First Round of “Re-Assignments”

The Phillies made their first round of Spring Training cuts today with the following players re-assigned to minor league camp: Pitchers: Adam Morgan, JC Ramirez, Kyle Simon, Joe Savery; Infielders: Michael Martinez and Cody Asche, Catcher: Tommy Joseph and Outfielder: Joe Mather. Joining that group on Monday at the minor league complex will be Pitchers Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin, along with outfielder Zach Collier.  None of these moves were unexpected, although I am slightly surprised Savery’s demotion came so early.

Of the above group, the most impressive in limited action this Spring were Morgan, Joseph, and Asche.

181 thoughts on “First Round of “Re-Assignments”

    1. This is a fairly ignorant comment as it relates to these moves. Young players are cut this time of camp because the major league pitchers and players start to build up their playing time as the season gets closer. The team doesn’t want young players sitting around not playing, and starting pitchers like Morgan and Martin need to build up their arms to start when the minor league season starts.

      As for the moves, no real surprises, although if you’re Joe Savery you have to be a bit upset as he had a great spring and got sent down early. I wonder if they plan to use him as a starter or reliever in AAA. I’d normally say reliever but he was cut so quickly that maybe they want him to go build arm strength? We’ll see.

    2. What are you talking about? None of the guys sent down are even on the 40 man roster.
      As far as never playing young guys: Ben Revere and Domonic Brown will be younger than half the guys on the Iron Pigs (including Derrick Mitchell, BJ Rosenberg and Darin Ruf).

        1. I don’t get that either. Not one name listed was reasonably expected to make the 25 man. They got a quick spring look and were placed where it was expected. I just don’t get that original comment….

          1. Its predetermined that some are going to criticize Amaro and Manual at every opportunity. Blaming them for moving guys everyone already knew weren’t making the team to the minor league camps is just another example.

  1. No surprises, Asche, Morgan, Joseph, and Martin all need more time in the minors (they all had their moments but they aren’t ready right now) and getting consistent reps in minor league camp will be good for them. Same goes for Simon, Savery, and Ramirez, Savery looked impressive and I would have liked to know his velocity readings but he is buried on the lefty list. Collier was completely overmatched. Pettibone had a chance to try and steal a starter job but he left with a bunch to work on. I am glad they were all up because they got to work with some of the stars (Morgan talked about picking Hamels’ brain and Joseph talked a lot with Halladay on the game he caught him).

    And Martinez is gone from major league camp, awesome

  2. I guess depending on how the first part of the season goes, I think I’d prefer to see Morgan get the call to fill a long term pitching opening from injury. A lot of people would say Pettibone but I think he’d fair better right now than Pettibone would.

  3. Mather was released (might have asked for it to look for a MLB opportunity elsewhere).

  4. I was at the Phillies game today where a few of these guys made their last appearance with the club. Here’s my notes on those players:

    Asche: I was very upset he DHed (Galvis at third, Betancourt at SS) so I couldn’t get a read on his defense. On offense he was a mixed bag. His swing is absolutely beautiful; quick and level, I can see how he produces a lot of line drives. His power was a big let down, though. I thought he would have modest power, but on his double to center he squared it up as well as you could. It sounded great off of the bat and everyone thought he crushed it, but it didn’t even make it to the warning track. Hopefully a little extra power shows up, but that swing could carry him either way.

    J.C. Ramirez: Only faced one batter, but I wasn’t impressed at all. Fastball was straight as an arrow. Granted it is as small a sample as you can get, but now seeing him in person and looking at the numbers he’s put up over his career, I just can’t even see him having success as a reliever. Hopefully he can prove me wrong.

    Kyle Simon: I was disappointed with him, too. It wasn’t necessarily his stuff that let down (although his stuff seemed a bit fringy, too), but his approach. He got ahead of two hitters back-to-back (1-2 to the first, 0-2 to the second) and then proceeded to nibble until he walked both of them. He had similar issues with the other batters he faced, giving up a hit (and, consequently, a run) and no K’s in his 2/3s. He simply did not seem confident with an out pitch and his command isn’t to the point where he can play the corners at the moment. I have more faith in him than Ramirez, but it certainly wasn’t a strong showing.

    Michael Martinez: Not that anybody cares or needs a report on him, but he further cemented that he has no business being on the big league club. He managed an error at 2B by bobbling (twice) a slow roller directly at him. Normally one error is no means for worry, but with his bat he’s not allowed to make mistakes like that.

    And that’s all the listed players who made an appearance. I can give reports of others if anyone would like, but wanted to stay on topic of this thread.

    1. I will note for Asche that on that double it seemed like the wind kept it from being an easy HR. Just my observation though.

      1. I thought of that, but the wind didn’t seem to factor into Howard’s homerun at all (I know Ryno has 80 power, but his HR seemed like a fly out off the bat and still made it over the wall). It’s possible, though.

        1. The tv announcers did say that the wind knocked it down, and that it would have been “way out” on another day, for whatever it’s worth.

        2. Ryan’s homerun was the left. Ashe’s hit was to right center. Wind patterns affect balls differently depending on where they are hit to.

    2. I saw Asche play in the playoffs in Trenton last year and had the same observation, his swing is great and he absolutely clobbered two pitches and the ball just jumped off his bat, both sounded like homeruns but ended up being linedrives in the gap. I like how he plays the game a lot though, he plays hard…I hope he has another monster season so we can see him at CBP next year.

  5. A brawl broke out in the Mexico/Canada WBC game tonight and Tyson Gillies was in the middle of it. Ugh. I think he is a super talent but I am starting to reach the conclusion that he is a pretty bad dude. When something bad happens – well, there he is. Every time. I am getting really sick of it.

    1. Come on it wasnt like he was the only one to rush out of the dugout. The whole team did and he wasnt the only one to throw someone jay johnson thought he was in a hockey game with his fighting

    2. Tyson and all the other players on the Canadian team were not going to be pushed around, any national team would do the same. You have to respect all the players for standing their ground. You can’t single out one player, There was maybe 7 Philly players out there on both sides. Bad dude come on.

