the one guy that is most untouchable in the farm system. I can’t for the life of me imagine them trading him – although, no doubt, they will get inquiries.

  9. Sickels has Cesar Hernandez, Mario hollands, julio rodriguez, and josh zeid, on his 2011 sleeper prospect list. Kinda interested about Hollands, don’t know too much about him.

    1. Mario Hollands is my big sleeper choice for the year. Big Lefty who’s best pitch is the change up. Has 5 pitches. Guys with change ups always dominate A ball. He’ll be a easy top 30 next year.

      1. His FB needs to tick up a few mph for him to be a good prospect, but that’s not out of the realm of possibility if the Phils can refine his mechanics, or he matures a little more physically. He sits around 88, which is a bit slow, even for a lefty.

        1. Nick Hernandez was 88-91 pre-draft also, didn’t hurt him in A ball. He also had the above average change, but did not have the good 3rd pitch(slider) that Hollands reportedly has.
          I think Hollands has more potential than Nick Hernandez and Matt Way, because he has more pitches. You’re right though, he needs his 4 weaker to tick up a bit, to be a successful prospect in the higher levels.

          1. Can’t buy the better prospects than Rodriguez. Rodriguez is two years younger, has a little faster fastball already, and has pitched well a level higher than Hollands. Of course, Hollands is a lefty. At this point, Rodriguez seems the better prospect to add velocity.

  10. The Phils B team took it on the chin this morning in an 8-1 six inning loss to the Blue Jays B teamers at Bright House. The B Phils only had four singles in the game. Up in the zone for the most part Danyz Baez was hit hard giving up 5 runs on 5 hits retiring only 2 batters in the 4th. The Phils only run came in the bottom of the 6th on a rbi single by Matt Miller scoring Harold Garcia who had singled up the middle and moved to second on a walk by Matt Rizzotti. Here is a summary of a rather forgettable game even if your are a fan of B ball as I am:

    1. Freddy Galvis had two more singles this time batting lefthanded. He is now 3 for 4 in the two spring games so far. He also turned a nice 6-3 double play.

    2. Michael Martinez struggled in centerfield and went 0 for 3 at the bat. He got a late jump on a ball that fell in for a single and made a throw from medium center trying get a runner at the plate scoring from second on a base hit but the throw hit the infield dirt behind second base. He did make a nice over the shoulder catch just to the left of the 401 ft. sign in the fourth.

    3. DH Tagg Bozied struggled striking out in each of his three at bats.

    4. Matt Rizzotti continues to be himself with a single up the middle and a walk in three at bats.

    5. The Blue Jays were 2 for 2 in stolen base attempts off of Eric Kratz. Joel Naughton took over in the fourth going 0 for 2 at the bat.

    6. Brian Bass started the game and in 1.2 innings gave up a couple of runs on 2 hits, a walk and one strike out. A throwing error by Harold Garcia at third when he short hopped a throw to first did not help Bass in the first inning.

    7. Lefty Dan Meyers came on in the third and pitched behind most of the counts giving up a run on a hit and two walks. He did get his two outs on strikes.

    8. As mentioned earlier Baez was hit hard giving up five runs on five well hit singles plus a walk and got only two outs before Dubee called the 4th inning. Herndon and Contreras finished up with each having a strong inning of work in the fifth and sixth innings

    9. After the game Charlie and Dubee were seen heading for the parking lot to head over to Steinbrenner Field for the afternoon game no doubt wondering what to do with Danys Baez.

  11. not to defend baez but its the first action of the year. and you are talking like all hell is breaking loose. charlie and dubee pondering baez,??? how do you know that?

    1. Yeah the whole Baez obsession is comical. If he sucks he won’t come north, but the Phillies already were paying the guy and would have been insane not to bring him to camp.

  12. Schlitter did not look good…gave up some hard hit balls today..the homerun was crushed…Hamels and Worley looked good..Feirabend has a good change but a little wild..Zagurski didn’t look bad..Grilli don’t expect much but got the save. Josh Barfield has some wheels…two infield hits. Dane Sardinha had two hits (one double he crushed and a blooper single for 2rbis)

    1. None of the three were considered ‘can’t miss’ prospects as it appears the Phils went with three ‘good’ prospects rather than possibly one ‘great’ prospect. Of course, I have no idea what their options were, and was not a fan of the trade anyway, considering a cheap season of Lee and two draft picks were another option.

