Depth Chart Brainstorm

For the record, Depth Chart Brainstorm is a fine name for an Emo or Math Rock band.  Anyway, I’m thinking about throwing a couple of these out there during the course of the year, just to give us all a chance to discuss contingency plans for the big club. Some no brainers, and a couple that will likely be fluid as the year and certain prospects progress. But for now, if someone went down with an injury tomorrow, who’d be the man getting the call?

Starters – Very short term (spot start with or without notice) – Cloyd, based on his 2012 season, and his bit of MLB experience, I think he’s the guy. Also on the 40-man roster, so no issues there. But any of the starters not named Morgan could get a spot start if it’s on very short notice as they’re already in option years, so there are no roster concerns.

Starters – 2 weeks or longer – Probably Cloyd again, with Pettibone close behind. Ask me in May, and Morgan might easily jump both of them with even similar results at AAA to the other two – though he does need a 40-man spot and service time will start on him.

Relievers – Right handed – Stutes. DeFratus can’t be far behind, and based on performance, this is probably fluid all year. If Stutes has two weak outings, and DeFratus two strong ones, this will probably flip quickly.

Relievers – Left-handed – Diekman. Easy.

Relievers – Long man – Rosenberg, I think. I guess they could use Cloyd, but right now, I’d rather leave him completely stretched for a spot start. If Minor was on the 40-man roster, I’d say he’d have a shot based on experience, but he’s not, so I don’t see it.

Catcher – Let me come back to this one.

1B – Darin Ruf comes up, or less likely, IMO, they move JMJ to first full-time (or in a platoon with Nix), and bring up Gillies to play 5th OF, or even less likely, IMO, they move Michael Young to first and play Frandsen/Galvis at third and then I don’t know what they do for the bench – maybe still Darin Ruf.

2B– Cesar Hernandez, but Galvis will play every day.

SS – Ugh. Martinez. Again, like at second, at least he won’t play. I guess they could assume Cesar can play short in a pinch and use him.

3B – Probably call up Cesar and use him as the primary 2b backup and use Galvis as the 3rd base backup to Frandsen. If it’s later in the year, and Frandsen is struggling a bit, Asche could take this spot and start every day.

OF – I’ll just group them together and say Tyson Gillies, no matter who goes down. Jermaine Mitchell would probably be the next guy, (needs a 40-man spot), ahead of Darin Ruf. Ruf can make a statement early with relatively mistake-free play in left, and probably move ahead of Mitchell and Gillies if a corner OF goes down, at which point those two would be battling for only the CF injury depth spot.

DH – Meh, not really thinking they’re worried about it too much. They’ll just roll with whoever they have. The schedule’s more fluid than last year, with the interleague scattered throughtout the year, so maybe at some point they might see a couple away series in a short span and think they need a bat. Ruf is likely the man then, maybe to play first and let Howard rest and DH.

Ok, back to catcher. There are basically three types of catcher injuries to consider. The day-to-day, (where the extra man may not even see the roster, let alone the field), 7-10 day, (where the extra man will likely take at least one start), and a true DL stint. I believe the Phils have not really used the 7-10 day option much the last couple years, instead opting to put the man on the DL and bring him back in 15 days. That might have been due to the options they had which they “liked”, Sardinha and Kratz, or just the nature of the injuries in question.

Now the decisions are a little more complicated, with options and roster spots in play. So if it’s day-to-day, and they decide they really need the extra man, I assume they bring up Lerud (and waive Savery or Robles), then leave him on the 40-man as long as they can or waive him and hope he doesn’t get grabbed. If it’s the 8-10 days, I think the same. But if it’s a true DL stint, things could become more complicated.

I’m of the mindset that if you need a catcher, tomorrow, for 2 weeks, it’s probably still Steve Lerud.  But the club could opt to use Sebastian Valle so as not to a) use up one of Joseph’s options and start his service clock, and b) have to waive someone to make a roster spot for either Lerud or Joseph.  I would personally use Valle for just that reason, (he’s already used his option for the year), but I doubt the Phils will do so, as he’s clearly fallen behind Joseph in their eyes.

3 weeks from now, it may be a moot point, as Ruiz is back and Quintero could clear waivers, be left on the 40-man, and go to LV to wait on another turn with the big club. Or the argument could remain, if Quintero opts for free agency.

What say you? Am I overthinking this catcher argument? Probably. I’ll plan to do another one of these near the middle of next month, when we’ll have likely seen a roster move or two already, and have a nice little sample of the more “prospecty” guys to consider.