      1. My issue is not this one incident alone. My issue is that when something bad goes down, Gillies always seems to be involved. Furthermore he continually exercises poor judgment. He knows, or sure as hell should know, that the Phillies are concerned he is a loose cannon and cannot control his anger. But he either cannot control himself or does not care. Either way it reflects poorly on him precisely because he has a bad track record.

        1. And I am not out to get this guy. I have been one of his biggest supporters on thus site.

          1. What is he supposed to do in that situation? Stay on the bench while all of his teammates are defending the player involved? It would never happen. He would be an outcast on Team Canada and never respected again by anyone at any level……………, coaches and players.

            1. Yeah, I most retracted my statement earlier this morning as a result of my having viewed the brawl tape. You can’t blame this on him (although I’m not thrilled to see him out there in a brawl). I agree.

            2. Sorry. I respond before reading the entire post. I, like you, am not thrilled to see him involved(mostly, because I envision him throwing a punch and breaking a bone in his hand).

        2. Tyson will probably be moved by Ruben anyway. IMO, Ruben wants him to build value. They appear to like Revere, Inciarte, Collier and naturally they want Brown to blossom and are hoping for Ruf.

    3. “From Mexico, Leon, Oliver Perez, Eduardo Arredondo, Andrew Albers and Alfredo Aceves were ejected, and from Team Canada, Orr, Tosoni and Jay Johnson were tossed.”

      Sounds like we need to be discussing how Pete Orr is such a bad egg.

    4. Tyson Gillies walks around camp and carries himself like a diva wide receiver in the NFL, think Ochocinco or TO back in the day. The difference is he hasn’t accomplished anything yet at a major league level, and just doesn’t seem remotely mature in the way he acts. My observations of him from a distance don’t add up to much to me alone, but when you factor in all the other suspicious activity, I think this guy’s attitude is really holding him back.

      1. Can you elaborate on that diva thing? What have you seen?

        It’s weird because in games he seems to play with a lot of energy and like he knows he has plenty to prove. I wasn’t happy to see him in that fight, but it’s hard to know what to make of it since obviously it was a bench clearing brawl involving many players.

      2. I like Gillies a lot but Buddy you are the second person that said there are maturity issues to be concerned about with this young man.

        If one person says it you kind of let it roll I guess but when it comes up from different sources you have to ask yourself could it be an issue. And I don’t cite the brawl at all as an issue.

        Sad really. His performance in the WBC at the plate was horrendous. I had high hopes that would shine in that opportunity and open a few more eyes.

        1. The maturity issues that people mention come from Gillies arrest his first season with the Phillies and his suspension last season for yelling at the Reading team bus driver. There are probably other incidents that I am forgetting.

    5. I am getting sick of subconscious profiling. Followed by weak clarifications of what was meant.

      1. What? This is not subconscious profiling. This is all based on objective bad or questionable conduct.

  6. I am usually pretty hard on Gillies for the incidents of poor judgement he has been involved in, but I think he gets a pass for this one. There were a lot of people involved. He didn’t get ejected so I think it is a stretch to say he “was in the middle of it.” In the video I saw I didn’t see him hit any body or take anyone down. He was shown afterwards in the dugout with a dirty uniform. That may have been from the scrum or from a play earlier in the game.

    I also don’t like it how a young player we like walks around camp with confidence and he is not overwhelmed and mature but a player we don’t like does the same thing and he is a “diva wide receiver”

    1. He grabbed Alfredo Aceves and hurled him to the ground. He was front and center and pretty obvious. I don’t want to read too much into this, it just isn’t good.

      1. Alfredo Aceves threw “many vicious punches” (and was ejected) as described by many media outlets.
        Gillies grabbed the guy (Aceves) punching his teamates and county men, and threw him to the ground. So for that, he is a bad guy? If Jay Johnsom does that, he is undoubtedly a “hardnosed” fan favorite, from here forward. Who knows? Maybe I’m off in that assumption, and no better than those who lable Gillies.

        1. Jay Johnson landed some nice punches. I’m not holding any of this incident against any of them. It wasn’t a case of them flipping out on some innocent by-standers. The benches cleared and they were protecting their teammates. I would have done the same thing.

        2. I have to say that the behavior of Team Mexico was pretty brazen and it seems that Tyson was merely defending his team from the biggest offender in the whole brawl. I think Gillies deserves a pass on this one.

        3. If this is true and Aceves was throwing vicious punches than Gillies should be comended he threw down a guy who was punching his teamates he could have gotten on top of Aceves and punched him but he didn’t

          1. Yeah, maybe I spoke too soon. I saw the video – it was nightmarish. It’s hard to throw Gillies under the bus for this one. But it does seem that trouble follows this guy around – whether it’s his fault or not. Hopefully, this will be the end of it. Look, I have been one of his biggest supporters. There’s no doubt in my mind that he has the ability to be a really good starter on a very good team. He’s in the Johnny Damon, Ken Griffey (Sr., not Jr.) mold of player. There’s a lot to like in terms of his playing ability.

  7. I have said over and over again how I LOVE Asche’s swing. Forget about his power, who cares, there is a place in a starting lineup for a guy who can hit like he can. He will be fine and starting next year. Same with Joseph. With it looking like Brown has turned the corner and the play of Revere, all the sudden the 2014 Phillies starting lineup looks pretty young. I am confident Ruf will hit (I bet he tears it up the rest of Sprint Training) and hopefully he can get comfortable in left. 2014 isn’t looking too bad (although there is all of 2013 still to see how things play out obviously) If Utley is healthy (looks like he is) and you can resign him to an affordable Jimmy Rollins type deal then you have this.


    not bad…you can even trade Rollins and start Galvis and bat him 8th.

