First Person Scouting Report: Reading 11 July 2011

Reader “NYPHILSMANIAC” was kind enough to send me a detailed writeup, which I will post here. Thanks again!

I attended yesterday’s matinee at Reading and saw a barnburner in some serious heat (thought I was in Clearwater). As you already know, Rizz ended it with a bomb off Pat Venditte (the Switch-Pitcher) from Trenton. Anyway, here are my individual reports:

ROSENBERG: It was a strange outing to say the least. This is going to seem like a contradiction but he had trouble putting guys away even though he struck out the side in the first inning (sandwiched around 2 HR’s). The first batter of the game (Kruml) had a 1-2 count and fouled off 4-5 pitched before homering. The second batter had two strikes and fouled off some before K’ing, third batter had 2 strikes and then homered. The 4th batter struck out on a high fastball and 5th batter on a curveball. He could not put away the better hitters because he didn’t seem to have an out pitch yet somehow he fanned 7 in the game. He topped out at 93 and most fastballs were in the low 90’s. BJ settled down in the 2nd and got them 1-2-3. In the 3rd inning, he K’d the #9 hitter but then Kruml got a lucky hit that looped over Rivero at 3B- he jumped and it nicked off his glove. After striking out the next guy on a nice 76 mph change, he gave up a rip off the CF fence that plated the run. The 4th inning started with a HBP on the first pitch was probably intentional- Spidale was hit his first two times up and had rammed the catcher hard in the 1st inning so it may have been a retaliation from Parent. The ump warned both teams but nothing developed from there. The rest of the 4th went smoothly- Pop up, Tuffy CS, Fly Out. In the 5th, he gave up two baserunners but got out of it with a DP. He did leave with the lead but did not get a win.

LIDGE: Some guy named Lidge pitched the 6th inning. I have read reports in 2 different places about his great outing (13 pitches… 9 strikes), but he threw almost all off-speed stuff. He did throw a nice 1-2-3 inning with 2 K’s but his fastest pitch was 89 and other than that he only hit 86 once. Most of his pitches were between 78-83. That doesn’t sound like someone who is ready to return to MLB. Without a decent fastball, they will sit on the slider.

SAVERY: I was pleased I got to see Savery after reading (no pun intended) about his resurrection of his pitching career. All I can say is you might want to cancel your trip to Cooperstown to see his shrine. I have always been a fan of his since seeing him dominate in Clearwater once, but this outing was nothing special. Like Lidge, the inning was effective, but the velocity was not there. Having just read here about him suddenly hitting mid 90’s on the gun ( throwing harder than ever before), I was hoping to see the new magic. With that in mind, I recorded the velocity of every pitch:

Batter 1: 89/81/83/92/82/81 K
Batter 2: 87/88/83 K
Batter 3: 88- line single to left
Batter 4: 91/88/89/82/89/93/89/90 K

I know it is not always about speed but he only reached 90 on 3 pitches. He did seem to have them fooled on his off-speed deliveries which as I recall was a knock on him before.

Josh Zeid Pitched a nice 8th but gave up the game tying HR (3 run shot) in the 9th to send the game to extras. Zeid hit 94 on the gun.

Jacob Diekman threw a very nice 1-2-3 10th and Loop did the same in the 10th (each got 1 K).

Not as much to report Offensively but here goes:
GALVIS: K’d on a foul tip on a high fastball/Lined to the track in Left/Lined hard to 3B/K’d reaching for a high-outside fastball/Nice clean single up the middle with bases loaded in the 8th to provide 2 insurance runs/Lazy Fly to CF

RIZZOTTI: BB on a long AB fouling off numerous pitches/Hard grounder to 3rd that the third baseman let go under his glove for an E/roped a 1B into left-center/K’d on a change-up/Intentional walk/Game Winning Walk-Off HR!!!!

MITCHELL: Singled hard up middle on first pitch, stole second/K’d on a high inside fastball/6-3 chopper/reached on another error by 3B- not hit that hard/Ground Out to 3rd

Rivero had a few good at bats and went 2-5. Interesting that he bats cleanup since both Rizz and Mitchell(who batted 6th) are near the top in the EL in RBI’s. Susdorf has been hot but he went 0 fer. The star hitter of the day (besides Rizz) was Paco Figueroa (love that name) who went 3-3 with 2 BB’s. It may have been the highlight of Paco’s career (kidding since I honestly know nothing about him).

