Monthly Archives: March 2012

Lehigh Valley Roster

The Lehigh Valley roster came out today, albeit in an incomplete fashion as the final roster will be dependant on the last couple roster moves the Phils need to make.  This is where we are at currently…

Catcher: Erik Kratz, 31, Kratz, a 2010 IL All Star was a key member of the team last year, hitting .288 with 15 HR and 53 RBI.

Tuffy Gosewisch, 28, had a very good season for Reading last year. His strength continues to be his defense, however, he provided some punch at the plate last year hitting .247 with 13 HR and 66 RBI.

John Suomi, 31, typically moves up and down the minor leagues filling in where the Phils need a spare catcher.  I would expect the same role in 2012. Continue reading Lehigh Valley Roster

Lakewood Roster

The Lakewood Roster is as follows:

Catcher: John Hill (19th round, 2011); Logan Moore (9th round, 2011)

Infield: Chris Duffy (26th Round, 2010); Kelly Dugan (2nd round, 2009); Maikel Franco (FA, 2010); Gustavo Gonzalez (FA, 2011); Tyler Greene (11th round, 2011); Drew Hillman (18th round, 2011); Carlos Perdomo (FA, 2007)

Outfield: Aaron Altherr (9th round, 2009); Gauntlett Eldemire (6th round, 2010); Kyrell Hudson (3rd round, 2009); Brian Pointer (28th round, 2010)

Pitchers: Gabrial Arias (FA, 2007); Ryan Duke (25th round, 2011); Kenny Giles (7th round 2011); Colin Klevan (33rd round, 2009); Ervis Manzanillo (FA, 2009); Lino Martinez (FA, 2009); Bryan Morgado (4th round, 2010); Colton Murray (13th round, 2011); Mike Nesseth (17th round, 2010); Ryan Sasaki (13th round, 2009); Colby Shreve (6th round, 2008); Ethan STewart (47th round, 2010)

Pitcher Nicholas Hernandez will start the season on the DL and OF Zach Collier is suspended for the first 50 games of the season.

Some quick thoughts on J-Rod and Lisalberto Bonilla

I watched bits and pieces of last night’s Phillies game and got to see Julio Rodriguez and Lisalbert Bonilla both take their shot against the Yankees reserves and backups. Neither guy had a night they will cherish, but both flashed some positive things, and I think both are definitely interesting guys to watch in 2012. Here are some very brief thoughts on both guys


* His fastball was mostly 87-90, consistently hitting 89 from what I saw. It did have a little bit of late life with movement in to righthanded hitters
* The deception people talk about is very real. Though he’s not the wiry skinny kid he was when he was drafted, he still creates a lot of funk with his arms and legs in his delivery, and some of the hitters took late, defensive swings because they weren’t able to really see the ball.
* His location wasn’t great, and he did miss up a few times, which we’ve heard about before.
* His slow curveball was in the low 70s and it did not look like a swing and miss offering. Definitely the big thing he’ll need to work on this year.
* He threw one or two solid changeups, a weapon he’ll need against lefties.

Nothing in his performance really changed my opinion of him. Because of the deception he creates, I think he will be able to generate swings and misses at the next level. I do think his future is likely in the bullpen. Tyler Clippard has proven you don’t need to throw 95 mph to be a successful short reliever, and he gets by with deception. Rodriguez is going to need to tighten up both his changeup and curveball significantly to get to that point, but I think he does have that potential.


* What struck me about Bonilla is how calm the first part of his delivery is, as he stays compact until his arm crosses his body, but his follow through is really violent, and he ends up falling off the mound to the first base side almost every time. This is going to cause command problems.
* His fastball was generally 90-92 from what I saw, I think I saw one 94. He has average or better arm strength.
* Like Rodriguez, his command was pretty poor, probably a case of nerves. He gets a pass.
* He threw a couple of really wicked changeups with excellent tumble and fade away from the lefthanded hitters. I believe he also hung one that got belted.
* His breaking ball was fringy, but he threw mainly fastballs.

I should have tivo’ed the game so I could have tried to capture the video and post it here, but this is from memory. If anyone else watched them pitch, please share your thoughts.

One Less Thing to Talk About

We won’t have Matt Rizzotti to kick around anymore as the 26 year old Designated Hitter was traded this morning to the Minnesota Twins for cash considerations.  Rizzotti, the Phils 6th round pick in the 2007 draft was certainly one of the most discussed players over the last several years here at Phuture Phillies because of his ability to hit and do little else.  The trade will give him the opportunity to do just that in the American League.

