Reading Phils Update 4/17

The R-Phils are off to a solid 6-3 start after a week and a half of playing.  They stand second in the Eastern Division, a game behind New Britain, and a game in front of New Hampshire.  They are 5-2 on the road, including a sweep of previously front-running New Hampshire, and 1-1 at home.  The offense has been strong, averaging 5.8 runs/game, while the pitching has held up its end as well, allowing only 3.3 runs. The offense has been a bit feast-or-famine, or they’d be a game or two better.  They’ve been shut out twice, and scored 13 runs twice.

In terms of team stats, the team has been an offensive juggernaut, leading the league in average by 20 points at .297, OBP by 25 points at .355, and SLG by 70 points at .470. Their 11 HRs lead the league by 6, and they are 2nd in doubles and tied for third in walks. They have scored 12 more runs than the second place team.  Small sample size, but it’s still impressive considering most of the damage was on the road.  Their only apparent offensive weakness right now is team speed, and when (if?) Tyson Gillies returns it will at least partially address that.

Reading’s 2.89 ERA puts them 5th in the league, but only Akron’s peripheral numbers look significantly better. Their 30 walks put them near the bottom of the league in control, so addressing that issue could help.

Individually, Matt Rizzotti is leading the league in AVG at .487 and is the runaway leader in SLG at .909. His 1.396 OPS is 290 OPS points above the second place hitter, Will Middlebrooks of Portland. Whether he reported to camp fat (as rumored) or not, Rizz is killing the ball and outclassing the league in the early going. Cody Overbeck’s 1.036 OPS puts him second on the team. Harold Garcia is the third .300 hitter on the team who is qualified for the batting title, though Tuffy Gosewisch (.350 in 6 games) and Steve Susdorf (.385 in 4 games) are also contributing. I won’t bother with lots of individual “splits” detail as at this point splits can be easily accessed at milb.com early in the year. Austin Hyatt is the team ERA leader at 1.80, and Phillippe Aumont and Mike Cisco are tied for the team lead in saves (with 1).

With Chris Frey nursing an injury, it appears Derrick Mitchell is going to get the regular CF job–Susdorf, Spidale, and Mitchell is a good offensive outfield, but quite a few fly balls are going to drop in given their limited speed.

Reading will conclude its home stand with a make-up DH versus Akron tomorrow, and two early-week games against Erie.  They will subsequently commence a 7-game road trip against the same two teams.  With Akron’s pitching, their early offensive success will certainly be tested.

16 thoughts on “Reading Phils Update 4/17

  1. Rizzotti doing all he can to get back to prospect status. I am still shocked that no other team thought he might be better than their 40th player. He will likely be a AAAA hitter but I figured some team might want to give him a chance.

    I am rooting for Garcia since he could be a cheap (and above replacement) bench infielder in Sept and next season.

    If Aumont can have a great season that might help buffer the Lidge/Madson bullpen losses. Would like to know his current velocity and if there is something different in his mechanics or ‘was it all in his head”.

    1. At some point they have to start looking at the prospects on the MLB level. The team must avoid the deadly FA market for next year. There other DBs out there.

    2. I think it’s at least 50/50 that the team will be looking to pick up another outfield bat, either at the trade deadline or in the FA market next year. Ben Francisco has about a 2-3 month window of opportunity to show that he is a worthy full-time outfielder. I think he might be. But if he’s not, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the team gets a big time bat at the trade deadline. RAJ isn’t stupid – he knows the team needs more power to balance the line-up.

      I am a little more concerned about the logjam at AAA with our relievers. They need to start promoting some guys. I hope to God that Baez is released in the next month and Stutes is promoted. I have zero doubt in my mind that, by the middle of the season, Stutes would be a big upgrade.

    3. As for Rizzotti, what can you say, the guy legitimately appears to be quite a hitter.

      He will have a major league career, but it almost certainly won’t be in Philly. For those who keep hammering the Phillies, put aside the fact that he is now in Reading (he’ll be back in AAA soon enough) – where do you play this guy? He can only play first and last time I checked another guy is going to man that position for the next 5 1/2 years. I am pretty sure he is not athletic enough to play left field and, even if he could, you are talking about another Adam Dunn or Aubrey Huff – yikes!!!!