Hope you enjoyed the report

87 thoughts on “First Person Scouting Report: Reading 11 July 2011

  1. Enjoyed that report NYPHIL…—I guess the hype over Savery’s velo was just that at this point.

  2. We also need to split out the off-speed pitches when we just talk fastball. From the report it looks like Savery was 89-90 and touched 93 once. That is plenty for a lefty.

    Lidge is a little more concerning if he is sitting in the upper 80s. But if he threw 11 sliders out of 13 pitches it really may be tough to make judgements on his fastball. I will say that his command on his fastball was never that great. He got away with stuff throwing 95 that he can’t at 90. But if he gets his slider to work I have no reason to believe he can’t be a decent situational ROOGY at the least. And maybe the velocity comes back a little once he is in better game shape.

    1. He was effective sitting in the low 90s last year (basically 90-92 mph) but he’s a far cry from even that right now. Hopefully its just an arm strength issue.

      1. He was definitely effective last year at 90-92 relying on lots of sliders. I do remember cringing whenever a fastball was near the middle of the plate – which happens a little too often with Lidge’s command. If he is down 2 more mph than I am a little fearful of the results (and whether he gets put in high stress situations because of his experience. Madson coming back with Bastardo and Stutes behind him makes me feel good about innings 7-9 without Lidge.

    2. I think everyone needs to both a) calm down about his velocity, and b) stop assuming he will help us this year. The fact that his velocity is down on the fastball could just be him rebuilding arm strength. Also of note, in rehab appearances often times a pitcher goes out there to work on one thing only, so potentially Lidge was just throwing sliders to get some work in. If this were a big league game and he was avoiding his fastball that much, I’d be worried but in this case I’m not. Let’s see where he is in another week to 10 days with fastball velocity and then if he makes it back healthy, let’s get him in a few games in non-critical spots and see how he does.

  3. Lidge seems unlikely to contribute to this team this year and they will obviously not pick up his huge option.

    It is sad how the wheels fell off for Lidge but he still had the best season a closer could ever have which is a nice thing to hang your hat on when its all said and done.

  4. If the gun is really 2 mph slow then Savery did hit 95 once. I dont remember him ever throwing that fast.

    1. This was my point exactly. If he’s occasionally sitting in the low 90s and touching the mid-90s, it opens a whole new world for me.

    2. Nice report, NYphilsmaniac. According to your data, Savery hit 90 four times. You stated three, but the data is the data. Now, lets make a 2 mph adjustment for the Reading gun. Savery hit 90 11 times in 18 pitches! Since there were 6 offspeed pitches, 11 of 12 fastballs were 90 or better. As is the case with many pitchers, relieving often seems to result in a higher velocity than starting.

  5. Lidge still has two more weeks – probably five more appearences before he is called back up. Hopefully by then he will get that fastball closer to where he was last yr. I’m not expecting 2008 Lidge. 2010 Lidge won’t be bad. Don’t want 2009 Lidge.

  6. Lidge is still building up arm strength so I’m not worried about velocity readings yet. Its a good sign that he’s comfortable throwing the slider without concern. I’m thinking he threw so many in the game because he’s trying to get a feel for the pitch.

    I really don’t expect him to be much of a back of the pen pitcher anymore but if he can take on the 6th/7th inning role that would be good.

  7. Confused, the box score says Kissock pitched the 4th and 5th inning. Doesn’t really take away from the substance since they were uneventful (though if BJ went 5, his line would look a lot better), but who’s right?

  8. oh and I forgot to say, very good report NYPHILS. Always enjoy those eyewitness accounts..

  9. Hate to admit I’m wrong but I would trust the boxscore. I would chalk up innings 4 and 5 in my report above to Kissock. I ran out to get a beer and hit the bathroom and must not have even realized Kissock had come in. Good thing I have a day job in case I get fired from this reporting gig…

    1. Very nicely done. Appreciate the work.

      Can anyone comment on why Susdorf only has about 200 AB’s this year? You’d think someone hitting .345 would play just about every day.