    1. I’m not saying you’re wrong about most of this … except the bizarre Rollins hate … and I don’t really think Ruf is ever going be a regular outfielder, but that at least is something regarding which I may be wrong …. but that just isn’t likely to be such a good lineup. It’s really a mix of youth – solid youth, but not youth with star potential – and aging stars. No prime star level talent. It might well be the best the team can do in 2014, but, unless the starting pitching it truly exceptional, not a contending lineup.

      1. No Rollins hate but if they wanted to switch the dynamic of the lineup and get something in return for him, they could. If everything goes as expected (hoped) then they can afford to have Galvis in the 8 hole and move everyone else up.

        I agree with the solid youth but no star potential. I would love to offer Biddle, Morgan, Quinn and whoever else Miami would want for Stanton but that won’t happen. Other than that, what other “stars” are available. So if the alternative is some aging stars surronded by solid young guys to a couple stars and a bunch of crap (Abraham Nunez or Mark Lewis types) then I’ll take my chances and hope the young offensive players grow with the help of the aging vets.

        I think the 2014 bullpen can be strong and there is some solid (unspectacular, but solid) young starters. Of course, we will know much more after 2013 is played. I am just happy with the young guys in ST

        1. The Marlins would laugh and hang up if Amaro called with that offer. Then he’d call back just to laugh and hang up again.

          1. I know, notice I said whoever they wanted. I would do this: Biddle, Ruf, Quinn, Valle, Franco, Tocci, Pettibone, Galvis and Diekman. Sadly, I still don’t think that gets it done

      2. ‘……solid youth, but not youth with star potential ….’—-Brown, Joseph, Asche and possibly Franco -position players- could achive some measure of ‘stardom’, which in itself is relative.

          1. To me, franco is still too far away to make any such evaluation. We are really judging him of one half of a season in low A- though it was a terrific half seaspon. we’ll know a heckuva lot more next season.

            As for Asche, it looks like he is not far away from being classified as a potential solid big-leaguer. But three questions remain on whether he has the potnetial to be an “above-average” major leaguer or better- 1) Does the power develope a bit more? 2) does he project as a .270 or .290+ major league hitter? and 3) Is the glove at least average?

            As with Franco, we’ll know more on Asche soon

      3. I agree Larry. I like the potential line up minus the inclusion of Ruf. IMO he’s never going to be a top-4 OF.

    1. No package the Phils can offer would convince the Marlins to trade Stanton in-division, considering what they could get from any number of other franchises. He won’t wear red pinstripes unless he reaches free agency.

  8. Despite his “troubles” (mainly misdiagnosed leg/knee injuries), Gillies has endured and it is difficult to ignore his talents even though his personality may not be pleasing to some. IMO, he deserves much credit for hangin’ in there despite a frustrating halt to his progress due to no fault of his own.
    Joseph, Brown and Asche have given us a hint that each is offering their own infusion of youth for ’13 (Brown) and ’14. Add Morgan and then one or two of P-Bone, Martini, and Biddle-ing plus a couple relievers champing at the bit and the agism of the roster fades a lot.

    1. ArtD…bottom line…Tyson is not going to beat out Revere in CF…does his power project as a corner OF? Maybe he needs no power for LF, since I assume Domo will man RF. Just do not see him as a player in pinstripes at CBP. Maybe I am wrong. But if he stays healthy and plays from April thru EOM June…RAJ packages him in a trade deadline deal.

      1. I wouldn’t go that far. Maybe he will never wear pinstrips, maybe he gets hurt again, maybe he does get packaged, but if he stays healthy and reaches his potential he would become a better player than Revere even with his limited power. Yes, that’s a huge IF.

        1. He could certainly be a better offensive player. I think he can collect extra base hits at twice the rate of Revere. He won’t get as many steals and likely a lower obp and probably lesser D, but it may be a close battle between Revere and a healthy GIllies. Galvis actually has more power than Revere, although obviously not the obp or speed.

          1. Agree on the steals but not on the OBP. Revere would need a big jump in BB% to reach even Gillies minor league career number. The defense I think is a trade off, whatever range advantage Revere has I think Gillies makes up for with his arm. Call defense a wash.

            1. There is truly some faulty logic going on here in these posts comparing Ben Revere to Tyson Gillies. To belittle Ben Revere’s Major league OBP when compared to Tyson Gillies’ AA OBP makes little to no sense. Minor league #s do not translate directly to the same numbers in the majors.

              Ben Revere, AA: age 22, OBP 371
              Tyson Gillies, AA: age 23, OBP 369

              The level of disrespect Ben Revere gets is interesting. A 2008, 1st round pick, who never failed at any level of the minor leagues, and hit .300 in the majors as a 24 year old, isn’t as good as Tyson Gillies? The story hasn’t been finished on Gillies yet, but he is no sure thing to do anything close to what Revere has accomplished.

            2. Right. No comparison. I suspect Phans will be very happy with a cost-controlled Revere in the coming years. The most impressive thing about Gillies is his gazelle-like gait. But he takes very defensive ABs even when ahead in the count. Hoping he puts up a big year in the minors but he’s looking more and more like an extra outfielder with each time I see him play

            3. I think the Revere disapproval comes from the thought that he is weak because of his lack of power. If you look at him he definitely is not overmatched by any pitch. He has a great ability to spray line drives and hard grounders around the park (and make contact at a higher rate that anyone in the majors), he just does not have loft in his swing to hit them out. Gillies is slightly better on the swing but if you watch him it is an Ichiro-esque jailbreak swing much of the time and he just doesn’t have the 80 hit tool or defensive ability that made Ichiro a special player.

            4. Right. Ichiro-esque using about half the skill-set. Gillies almost has a ‘just get it in play’ swing.

            5. The negativity towards Revere come straight from the disapproval of trading Worely and May for him. Somehow, another teams’ successful 2008 1st round pick, isn’t worth our 2008 3rd & 4th round picks. A starting CF who hit .300 and stole 40 bases in the Major Leagues, for 4-5th starter and a prospect that has had to repeat every full-season level twice.
              I really don’t get the disapproval.