      However, for comparison where are the players traded for Johan Santana? I was curious and it appears someone else decided to do a retrospective:

  13. Assuming no trades, would love to see the pen look like this – Lidge, Madson, Romero, Contreras, Bastardo, Mathieson, and Kendrick. Worley had good velocity today hitting 94 consistently on the gun. Glad to see the Phils hold the line on Durbin, good move.

      1. Because he represents a known quanity and because there is no league wide depth whatsoever for LH relievers. That’s why guys like Romero, Beimel, and Mahay get jobs year after year after year.

        1. Pedro Feliciano
          Hideki Okajima

          “GNC” was 95 MPH on the gun in the 2008 post-season. There’s no mystery here unless his fastball suddenly returns to that, then MLB will have to have him tested in a laboratory.

  14. Just finished watching the ST game (DVR’d via the YES Network). Schlitter didn’t have good command at all. Jorge Vasquez has very little plate discipline and he’s one of the slowest players in the IL. But when he gets ahold of a ball, he has as much raw power as anyone in the minors. No surprise he crushed that ball.

    I’m guessing Jason Grilli pitched the ninth because the Phillies would not know if they needed that inning, and gave it to a veteran. Regular, scheduled work is more important at this stage than in-game strategy.

  15. Its spring training, there is no in-game strategy. It’s all about getting guys work so they are ready for the season. That’s why scores, standings, etc are meaningless.

  16. Hold the line on durbin??He signed for less than a million way to hold the line> really cant figure out some of the moves

    1. Lakewood and he probably throws 100 IP before he gets shut down. He is only 19 and the Phils like to make sure they limit their young guys innings in the minors. They probably will let him pitch 125 IP the following year.

      1. I’d bet they hold him back in extended spring to protect him from the cold and limit his innings. Depending on what he shows in extended, he may go to Lakewood.
        Lakewood will be full of raw college pitchers (Garner, Morgado, Hollands, Buchanan) that may require starters’ innings, so that may impact where he starts also.

        1. Extended spring training wouldn’t be a huge surprise for him…but considering his pedigree, I wouldn’t be shocked if he came north. Afterall, he’s a local boy used to pitching in that weather anyway.

    2. Biddle isn’t ready for anything beyond Lakewood. For all his promise he didn’t show good command at Williamsport. Still a lot of work to do.

  17. The Durbin decision wasn’t about money – it was about keeping roster space open for a younger reliever. He would have been the 5th option in a bullpen that isn’t likely to throw a lot of innings, that’s the spot for a young reliever to get some low risk experience…

    1. Sorry but that’s what “saving money” means… I’m in favor of the move but its definitely about saving money, they’re not saying that one of these young guys will be better than Durbin.

  18. I DONT know war stats ,but I have seen stutes three times,and believe he will be a effective major league pitcher, he is one of the better pitching propects that i have seen for us. better stuff than worley or kendrick. just dont know if he is a relief pitcher or starter, Just watch a guy and most times you can see if they have a chance, for a hitter to me its bat speed, most important.

    1. Stutes has as much chance at being successful as some of the other highly discussed relievers. Unlike the others, he has a major league secondary pitch. He had the best slider in the system for two years until Zeid came along. If he stops walking every other batter, he might have a career.

  19. Phillies pitching was outstanding today. Some nice power arms were on display. According to the pitch speeds provided by the Dunedin Stadium scoreboard speed gun here is a summary of what the guys out of the pen did:

    1) J.C. Ramirez was at 93-95 on the stadium gun in his first inning of pitching and 91-93 in his second inning of work. One of his four strike outs was Jose Bautista. He got him with a 93 swing and miss fastball, a 95 foul ball and an 83 off speed swing and miss for the strike out.
    2) Stutes fastball was at 90-91 and got a couple of strike outs on 83 mph sliders.
    3) Lefty Perez can bring it at 92-94 but has command problems(two walks). He got a couple of strike outs on off speed stuff at 78 to one batter and then an 86 mph slider to Anthony Gose.
    4) In the eight Matt Anderson’s fastball hit 94 and 95 and he stuck out d’Arnaud on an 83 off speed pitch.
    5) Mathieson was interesting. He pitched the 9th and to the first four hitters he faced his fastball was sitting at 90-92. After two runs scored he ramped up his fastballs to the final batter to 99 and 98 and he ended the game on a 83 off speed pitch to get a ground out to Freddy Galvis.

  20. Good Stuff R Branch. JC Ramirez chances for the bigs might be through the BP. Nice to see fastball hit 95. Stutes so far has 6 K’s in 3 IP (yes 1 IP and 3K’s against FSU). I’m interested in seeing these young arms throughout the Spring. Hopefully DeFratus , Schwimer, and Mathieson improve on their last appearences.

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