      Also, has the organization given up on Savery as a hitter already?

  10. Susdorf hasn’t been an everyday player the whole season. His at-bats seemed to increase with his batting average- hope he keeps it up. He’s a really nice guy. Spoke with him in the past all the way back at W’port and this year at spring training. I know he packed it in briefly but then decided to come back (not a long Mattair-like break).

    1. Yeah, he seems to have shown throught his short minor league career that he can hit. Hoping he gets plenty of AB’s the second half.

  11. I think you guys are overreacting with Lidge. It’s his what? 4th or 5th rehab stint? He’s building arm strength.

  12. I always enjoy reading first hand accounts of the game. It’s great to go beyond the boxscore. Thanks, NYPHILS.

  13. What pun are you speaking of? Normally when you say “no pun intended”, a pun exists immediately before the disclaimer.

    1. I actually took Lidge’s report to mean that they likely wanted him to work on nothing but his secondary pitches in this outing, which isn’t unexpected. His not worrying about the velocity… could… COULD… be a decent sign.

      We’ll see after the next couple of appearances.

    2. Ah, I think it was related to “reading” something vs. being in “Reading” but not sure why you’re picking nits about the comment. Is that really all you got out of “reading” the write-up?

      1. Ok, that works, not sure why I missed that. No, I didn’t really find anything else worthy of posting. Thanks for asking.

  14. Lidge gone after this season. Madson back soon. Bastardo and Stutes doing well, especially Bastardo…as closer which could carry over to ’12 with both Lidge and Madson gone. Lidge won’t be offered arbitration because of the fear he’d take it. Madson will be offered arb but it’d be a one-two yr deal which Madson and his uber-agent won’t accept. Bingo…a first round draft choice for him in ’12.

    Lidge’s $12 million (?) salary off the books, Madson’s ($7 mil?) off the books. Hamels signing money there…along with Ibanez’ $10 mil (?) gone. After that and Hamels, a righty OFer in free agency or via trade. Blanton’s staying questionable….certainly if he comes back and is decent, he might be attractive enough to trade for a bagful of baseballs…losing another $7 mil from the salary totals. All that adds up to $36 million off the books. Room for Hamels contract ($15 mil per yr?) plus that righty OFer.

    1. Lee and Howard both get large raises of $10 M & $5 M respectively. There are some other smaller built-in raises to guys like Polly, Contreras and Vic. So there’s less than that $36 M you’ve estimated. We’ll also need to figure out Hamels contract and either resign Rollins or find a FA SS to take his spot along with that OF bat, a backup catcher, etc etc.

        1. Correct. He also has a $23 million dollar option at the end of his deal that is most likely going to be declined… that contract is going to haunt us. $75 million dollars between his age 34 and 37 seasons.

    2. I would expect Hamels to get more than 15 per — he’ll likely push for 20+. Not that that messes your accounting much — there is room for him and a OF bat (who?) if that’s all they do, but I also expect them to try and keep Madson as a closer at 10ish mil per. If so, they won’t be signing a big bat, but a placeholder at 5ish mil per.

      1. Yeah, it will take more than $15M per year to exxtend Hamels. I’ve seen a couple columns/blogs that estimate $95M over five years (average of $19M per year) is probably the minimum it would take, though such a contract would likely be back-end loaded. And paying Hamels $95M or $100M over 5 years is probably a good long term deal for the Phils.

        1. No it won’t – they will phase in Hamels’ salary so they can fit in an extra hitter. I doubt he will paid more than 15 million next year.

          1. They’ll definitely back load the deal. I’d guess 100 million over 5 years with the final year being a $25 million dollar salary. At that point you would just place Hamels’s salary in for Cliff’s.

            He’s not going to settle for anything less than what Verlander got… and he’d be a fool if he did. He could easily get Santana or Sabathia money in free agency next year.

            1. Just for some Clarification, Verlander makes $12 million dollars this year, his final year of arbitration. I’d assume Hamels would get a little bit more than that. Verlander’s free agent years are valued at $20 million per. So assuming the Phillies back load the deal you’d probably be looking at $12-$17 million dollar average through the first season or two and a salary around $25 million at the back end.