            6. I don’t think anyone is belittling or disrespecting Ben Revere. He is what he is, a very good defensive CF but also a singles hitter who doesn’t walk much. At least since he’s been in the majors. Can that change? Sure. Reading the posts above, besides a glaring mistake on the OBP, the overall theme seems to be if Gillies stays on the field and plays to his potential he’s a more complete player. A huge if IMO but true if it happens. Really didn’t see any disrespect directed towards Revere.

    2. While I’m skeptical that it will happen, Gillies COULD become a major league regular center fielder. Stranger things have happened. If he does develop to that point – show he can be healthy, AND make significant strides as a hitter – he will either force a trade of Revere, or he will himself be traded to a team with a need for a center fielder.

      He could also end up being a solid 4th outfielder for the Phillies or someone else.

      He will not (and should not) ever be a regular major league corner outfielder for anyone. Even for a non-contender.

      1. Agree and want to echo this point. Gillies does not have the bat to be a regular in a corner. The power is not coming unless he alters his swing, that and his OBP will drop when major league pitchers don’t respect the power. He could be a better offensive player than Revere, but Revere makes much more consistent contact (Gillies strikes out at least twice the rate Revere does) and is a much more consistent base stealer. Gillies has a much better are than Revere in the OF but they are probably similar range wise.

        A team with championship aspirations cannot carry Gillies in a corner (the counter would be Brett Gardner but his 7WAR 2010 is driven by how skewed LF defensive numbers are and Gardner had much better sustained walk rates). If Gillies is going to make it, it will be as a CF for another team or because of a Ben Revere injury

  9. Not to get to off topic, but if everyone agrees that Ruf will be sent down, are we satisfied with D Young and Brown at the corners? I would honestly re-visit the Alfonso Soriano talks. He is better defensivly than Young and is better than Young. If Chicago pays almost all of his salary and we don’t have to give up much (Gillies, Rosenberg and Valle?…or something like that…fringe guys) would you do it? I think I would. Like I said, Soriano is better in everything than Delmon Young is. He plays left and Brown stays in right.

    1. Nick, I think Brown will stay in right field. He looks fine there. Revere will be in Center and Young and Nix will be in left. Gillies will be in Lehigh Valley as his next step in the progression of stops that allow a young man to develop. He can always play left when he gets a season under him and knows a bit more about hitting. No reason to get rid of him, especially when you don’t have to. He has a high ceiling, better to stick with him and let the skills develop.

    2. honestly the best 3rd outfielder the phillies could have this year would be a strict Mayberry/Nix platoon. that would produce better numbers than anyone we could acquire

    3. Soriano. Ugh. I’d rather have Ruf. Honestly. I’m really torn with Ruf as far as him making the OD roster. While I think he would benefit from some OF PT down at LV, I still think he has value as a power RHB off the bench, a fill in for Howard against lefties (assume Mayberry is a starting OF in this situation), and an occasional starter in LF. I think he can still win a spot though the presence of DYoung further complicates the matter

  10. In response, Re: Gillies. If we think of Brown in LF we can see Gillies in RF where his superior fielding and strong arm will play well for the defense. Though his speed hasn’t turned into a great number of stolen bases (yet), his singles will often turn into doubles and his first to third dash appears with beauty. His seeming lack of consistent HR power would be just fine when the power seems to be coming from left field.

    And, in the event his full game comes alive, he could be a serious candidate for center field later on. Further, his trade value would be great if his mojo kicks in.

    Let’s hope for his breakout season. He’s due.

    Another Phils baseball drama to unfold in ’13.

    1. I don’t see Gillies as a corner OF. If Ruf doesn’t cut it as an OF, and its too early to make that call, there’s a better chance the RF in 2014 will be someone not on the team now than it will be Gillies. He only has real value as a CF and that’s if he progresses. He was absolutely overmatched in the WBC, going hitless, with mostly terrible swings.

  11. Charlie Manuel on Freddy Galvis:
    Dave Murphy, CSN: ——Charlie Manual is convinced of two things: 1) He can get Galvis 250 at-bats over the course of the season; 2) 250 at-bats at the major league level would be more beneficial to Galvis than 450 at-bats in the minors. “I think the way he plays the game, if he hit .260, .270, he’s going to be a big-time player, man,” Manuel said, then referring to an example from his Cleveland days. “I saw Omar Vizquel when he hit like .190, and that’s part of the reason why we got him in a trade, and he did nothing but improve. Freddy can definitely do that.”
    Vizquel, the 11-time Gold Glove shortstop, hit just .256/.315/.314 in his first seven seasons in the majors. But from the ages of 29 to 39 he hit .285/.355/.382. “I think last year, he was new, and they were not afraid in situations to throw him fastballs,” Manuel said. “I think now that they know him a little bit they will probably work him him a little different. But he can definitely handle it. He can make adjustments

    1. I listened to a few games that Morillo pitched in last year. Talk about painful… He’d walk someone every time. He had 55 BBs in 59 IP. He was coming back from arm or shoulder surgery so he was worth taking a flyer on. But I guess it wasn’t getting any better. As Catch said, he’ll probably be the closer for some playoff team by the end of the year (ugh) but there are going to be some very good arms in AAA this year. They need to get innings.

  12. Savery isn’t really that good. I mean he had a decent year last year but he’s 4th on a list of left handed relievers and that’s just good enough to keep in MLB camp. He has no chance of making the Phillies unless there’s an injury to Horst, Bastardo, or Diekman get injured.

  13. Maybe Galvis goes to the minors for the first few weeks of the season in a “Service Time Manipulation” move. They would get to hold on to him for another year before he reaches free agency if he spends a minimum of 12 days in the minors. It would Probably more like the first two to four weeks in the minors before bringing him back to Philly. Meanwhile, they’d play Yuniesky Betancourt off the bench and find out if he’s still a competent major leaguer and if he’d be worth hanging on to for the remainder of the season.

