Monthly Archives: September 2011

Around the System–Bullpen, Lower Half

The last of the Around the System reports….


Tyler Knigge, 22, Phils 12th round pick in 2010; 43 games; 4-3 with a 3.32 ERA; 4 saves; 65IP58H 24BB 54K; 0.97 GO/AO; .243 opp. avg., .237 vs. LH, .246 vs. RH, .290 with RISP; 1.26 WHIP; 3.3BB/7.4K. Knigge had a pretty good year, although was inconsistent at times.  2012: Clearwater

Jay Johnson, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 40 games; 1-5 with a 2.94 ERA; 5 saves; 49IP 41H 35BB 49K; 0HR allowed; 1.94 GO/AO; .228 opp. avg., .208 vs. LH, .236 vs. RH, .213 with RISP; 1.55 WHIP; 6.5BB/9.0K; Johnson pitched well and didn’t give up a homer in his 49 innings, a nice trait for a late inning guy.  Still, his walk rate is huge and will need work in Clearwater next season. Continue reading Around the System–Bullpen, Lower Half

BA Top 20: SAL list includes Jesse Biddle

BA’s Top 20 lists continue with the SAL today, and in a somewhat surprising move, only Jesse Biddle was included at #6. I looked at the list, and the league was fairly deep this year, but I guess I expected another name or two. BA notes his fastball was consistently 87-91, though we’ve read that it topped out higher than that, and they note his curveball and changeup were both solid. For a northeastern US high school kid jumping to the SAL in his first season, Biddle met and exceeded expectations, and I can make an argument putting him ahead of Christian Yelich, who came in at 5th, but its a solid ranking for him in his first season.

Of note, our old friend Domingo Santana ranked 18th on the list. His upside is tremendous, but he has a long way to go.

So far we have

GCL: (1) – Ethan Stewart, LHP (16th)
NYPL: (2) – Maikel Franco, 3B (4th), Aaron Altherr, OF (20th)
SAL: (1) – Jesse Biddle, LHP (6th)

Around the System–Bullpen, Top Half

A look at the bullpen in the upper parts of the Phils system. The final “Around the System” which looks at the bullpen in the lower levels of the system should be out Friday.

Phillies Bullpen 2012: Brad Lidge has a $12.5 million club option that the Phils will decline; could possibly be back for less; Ryan Madson is a free agent and will get closers money; Jose Contreras is signed next season with a club option for 2013; Kyle Kendrick is ARB eligible again and will more than likely see a raise from his $2.45M in 2011 into the $4-5 million range; David Herndon, Antonio Bastardo and Mike STutes are all under contract for next season.

Lehigh Valley

Michael Schwimer, 25, Phils 14th round pick in 2008 draft; 47 games; 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA; 10 saves; 68IP 51H 22BB 86K; 4 HR allowed; 0.75 GO/AO; .203 opp avg; 1.07 WHIP; 2.9BB/11.4K; .307 vs. LH, .133 vs. RISP, .167 with RISP.  Schwimer received plenty of honors at the AAA level in 2011, including being named the Lehigh Valley pitcher of the year and to Baseball America’s AAA All Star Team.  He was exceptional for the ‘Pigs.  His splits however are drastic and to have success in the bigs, he is gonna have to find a way to get lefties out. He has the intelligence and work ethic to figure it out.  2012: Battling with DeFratus and others for the last few bullpen spots in Philly.  There should be at least one, possibly two openings. Continue reading Around the System–Bullpen, Top Half

BA Top 20: NYPL list includes Franco and Altherr

BA continues their list of league top 20s and today’s stop is the New York-Penn League, which includes 2 Phillies in 3B Maikel Franco (4th) and OF Aaron Altherr (20th) Franco’s power potential and defense are praised, and for Altherr its his projection and athleticism that are praised.

So far, the rundown for Phillies guys is

GCL: (1) – Ethan Stewart, LHP (16th)
NYPL: (2) – Maikel Franco, 3B (4th), Aaron Altherr, OF (20th)

The SAL is up next, and I expect we’ll see a few representatives here, led by Jesse Biddle.

Around the System–Starting Pitching, Bottom Half

We look at the Starting Pitchers in the Bottom Half of the organization….Next up are relievers in the top half (LV, REA, CLW).


Ervis Manzanillo, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2009; 26 games, 8-7 with a 5.02 ERA; 118.1IP 114H 71BB 105K; 5 HR allowed; 1.56 WHIP; 5.4BB/8.0K; 1.27 GO/AO; .257 opp. avg., .200 vs. LH, .277 vs. RH, .281 with RISP; 4-3 with a 5.30 ERA in 2nd half.  At times very good, and at times very bad for Manzanillo.  No reason to rush him, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in Lakewood at the start of 2012

Jesse Biddle, 19, Phils 1st round pick in 2010; 25 games; 7-8 with a 2.98 ERA; 133IP 104H 66BB 124K, 5 HR allowed; 1.27 WHIP; 4.4BB/8.3K; .211 vs. LH, .221 vs. RH, 226 with RISP; 4-2 with a 1.91 ERA in 12 Post All Star starts.  A very good year for Biddle who dominated post all star break and walked far fewer during that same time period.  2012: Clearwater rotation. Continue reading Around the System–Starting Pitching, Bottom Half

BA Top 20: GCL

Baseball America has begun rolling out their league top 20 lists. These lists are always interesting, but I don’t really think you should draw too much from them. The Phillies had only one representative in the GCL this year, LHP Ethan Stewart, a 47th round pick in the 2010 draft. The scouting report, which I’ll paraphrase, praises his big frame, solid fastball, and his aptitude on the mound, noting that he already has a good idea of how to pitch and set up hitters.

I’m kind of surprised that neither Tyler Greene or Brian Pointer made the list. In the chat, Gustavo Gonzalez and Greene were both mentioned in a positive light. Take it for what its worth, just another data point.

Around the System–Starting Pitchers, Top Half

A look at how Starting Pitchers fared at the top levels of the organization.  The Bottom Half rotation review will come out at the end of the week.

Lehigh Valley

Dave Bush, 31, Signed as a free agent during 2011 season; 4 starts; 1-2 with a 3.91 ERA; 23IP 20H 6BB 16K; 1.13 WHIP; .233 opp. avg., .242 vs. LH, .226 vs. RH, .188 with RISP. Bush had just a cup of coffee in Allentown but pitched effectively while he was here.  The Phils could do alot worse than Bush as their sixth or seventh starter in the organization.

Brian Bass, 29, Signed as a free agent prior to 2011 season;28 starts; 8-10 with a 3.81 ERA; 158.1 IP 170H 56BB 105K; 13HR allowed; .278 opp. avg., 1.43 WHIP; .290 vs. LH, .269 vs. RH, .266 with RISP; 3.1BB/6.0K; 4-4 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP Post All Star game.  Bass became the most dependable starter for Lehigh Valley in the seasons final two months.  He eats innings and pitched well in crunch time.  I suspect Bass may look for an opportunity in a organizartion with a bit less depth at starting pitcher for next season. Continue reading Around the System–Starting Pitchers, Top Half

‘Pigs Hog Tied; Callups

Looking at the glass half full, Lehigh Valley had a fantastic season, a season in which they completely turned around a team that had been perennially a last place team in their first three years in existence. Now the glass half empty part. Lehigh Valley may have played their worst two games of the season in the seasons final two games, which just so happened to be in the International League CHampionship series, a series they lost 3-1 with their 4-1 loss on Friday evening at Coca Cola Park. Continue reading ‘Pigs Hog Tied; Callups