              … or they could just give him $20 million throughout all the free agent years and make me look like an idiot.

      1. There’s some uncertainty with Roy Oswalt… if he feels like he wants to pitch another year he can accept his end of the option. I think most people assume that he’s done, but I think if they win a World Series this year and if he is the Roy Oswalt of old when he comes back, that he’d go for another ring.

  15. An interesting side note on Lidge’s velocity- in at least one of his rehab appearances at Lakewood, the radar gun was turned off and then went on once he left the game- doesn’t seem like a coincidence. I agree that he is building arm strength and we shouldn’t panic. I just observed that he was not MLB ready right now. It does seem feasible that they wanted him to work on things other than fastballs that outing. He is definitely done as a Phil after this year.

  16. contreras is one year deal i thought. we really wont know how much money is going to be there for a outfielder, if they let jimmy and madson walk, if they can move part of blanton contract, and speaking of blanton doesnt insurance pay him this year?? he is out more than 60 days, same with lidge. and maybe contreas falls under that too .

    1. Ruben signed him to a multi-year deal this offseason. He basically got Danys Baez money.

      He’s making $2.5 million this year and next with an option for the same amount. It’s not a bad deal and nobody’s going to look at it as hamstringing us.

  17. Great report on this, NYPHILSMANIAC.
    I was actually at the game as well and saw many of the same things (yes– Rosenberg only pitched 3 innings).
    Just curious– where were you sitting?

  18. Haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere, but has anyone noticed that Bastardo has not given up a hit since June 5th? 11 consecutive innings at this point. It would be very un-Phillie like, but we could do worse than going with him as closer next year and spending money on an outfielder. I want Madson back, but for $6-$8 million a year, not $12 million.

    1. andyb—–you may want to contact Scott Boras and let him know how you feel about Madson’s worth. Would be interested in seeing what he would say. Though Madson turns 31 next month—Boras will more then likely stil try to get a 4 year deal done at $50M plus.

      1. Scott Boras could probably get me $6 million a year. I just hate paying market rate for closers because the role is SO overrated compared to the player’s actual value. If Madson wants to give us a discount then we should consider it. But since the team has little salary flexibility in the next 4 years I see no reason to pay market rate for a closer if we have good in-house alternatives.

        1. I agree andyb—once Madson hired Scott Boras, his intentions were well documented for a max contract.

          1. Which was why he immediately went around Boras and signed a team friendly 3 year deal the year he signed with Boras.

    2. He will get at least $9-11 million per year with Boras as his agent. My guess is it is a lighter version of the deal they gave Lidge but either with an extra year or a significant buy out.

      I would be a large sum of money that the Phillies would NEVER go into a season without an experienced closer. So, if Madson is not signed, they will sign somebody else.

      1. Catch—even $11M may be to expensive for Ruben, Nine million is doable–but Boras does not cave into ‘hometown discounts’. Madson hired him for one reason—max contract—which at age 32 next year for him—will probably be his last big cash payout.

        1. Madson gave a hometown discount on the last contract. There is something to be said for security in a place you are comfortable in that has a good shot at giving you some extra endorsement and playoff money. I would not think a hometown discount is impossible here.

          1. Also, a year or 2 ago there was a big deal about Madsen transitioning his home in the area to all green energy, I took it then as someone who wants to stay here awhile…..btw, as said above we DID get a home style discount from Madsen on his last deal, he was hitting 98 regularly in the 2008 playoffs and Lidge was extended for 3 years that July, so he knew he was not going to close here any time soon(the plans of mice and men) this was all done with Boras as the agent……

            1. It’s not like he can’t live here during the off season or after he retires. Utley lives in San Fran. for instance.

    3. It would be hard to justify giving Lidge that money and not giving that money to Madson.

  19. THERE IS NO WAY NO WAY the phillies go 11 or 10 million for madson. i like him but no way . he has half a year closing with success, not worth that kind of money.