    1. Don’t overthink it. Charlie has a serious mancrush on Galvis so its hard to see him not making the club. He’s hitting very well and fielding decently at 3 positions so I think he has a job locked up. I expect Betancourt to opt out and seek a major league job rather than go to LHV.

  14. Minor league games start tomorrow! Anyone have a look at the new workgroups? I’m sure they’re all new today after all the guys were sent down for the games, plus Canada and Mexico were eliminated.

  15. I’m just wondering if any of you think any PLAYERS who aren’t currently in the major league camp or project to be onthe opening Day roster have a chance of seeing some time with the Phillies this year if they have excellent seasons.
    After all Tyler Cloyd and Darin Ruf weren’t even on the Phillies radar at Spring Training a year ago.
    B.J. Rosenberg also had regressed, being on the Phillies 40 man roster in 2011 to not being on it in ’12 and yet he was in the majors by June.
    I think a lot of guys are close to major league ready, but since this is such a veteran team, they didn’t even get an invite to major league camp this year.

    Look for these dark horse guys (for 2013) with zero major leagues experience to possibly see time with the Phillies this year if they have good seasons for September callups or earlier:

    Players on the 40 Man roster: Ender Inciarte, Ethan Martin, Jon Pettibone,Sebastian Valle, Tyson Gillies, Cesar Hernandez.

    :Players Not on the 40 man roster, but were invited to major leagues camp: Cody Asche, Adam Morgan, Justin Friend, Kyle Simon, Tommy Joseph, JC Ramirez.

    Players Not on the 40 man roster and not invited to major league camp: Tyler Knigge, Leandro Castro, Mike Cisco, Julio Rodriguez, Steven Susdorf, Troy Hanzawa, Cody Overbeck.

    1. Players off the radar who could make the jump (I think there are guys on your list who won’t see the majors in their careers, but if you are in AAA it is not difficult to get the call): Kenny Giles (if he throws strikes he can move quickly), Jiwan James (Gillies injury and some growth could make him the back up CF), Perci Garner (a move to the pen could bring him quickly)

      The problem is there are not a lot of spots to fill, usually the bullpen is a place for surprises but there is a log jam on the 40man. The Phillies did a good job of bringing up everyone who realistically could make the majors in 2013.

      1. Giles is a good guess, he’s someone who could move quickly this year. Lots of pitchers get called up during a season. I’m sure Orr will make an appearance in Philly at some point and the back up catcher might too (Lerud?). I wouldn’t be surprised to see Quintero released when Chooch returns so a later injury to he or Kratz will require a call up of a veteran catcher.

      2. I didn’t list anyone that hadn’t spent at least half a season in AA, but here’s a thought. What if the organization’s #1 prospect, Jesse Biddle (Clearwater – High A in 2012) had an absolutely overpowering season in 2013? If he moves up from AA to AAA by June and by September 1 is an amazing 16-3 overall, then does he get brought up in September? Some organizations would make this kind of move (such as the Orioles bringing up Dylan Bundy last September). But answering my own question – the fairly conservative Phillies in all probabiliy won’t bring up Biddle even if he was 20-0. The Phillies front office sticks to timetables and even though Biddle will be almost 22 by September the answer is almost certainly NO.

        1. No way Biddle sees the majors before June 2014 at the earliest. There is no need to accelerate his development (there are pitchers in front of him that will be at least his equal over that time). Also if he is that good there is no reason to start his free agency clock early or put him on the 40 man roster a year early. Also please never quote minor league win-loss again.

          Bundy came up in September for three reasons, the Orioles had to push all in on a down year in their division (bringing up Machado and Bundy), he is an absolute freak and he signed a major league deal in the draft so he was already on the 40 man roster and they didn’t have to use a spot on him (if he wasn’t on the 40 man no way he gets the call).

        2. Biddle’s history is that he struggles early, at each level. He will most likely need the whole year, to get acclimated fully to AA.

    2. A second round of cuts today leaves only C. Hernandez, E. Inciarte, J. Pettibone and
      J. Friend from this list still in major league camp.

      1. Sorry! – My bad – Pettibone has already been reassigned. Only the other three still remain in major league camp from my original list of “long shot prospects for 2013”.

  16. Little update I heard on radio today from Bob Brookover in Clearwater:
    * Ruf probably goes to Triple A ball to play more left field and get offensive confidence back then return to phillies mid season.

    * Of the three 3Bs in Spring training (Michael Young, Cody Asche & Kevin Frandsen) – Cody Asche played best defense of the three. Young improved as Sandberg really stressed to entire infield to play lower to increase your range.

    * Thinks Brown will continue to play well once season starts because alot of things he saw from Brown in minors when he was regarded as phillies top prospect…he is starting to at ML level now.

    * Starting pitching ranking is : hamels, Lee then Halladay.

    * If Phillies are healthy they can win 90 games.

      1. Adams looks really good. Durbin has only had one bad season in 2011 with Cleveland rest of his years he has been solid. Said if Adam and Durbin hold their own Phillies pen will be good. Not worried at all about Papelbon Spring training.

        Also spoke about Delmon Young but my wife was asking me something during this part so I only got that Delmon gave really odd interview to reporters initially and later called each reporter on the phone to apologize for his comments and said he just flew in on red eye and wasn’t right when he gave the interview.

        Said Joseph really impressed him. Threw guy out against strong wind blowing in and looked good at plate.

        1. I know I pile on D. Young, but I have to say one thing …

          When you hear people talk about “hustle” and “makeup” and all of those “intangibles,” my reaction isn’t that all of that is unimportant … it is. But virtually EVERY major league player has the requisite characteristics, or they wouldn’t have made the majors in the first place. Players without “good makeup” get winnowed out in the minors.