The Phils made the surprising decision to have RIzzotti repeat AA after an outstanding year in 2010 at the plate for the RPhils.  Rizzotti again had a very good year in Reading in 2011 hitting .295/.392/511 with 24HR and 84 RBI. However as a liability in the field, it became apparant that the Phils felt there was no room in the organization for him.

Always gracious with his time and a very good guy….Good Luck Matt.

2012 – New International Players In Spring Training

This post will provide a brief summary about the new names seen on the minor league work groups this spring.  There are more than 20 players on the minor league spring training rosters that are new signings or who played last year in one of the two Latin American complex leagues (the DSL and VSL).

The big news internationally for the Phillies this past year was the signing of OF Carlos Tocci for a reported bonus of $759,000.  This bonus is one of the largest ever given by the Phillies to an International player, though the team’s largest bonuses in the past have a mixed record of success.  The highest bonuses have generally been spent on players that did not work out (Seung Lee, Il Kim, Carlos Rodriguez), though the team has had some success with mid-level bonuses to players like Carlos Carrasco and new 2B Freddy Galvis.  By all accounts Tocci is a highly skilled CF with plus tools but with major questions about how much power he might eventually add.  Tocci is the big name in spring training, however, and it will be interesting to see where the team places him.  Galvis was in a similar situation and he was given an aggressive placement in the NY-Penn league when he was 17.  Tocci will not even turn 17 till later in the Summer, however, so a GCL destination is the most likely. Continue reading 2012 – New International Players In Spring Training

Some minor league assignments

Courtesy of Matt Gelb.

AA Reading: May, Pettibone, Julio Rodriguez, Jiwan James, Tyson Gilles, Sebastian Valle
A+ Clearwater: Brody Colvin
A Lakewood: Altherr, Eldemire, Kyrell Hudson, Brian Pointer, Maikel Franco, and Tyler Greene
Extended ST: Larry Greene and Roman Quinn

Not many big surprises. It will be interesting to see JJ and Gillies in the same outfield, and I expect that if this happens Jiwan James will play RF. Also nice to see Pointer is headed to Lakewood. Not surprised to see LG and Quinn head to XST, and I expect one/both of them will make it to Lakewood in May, which we’ll call “The Jon Singleton Plan”

The case for Jake Diekman to make the opening day roster

As of this writing, the Phillies bullpen is still in flux, and Jake Diekman is still in major league camp. I had a chance to watch him close out yesterday’s game against the Red Sox, and I have to say, he certainly deserves a spot on the 25 man roster. He is currently on the 40 man roster, and thus a move would not have to be made in terms of clearing a spot for his contract to be purchased. I wrote this about him this winter when compiling my Top 30 prospects, where he just missed:

Jake Diekman, LHP – The Phillies protected him on the 40 man roster, and he’s a conversion project of sorts, as he’s begun to throw from a low-almost sidearm angle. You can see his delivery here in action against former Phillies farmhand Anthony Gose. That just looks toxic on lefties. And there is a good chance he carves out a JC Romero-esque career. But I’m not sure that merits a spot in the Top 30. Maybe it does. But maybe not.

He struggled a bit with his control last season at AA, walking 44 in 65 innings. He has swing and miss stuff, evident in the 83 strikeouts in those same 65 innings. And lefties can’t touch him. But I was impressed that he was able to generate some bad swings against the RHB he faced yesterday. The final out of the game did come on a mistake fastball he left up that was hit sharply to centerfield, but after watching him pitch, I think he has what it takes to stick in the big league pen right now. More importantly, Antonio Bastardo is still not 100% healthwise, working through a bit of a dead arm period. The Phillies leaned heavily on Bastardo last season, and he started to wear down a bit in the 2nd half of the season. With the Phillies current rotation being what it is, the bullpen figures to see less work than any other NL team again this year. Looking at the pitching staff, assuming the Phillies carry 12 pitches, these guys are locked in:

SP: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Worley, Blanton
RP: Papelbon, Bastardo, Contreras, Stutes, Kendrick, Qualls

That is 11. That also assumes that Contreras is ready for Opening Day. If the Phillies do go with 12, they can slot Diekman right in to the final spot. If they go with 11 and Contreras is not ready, Diekman can take his spot. With Kendrick in the bullpen, there is no real urgency to carry another multi-inning reliever in Herndon. The only other competition for the final spot would come from Aumont (who was optioned) and Savery. While Savery has pitched well, Diekman’s ability to destroy LHP should give him an edge. Its a nice problem for the Phillies to have right now, but given what he has shown this spring, especially the fact that he’s issued only 1 walk in 5 innings, I think Diekman deserves the final spot. We should know more in the next week.