  2. Rizzotti is doing everything he did last year… and more granted small sample size in AA( Thats if you call small sample size in AA almost a year given baseball season years) As for him getting released from the 40 man/ waiver process… The Phillies brass are not stupid, they released him at the exact time that EVERY team in the MLB was finalizing their own rosters and did not obviously have a spot nor take a chance on a “limited” defensive/ small sample size 1B man. Going out on a limb, I would say that given all Rizzotti has done over the last year + that there is nothing more he would want then too be traded or picked up by another team, given that he is going nowhere FAST in the Phils organization. Pretty funny that LeHight Valley had Rizzotti or “Matt the Bat” on there opening day program (someone really screwed that one up). I hope Matt gets the chance he deserves somewhere else… because clearly the Phils do not value him…
    Remember that for all of you that are so quick to comment on how this guy screwed up today, or how this guy went going 0-4, or whatever else you want to complain about. These are KIDS who are at the mercy of a giant MLB Org! They get paid very little money and have huge demands placed upon themselves, and because of that they place even bigger demands upon themselves. Ill tell you this, these kids are a hell of a lot better then me, signing autographs end over end knowing that they aren’t going anywhere. If i was a phillies minor leaguer and you were over the age of 10 and asked me for your autograph, i would laugh at you! Hopefully the rest of these kids have the common sense to do the same after reading some of the comments you people write…

    1. I doubt the Phillies were trying to pull a ‘fast one’ on the rest of the league, by releasing Rizzotti while other teams were finalizing their rosters. They could have released Carlos Rivero or Brian Bocock to make room for Castillo. They didn’t. They chose to release Rizzotti instead of them. That is an indication of his prospect status.

  3. Speed in the OF theory. Both Mitchell and Spidale are faster than most, Susdorf may be a little below average in running speed, and maybe the slightly faster than him, maybe, Kennelly will work there, but a massive deluge of fly balls dropping in, don’t see it.
    Gillies- Chuck LaMar- in yesterday’s (or thereabouts) philly.com said words to the effect of ( not a day-to-day thing, long-term situation). So , he is practically saying it’s a long term thing. Maybe that’s why they sent him to Nebraska for evaluation.

  4. Anyone know why Overbeck isn’t getting any reps at 3B? Given the dearth of 3B prospects, I would think that Overbeck’s offense last year at 3B could justify the Phillies seeing what he could do.

    1. Overbeck simply isn’t a good enough fielder to play at third base.

      Though I’ve now seen Overbeck play in three games, and he’s hit four home runs in those games. Talk about making an impression.

    2. A .908 Fielding percentage at 3B in AA. A .922 overall Fielding percentage in 4 seasons. Not good.

  5. On a cold blustery day to play two in Reading I was impressed particularly watching Derrick Mitchell square up a line drive homer to left to tie up Game 2 and then lining a single to left in extra innings where he eventually scored the winning run on a walk off base hit by Spidale to sweep the doubleheader.

    After the first game win still wondering how J. C Ramirez can pitch 13.1 innings in winning his last two starts by striking out a total of one batter? He is pitching to contact, letting the defense do its job and does not at least in the last two starts have a strike out pitch.

    If this team stays together a lot of home run record are going to fall. In the first game Harold Garcia showed tremendous power from the right side as he lined a homer to left and Cody Overbeck showed his strength by muscling a home run about 340 ft. into the pool area down the right field line. Then in the second game in addition to Mitchell’s homer Overbeck blasted a long three run homer to right center to get Reading back in the game after they fell behind 4-0 after the top of first.

    But the team can score playing small ball too as Freddy Galvis and Garcia perfectly executed a double steal of home in the first game. This is a fun team to watch.

  6. The people who have regularly watched Derrick Mitchell have been raving about him for years. He now has my attention.

  7. Chapman has one save and an era of .000. Why is he (it seems) over looked? He struckout 5 in his two innings of work Tuesday at AAA

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