          There are some exceptions – players whose natural gifts are good enough to overcome a … lackadaisical attitude towards the game. Everything I’ve read about D. Young, as well as the shape of his career, suggests that he is one of those rare players who make it to the majors despite a very poor “make up.” The guy is a head case, pure and simple.

          (As an aside, there are also some exceptional players who, through incredibly hard work outside the games themselves, and intelligence, manage to make much more of their talent than most players do (Utley being a prime example), But as a general rule, people outside organized baseball – i.e., the fans and sportswriters – are generally not able to identify those players until AFTER their “make up” manifests itself in their performance.)

          1. I am of the belief that Gillick had a lot of input in this offseason. He values character more than any GM that I am familiar with in any sport (e.g. paraphrased: He used to think the talent to character ratio was 70/30. Now he feels it’s the opposite.).

            If Delmon Young is truly a “head case” I don’t think they would have added him to this team, even for free. The risk of a head case is not only the money you spend (minimal in this case), but the negative impact it could have on a ball club trying to contend (i.e. fights, distractions, cancerous guys who divide locker rooms, etc.). My prediction is that Delmon Young resurrects his career with a very good season and gets a good offer after this season (maybe even from the Phillies if it’s a short deal). We’ll see.

            1. The rumors circulating at the time of the Young signing was that RAJ overruled Gillick, Manuel, and ownership, who all reluctantly gave in. I wouldn’t read into the signing as a counter to Young as a “head case”

            2. I never heard of those rumors. I can’t imagine RAJ overruling Gillick AND Manual (can you?), let alone ownership, too. Who would let this info out? I’m not buying it.

              Recently Gillick predicted 90+ wins. If he was against Delmon Young signing, it doesn’t seem to have impacted his prediction much. And I think an experienced, quality GM (like a good CEO with Wall Street) forecasts conservatively. Again, we’ll see.

            3. Everyone associated with the PHillies in any way has to predict 90+ wins. What is Gillick going to say? ‘Sorry, this is another .500 season, please buy your season tickets if you’re looking for that family baseball entertainment experience. The Phanatic will be back!’

            4. The absolute worst case scenario is that Young has a superficially “good” year and is re-signed by the Phillies. It is VERY rare that I wish ill upon a player, but I hope and pray for a career ending injury to Young.

              I echo what Matt says above. I’d add that, in the unlikely event that Gillick signed off on this, it is a sign of senility on his part. The evidence that Young is a head case seems to me to be overwhelming.

              It’s one thing for an organization to make judgments about the character of it’s own players – on that score, as my aside made clear, I am fully aware that they have far more information available than I have. But for a player from another organization, the management team is dealing pretty much with the same information that we are, at least in terms of character issues. Scouts obviously give you information regarding performance unavailable to you and I, but scouts generally can’t tell you much about a player’s character.

              Of the players who have major league deals this year, D. Young is the player I would least like to have on my roster (obviously, there are players with worse contracts, my point is that, contract aside, he is far and away the least desirable player in the major leagues).

            5. I guess I just think context/incentives have a great influence on behavior. And I see the context/incentives as: 1. a team full of hard-working, playoff focused players (it’s actually hard to be the one d-bag on a team like that); and 2. A 27 year old player who needs to re-establish himself to MLB in order to get another good contract.

            6. I’m not going to completely reject the possibility that Young,in a bid to preserve his major league career, will be on his best behavior in 2013. I don’t think it’s guaranteed, and his “best” still isn’t likely to be more than superficially decent (e.g., his 2010 performance), but he could be motivated to get a good contract. I think there are some solid reason to think even this is unlikely (he should have been similarly motivated in 2012, and look what happened), but it’s possible.

              But as I said, that’s a worst case scenario, not a best case scenario. With the security of a multi-year deal, he would revert to his old ways. I have this vision of mediocrity in 2013 being rewarded by a 2 or three year contract from the Phillies, at which point he will revert to a replacement level player. AND a bad clubhouse influence on what will, starting in 2014, likely be a significantly younger team.

            7. I’m just hoping for a good year from him this year. And I (and I suspect the Phillies, too) would also worry more about a “next deal” versus this one year. But if Brown and Ruf develop, and are ready next year, then Young isn’t needed past this year. I mean, even if he has a great year, they don’t have to take the risk again. But I think seeing him for a year on the field, in this clubhouse, in front of these fans, with this media, will allow for a thorough evaluation and proper decision.

            8. I suspect then that our disagreement has more to do with the degree of faith that each of us has in the organization.

            9. “I hope and pray for a career ending injury to Young.”

              Making a statement like this soils any rational argument you might have for Young’s presence on the roster. Seriously.

            10. Larry, wishing for a career ending injury to a player is disgusting. You have completely crossed over the point of absurdity now.

            11. Larry, this “headcase” (Delmon Young) in 2010 played very well for Minnesota(hit .298, had 112 RBI’s and was well behaved). If (big IF) he can return to that form he can really help this team. Lastly, wishing an “career ending injury” upon anyone is not rational, cruel and vengeful.

            12. Not all incentives are equal. Essentially between roster bonuses and weigh-ins it is close to 3million regardless of his play on the field.

            13. LarryM, do you see the irony here? You “pray for career ending injury” to a another human being, because HIS character is questionable.

    1. “If Phillies are healthy they can win 90 games.”

      Each can have his own opinion on that. Phils played the second half of 2012 with a W-L that projected to 95 wins over a full season. Don’t see why they couldn’t achieve that if healthy but of course the health of other teams factors in as well.

      I’ll be focused on whether Strasburg shows able to pitch effectively late into games. He got knocked around in the 6th inning of his most recent, otherwise effective, outing. An ace to me gives you 200 innings and I’m not sure that’s what the Nats will get from him this year..

  17. Dreaming of the team having Asche 3b, Joseph C, Brown RF, Morgan LHP, DeFratus, Stutes, Aumont, and maybe Gillies OF (4th-5th-CF) on the 25. Gettin’ younger….