    1. I’ll say that from what i’ve seen this year, I’d give him that. He has ‘closer’s stuff’- and we knew that even with his previous struggles as a closer that he had a bulldog mentality. The guy obviously was never ‘soft’- Madson’s struggles were always that he overthrew as a closer and compromised his location. For most guys it’s a learning process, for the rare few they can just step in an do the job without the background. That said, I think Bastardo can also do the job- but no one can be sold on his durability to do so just yet.

    2. They gave Brad Lidge 3 years $35.5 million with a 4th year option at $12.5 million. I’d guess this is what Boras would want for Madson.

      I’d personally rather give that kind of money to Heath Bell or Jonathan Papelbon but I think that’s a fair offer for Madson… especially since he was underpaid over the life of his last contract.

      1. I watch them both and I’d rather have Madson than Papelbon. Pap has a better FB but Madson’s CU is better than any of Pap’s other pitches. Plus Madson gets more GBs. Madson’s been the better pitcher the past two years. They’re almost exactly the same age. Give me Madson.

  20. Just to play the devil’s advocate to the Boras hatred–and I hate Boras as much as the next guy–but the devil was Madson’s agent at the time he signed his last contract which bought out a couple of free agency years. People say Boras “always” does certain things (has his clients play out their contracts and test the free agency waters, seek the absolute top dollar, etc) but there are obvious exceptions. I’m sure he recommends certain courses of action, and I’m sure many players (eg, Werth) seek out his services precisely because they want someone to chase every last cent even if it means playing for a crappy team, but what Madson does is up to Madson. He seems to like it in Philly, but he’d be a fool not to see what the market offers him.

    1. If the Phillies give him a deal that’s close to whatever he’s getting offered on the open market… he’ll be back. I don’t think it has to be the best offer but close enough to justify taking it.

    1. Absolutely. Just think if you are another GM and look at Madson’s numbers and playoff experience. Even better is that you know he is comfortable in a setup role as well. Not all closers (especially walk machines) can handle multiple innings or coming in with men on base. I think 3yrs $30M is the minimum. Also, Ruben does not seem to get many ‘hometown’ discounts. Blanton, Victorino, Ruiz all seemed to get ‘market’ deals in my opinion.

      1. Agreed on the rough terms and length of the deal. I think he will give them a hometown discount, but it will not be a big one. If the Phils offer 3 years and $30 million and someone else offers 4 years and $44 million, he will probably walk and, honestly, how could you blame him if he did?

      2. That is the price you pay for waiting to the last chance but you also don’t get stuck with a player hurt or underachieving before the contract starts.

        1. Boras isn’t a big fan of mid-season extensions in case you hadn’t noticed. Perhaps Rube hasn’t just sat on his hands.

  21. Hamels(no replacement),Madsen(maturing, vet BP leadership), Rollins( affordable only if one of the other two don’t sign). Galvis + kickbutt outfield = Rollins.
    The only flaw here is the status of Polanco and his back. Rollins to third would prolong his useable contract years.
    BTW Utley’s complete recoverable has been unexpected and a near miracle. Granted he is fresh but he looks like the old young guy. )

    1. Offensively, Rollins is not the ideal 3B. Sure, the bar is really low this year in the NL but overall, a .700ish OPS is not what you want out of 3B.

      We still have all of 2012 to figure out Hamels.

  22. look agree on madson will go for evey penny we all would,but dont think the phillies should pay him more than 3 years 9 million per. if someone wants to do more god bless them. we overpaid in years for ibanez. and wouldnt it have been nice to have only given him two years at his age. and had the money to go after some else in the off season .like what the cardinals did one year for a guy who is a allstar . haveing a great first main concern is hamels sign him first then deal with madson and left field.couple of draft ago this team went after relief pitcher a little heavy and look at the results so far two in triple a alsmost ready and stutes already helping. imo its easier to find relief pitching then quality starters

    1. Ibanez is not comparable to Madson in any way and for you to make that comparison is lazy.

      1. mikemike wasn’t comparing the players, just the monetary aspect of the contract and the philosophy behind offering a contract like that.