    And just might be a super pen.

  18. David Murphy writes for CSN: —-‘This will be the third straight season that the Phillies enter with at least one glaring question mark at corner outfield. In 2011, they tried Ben Francisco and Mayberry before trading for Hunter Pence. In 2012, they tried, well, everybody before giving up on the season. This year, Nix and Mayberry appear to be the only feasible lefty/righty combination to fill a spot opposite Brown while Young is on the mend.’

  19. -“If you are a Phillies fan, it is time for Dom Brown to shine. The Phillies have shown tremendous patience and confidence in the rightfielder, but after three years of dabbling in the majors, Brown’s window is slowly closing.” I find this funny because IMO they have barely shown any confidence in him.

    1. Have they shown tremendous patience and confidence? If anything they have shown tremendous IMpatience.

  20. The Phillies have optioned the following players to minor league camp: Tyson Gillies, Sebastian Valle, BJ Rosenberg, Mauricio Robles, and Tyler Cloyd

  21. I love Brown as much as anyone here but let’s keep it real he didn’t do much to help his own cause or instill any kind of confidence from the management, Charlie or the fan base that he could play at this level.

    Many are using this Spring as revisionist history to make that type of statement. In 2011 he was floundering at the plate and in the field when the team was poised to win 102 Games and contend for a WS. And to make matters worse he moped and whined about it.

    If anything by not coddling him they did him a huge favor. So far he seems to carrying himself like a man and taking care of business.

    1. Brown’s 2011 line – In 210 PAs, .245/.333/.391 for an OPS +98. Sorry, that’s not floundering. If anything, that’s not enough PAs to make a definitive statement. Had the team been more patient and not dealt for Pence, I’m sure those numbers would’ve went up as he would’ve had consistent playing time from July 31st to the end of the season.

    2. I don’t think it is Spring revisionist. The problem started when the Phillies promoted Brownin 2010 to just sit on the bench. He would have been much better served to be getting at bats in AAA. While Brown struggled at the start of 2011 he had come on to have a .296/.398/.366 slash line in July before the trade. Obviously the power had not returned following the Hamite bone injury and the Phillies did need a presence from the right side of the betters box, but perhaps Ibanez who was having a worse year than Brown should have seen his playing time cut.

    3. got to disagree here about 2011. Without talking about attitude or how he came off in the locker room, something only the players and coaches know, on the field and at the plate he was putting up numbers just as good as Ibanez when they traded for Pence. Moreover, it was clear he was playing just as well as Ibanez and that Ibanez wouldn’t be around next year. Most people would wonder why if two players are playing just as well as each other, why not give the one that is part of the future more playing time? But the phils did the opposite. I think some frustration with that decision is understandable.

    4. A few points.

      First, I don’t think it’s fair to say Brown is a whiner. I think, at times, Brown has lacked confidence and was definitely been down on himself and pressed, but the consistent theme emerging from those who deal with him is that he is good guy, compliant, and a hard worker. And he’s got a football player’s mentality – he really doesn’t mind if coaches yell at him or are hard on him. He’s even said he likes that.

      Second, the instant success of players like Howard, Utley, and Hamels causes us to ignore the reality that a lot of really good players stumble around a bit until they find their way in the majors. For every Ryan Howard, there is an Alex Gordon, Jose Bautista, Jayson Werth, Randy Johnson or, for crying out loud, Sandy Koufax (struggled for about 6 seasons before his career took off).

      Third, this is not just a case where Brown is having a good spring where hits are falling in. It definitely appears that Brown has changed significantly as a player and has gotten much bigger and stronger. He also looks to have finally healed from his hamate injury, he is fielding better and his knees are healthy. In short, there have been serious, organic changes to this player and his game that suggest, most likely, he is at least going to be good regular, and hint that he could be much better than just good.

      1. To be fair the fans got really down on Hamels in ’09 when he struggled after his innings jump about 60 some from the previous year. But you are right, players like Mike Trout (who struggled in a September preview in 2011) who come up and dominate are rare, players have to make adjustments at the top level and Brown was in 2011 (minus the lack of power) and he wasn’t allowed to continue that.

      2. Add to that the fact that he has changed his swing each year looking for one in which he was comfortable and it finally appears like he’s found it. Personally, I attribute at least some of it to the new hitting coaches. Brown’s swing looks pretty right now and I couldn’t say that last year (or the year before).

    5. Not going to repeat good responses from others, but I do want to reinforce something that others have stated but IMO is still under emphasized: hamate injuries are notorious for lingering after effects, especially with regard to power. Even setting aside sample size and adjustment issues, that goes a LONG way toward explaining why his hitting wasn’t as good as expected in 2011 and possibly even in 2012.

  22. Listening to wip today, somewhere there is a rumor, that the outfield you see for the phillies now,isnt what you will see opening day, they are still looking at soriano and wells, according to reports,

      1. I don’t think they will release Young. He has a major league contract, that already counts against the luxury tax.
        That said, I’d give up Valle and/or Ruf for Soriano, if the Cubs paid all but 2 million of his salary.

        1. I think it would probably cost them something like Valle and DeFratus (ready reliever, no place in the majors) or Colvin (still a good arm – the type of prospect that Epstein would want in return because of the upside, but not the kind of guy the Phils are counting on) and the Cubs would have to eat a very big chunk of that salary ($10 million?). I don’t like the idea of throwing Ruf in because I think his actual value exceeds his trade value.

    1. I think Soriano might have 5/10 veto rights on a trade to Philly and it wouldn’t surprise me if he exercised those rights if a trade were made. I was in left field last year when the Phils fans were riding Soriano as hard as any opposing player I have ever seen at CBP. Worse yet, he responded to them, looking into the crowd, holding out his arms and shurgging (after this long in the big leagues, you would think he would know better) which, of course, gave them exactly what they wanted and raised the heckling to an even high cresendo. I would doubt he wants any part of Philly, but what do I know?

  23. Any word on whether the minor league games are being played today? Lots of rain there this morning I hear.

        1. 3-1 now, Halladay getting hit hard. Folks, if Halladay doesn’t return to something close to the Halladay of old, all of this other stuff we’ve talking about concerning the 2013 season probably won’t matter much.

            1. How do you know the FB velocity? Are you at the game? They don’t show velocity on game day in spring training and I haven’t see velocity readings at Bright House on televised games. 86-88 is disappointing when you consider he was apparently 88-91 in earlier outings. You would expect his velocity to be improving, not going backwards. Perhaps he’s just focused on his breaking sutff.

            2. Man, he is really getting the #$$ beat out of him. Hopefully, this is the part of ST where pitchers are going through a dead arm phase. As you can tell, I am looking for any way possible to rationalize this.

            3. That’s what we were hoping for last year too. At this point, I’m pretty confident saying that his velocity is never coming back. But I think he can be an effective #3 if his fastball is 88-91 and he commands his stuff. Right now he has no velocity or control.

            4. 7-1 – two homers, including a grand slam. Didn’t even make it out of the third. The Halladay watch is back in full gear. Well, the silver lining is that the team is not committed to him past this year in all likelihood. Say what you want, but that was a very well negotiated contract. Of course, this doesn’t make me feel any better about 2013.

  24. Bob Brookover ‏@brookob
    Another scout’s radar gun has Halladay velocity at around 84-85. Just gave up grand slam to Peralta.

    1. Hopefully, he can build strength and imporve – I’m skeptical, but hopeful.

      And for those folks who think that Tyler Cloyd is going to be a good major league pitcher, can you understand, after seeing Halladay struggle when he can barely hit 90, that he has almost no shot unless he comes up with a special trick pitch or unique out pitch? If Roy Halladay, who has great movement and usually pinpoint command, struggles when throwing under 90, what chance does Tyler Cloyd have? To ask this question, of course, is to answer it – Cloyd’s chances, with his current stuff, are slim to none.

      1. This is very sad so far and, all told, pretty sudden. I went back to Halladay’s last regular season start of 2011, and he was sitting 90-93, touching 94. It’s very unusual to see an established pitcher, with a long track record, lose velocity this quickly. We still need to watch closely over the rest of ST and into April. If Roy Halladay is no longer a very good pitcher, this team’s starting rotation is, on the whole, pretty pedestrian. Combine that pedestrian hitting and you’re looking at a .500 team again.

        1. I wouldn’t call the rotation pedestrian even in that scenario, but I guess it depends on what you mean by “very good”. If he’s a solid #3 type, I still like the rotation. Most teams can’t match Hamels/Lee at the top, and I think Kendrick will be respectable as a #4.

          1. If Halladay goes from being an ace to a #4, it’s just okay, you have two aces, and then three guys who are fair to mediocre – that’s not a really good rotation, especially for a team supposedly built on pitching. In the long run, I actually think Halladay will find his footing, but it may take a while as he re-invents himself.

            1. “especially for a team supposedly built on pitching”. Exactly why Halladay must be really good at the very least. Halladay wins 12 with an ERA north of 4 and the season is sank. On the 06 Phils those numbers were acceptable but this team needs 200 ip and an ERA under 3.40ish

            2. Yup, sounds about right. Failing that, the team would need a meteoric rise from one of their young starters in the minors or a big trade deadline deal. I am not so thrilled about the latter option because if the team trades away the wrong players, the Phils could end up in full re-build mode in a year and a half.

        2. catch….he is a few months short of 36-years old….not many carry velo that high into their mid-thirties, say Nolan Express.

  25. I asked whether the MINOR LEAGUE games were taking place. Today was supposed to be their first day of games. We can complain about Halladay elsewhere….

    1. Typically, each year, for updates you have to go to Blueclawsblog to get a review of what happened in the minor league games.
      You know by now each thread here is for complaints and name calling of the major league club.

    2. They did start playing today against the Blue Jays but I’m not in Clearwater so can’t report.

    3. Matt Provence ‏@PigsRadio
      Michael Martinez (2-3, BB, R) & Cody Overbeck (2-4) paced 11-hit attack w/ 2 hits, RBI each. Adam Morgan started (4 ip, 2 h, 2 r, 2 bb, 4 k)

  26. I was at the AA game against the Jays, and can only report on our pitching because that’s what I paid attention to, other than a monster HR hit by Rupp in the bot of the 7th over the RF wall.

    Jesse Biddle went 3 innings and looked fantastic: O R, 1H , 1BB , 5k
    Inning 1: K swinging, BB, fly out to 8, go 4 to 3
    Inning 2: K looking, 2B to 8, K looking, K swinging
    Inning 3: go 6 to 3, K looking, fly out to 8

    Andrew Aizenstadt pitched the 4th and 5th; struggled in the 4th and settled down in the 5th: 3R, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K

    4th inning: BB, 1B to LF, 1B to LF, 2B to CF, fly out: inning called after 1 out and 24 pitches (14 of which were balls)

    5th inning: pop up (out), go 4 to 3, BB, K looking

    Colby Shreve pitched the 6th inning: 3R, 2ER, 1H, 1HBP, 1K
    Pop up (out), HBP, BB, 2B to 7, K looking, 1B on an E6, go 3

    JC Ramirez pitched the 7th: 0R, 0H, 1 BB, 0K
    BB, 1 to 4 to 3 DP (great fielding play by Ramirez), fly out to 9

    Jordan Whatcott pitched the 8th: 0R, 2H, 0BB, 1K
    go 6 to 3, 1B to 6, K looking, 1B to 9, fly out to 9

    Tyler Knigge was the closer: 1 R, 1ER, 2H, 0BB, 0K
    HR, go 6 to 3, 1B to 6, go 5 unassisted to 2 DP

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