        1. Yeah and as Raul was 36 when he signed the deal and Madson will be 31, looking at the philosophy doesn’t hold up.

  23. Being of an age that I remember the tactics against players who had no rights, I am prejudiced in favor of the players in contract negotiations. Therefore, I think Boras is a blessing for the modern player who has the alternatives that were missing for Curt Flood. Boras works diligently, but integrally for his clients and allows them to decide among the alternatives presented to them. If I were a player, I would want him as my agent. Baseball is a business in which owners do very well (forget Frank McCourt). The players have the right to command what their gifts and the market allow them to do.
    Yes, when I see Werth’s face among all those great moments from the past two years, I think he must feel a loss, especially because he is not contributing as he would want with the Nationals. But as we shall see when we play them the next nine games, they are getting to be a worthy opponent with a lot of talent on the way. He will feel better and probably hit better next year.
    My guess is that Madson will make a decision balancing his options and there will be a 50-50 chance of his resigning. If the Phillies do resign him, it will probably be multi-year for at least $10 M per year. He is the real deal and will be worth it. If the Phillies value pitching they will negotiate actively and meaningfully with Boras and Madson.
    I have to say something about Raul Ibanez. I has seen him in the American League and thought the Phillies had done well to sign him. Even now when I see the on again, off again Raul Ibanez, I can see that he is a professional hitter always working at his trade. Yes, he is showing his age and diminishing bat-speed, but he will probably end the year with 20 home runs and 80 RsBI-not bad. I’m sure his teammates are happy with his presence, not only as a great person, but as a player who has won and will win games for them.
    I am as grateful for what he has given the Phillies and what he will give them in the next three months, as I have been exasperated during his slumps, but then I am a fan.

    1. It is understood that it has not been a good year for Ibanez and that he is at, or very close to, the end of the line. But he is a real stand-up guy and, therefore, my frustrations aside, I root hard for him and hope that he can finish his Phillies’ career in exemplary fashion.

  24. What are you guys even talking about anymore? Is it related to the Reading report here? No? Then take it somewhere else, there are tons of Phillies sites out there to discuss Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Madson, and Raul Ibanez, because this conversation doesn’t appear to have anything to do with Phillies prospects.

    1. Get a grip. Minor league teams exist to serve the major league teams. Most people are Phillies fans first and are on this site to see what is going to happen in the future for the Phils. Whether that is Madson free agency or Cosart’s development.

      This may be your site, but you can’t control what really interests people on your site. Embrace it, because you can’t win.

      1. Flippant comments like this serve as my motivation to not put any extra effort into the site, because its like just giving me the middle finger. So thanks for that.

        1. I sure hope you don’t PP. Honestly, this is the first site I check every morning when I wake up. I absolutely love the minor league/prospect talk on here. Totally agree that MLB talk rarely has a place on here.

          I wouldn’t take anything someone with a name like “RULZ” too seriously anyway, although I do agree that it was completely disrespectful.

        2. This is the best Phillies site for minor league info and has very good discussions. I only give the finger to your juvenile reactions to accepting criticism.

          Your analysis is great and thoroughly appreciated when it comes to prospects and the conversation from the community is great. But you have this site organized as a blog and it isn’t logical to do that as conversation is going to always go back and forth from prospects to the big squad but you are married to the blog format so there is no clean way to take about the big club. Using a message board would solve these problems.

          And Matt, not even sure what you are even talking about, but you sound like a crotchety old fart that doesn’t like the kids in their hip hop. Well played gramps.

    2. Fair enough. My apologies. I disgressed and did not intend to do so.

      I appreciate very much what you do and certainly did not mean to be disrespectful.

      Comment taken and received. Regards.

  25. Thanks PP. Well-deserved. I had no sooner taken my finger off the post button than I realized that it was inappropriate. Good call. Will desist.

  26. I would like to see how Madson finishes the year as a closer before we start throwing out numbers. I would have to think he’s worth 8 mill/year right now and a dominant 2nd half plus post season and that number sky rockets. I also think how Bastardo and Stutes finish could have an impact on what he’s worth to us as well.

  27. If someone can get to a Reading game and write a report when J.C. Ramirez pitches I’d love to see it. We’ve gotten so many conflicting reports on him since the second Lee trade, it’s hard to know what we really have in him. Thanks.

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