23 thoughts on “Depth Chart Brainstorm

  1. The contingency plan in the OF depends on when the injury occurs.
    Right now: Jermaine Mitchell
    Next Month: Ezequiel Carrera
    Unless Tyson Gillies has a brilliant season, I don’t see him being considered for the major league team until September. Ruf could get a chance in June, if someone is injured and he isn’t letting the ball hit him in the head.

    1. I think Carrera’s out of options. He may not be a choice unless he clears waivers.

  2. I like Cesar Hernandez, I just wish we had more big league ready infielder. Hernandez and/or Martinez on a big league roster makes me cringe.

  3. I think Gillies is the outfield first up. Cloyd being bashed tonight after a not great ST will not be the first up, if a pitcher is needed quickly.

    1. Stutes and Diekman didn’t help themselves either, ugly start to season for AAA and AA.

  4. I like concept of post.
    If Orr is still an option I figure that he’d be first infielder called up. not sure who plays SS after Galvis; Orr, Frandsen, Young.

    Ruf and Gillies likely first callups for 40man. though mitchell might be option.
    agree with pitchers, who will cycle. I like to not use Morgan before he is ‘ready’, prefer sept callup.

  5. Wow really disappointed tonight every team lost. The pitching was really poor. The hitting was poor. Quinn with 2 errors already. Joseph with 2 PB already. Walding and C.Hernandez were the only ones to do anything tonight. Valle with a walk. I think Valle is getting a raw deal here. I think a catcher with 20 HR power and good defense is valuable even if he dosent walk. I might be one of the few who thinks he is better than Rupp but thats for another day.

    1. You are not the only one who thinks Valle is better than Rupp. I think he is a better prospect than Rupp. Although many of the posts about Valle are negative, most everyone voted Valle ahead of Rupp.

      1. The belief that Valle remains a better prospect than Rupp is, as you say, unremarkable and probably still the consensus opinion.

        But Joey’s apparent belief that Valle can be successful without changing his approach and consequently increasing his BB rate is quite wrongheaded. I won’t say that such an outcome is impossible, but it’s possible in the same sense that Galvis hitting 50 HR in a season is possible.

        1. Sebas Valle: age 21, AA: 329 PA’s, 3.3 BB%, 716 OPS
          Carlos Ruiz: age 22, SAL: 249 PA’s, 4.0 BB%, 680 OPS

        2. VOR, you’re too smart to really think that Valle can succeed without improving his approach and upping his BB rate significantly. So really I’m not sure what you’re playing at here. Trolling obviously, but any joy you get from baiting me is outweighed by the fact that you are knowingly sowing ignorance.

          So while I’m sure that YOU know the truth of the following points, I’ll set them out for the benefit of people like Joey:

          (1) Ruiz improved his BB rate significantly as he got older, and would not have succeeded but for that fact.
          (2) Your comparisons elides the fact that, in the seasons that you cite, Ruiz had a much better K rate than Valle (Valle 25.2%; Ruiz less than half that). It’s possible to sustain a lowish BB rate if you’re a good contact hitter. The problem with Valle isn’t JUST the low BB totals; it’s the combination of the low BB totals and high K totals. Of course, that’s the statistical manifestation of the bad approach; let’s not ignore the many, many people who have watched him play and reported on the poor approach.

          Now, OF course there is a chance that, like Ruiz did, Valle can grow as a player and eventually become a successful major leaguer. IMO that chance is quite low (partly because of the COMBINATION of the K rate and the BB rate, and partly because Ruiz is sui generis – very few players follow the development path that he did). But maybe I underestimate the chances that Valle can improve his approach to the point where he has an adequate BB/K ratio. But AS YOU WELL KNOW, I am 100% correct that ANY chance he has of major league success is dependent upon him doing so. There is essentially no precedence for a player to succeed with a 7.6 to 1 KK/BB ratio (even worse if you include his time in AAA).

          I’ll say it one more time: Valle CANNOT succeed as a major league player with his approach. Can’t happen. There is a chance he can improve his approach to the point where his other tools can shine to the extent that he has a major league career.

        3. I agree he must change his approach and hit for more average. however i think he can be successful. When i look around the league i see very few catchers who have power and defense. I see guys with one or the other and the few that have it all. he wont ever be a star but he can be a quality player even if he is destined to be a backup. I dont agree rupp should be ahead of him on the depth chart like he tonight. lets see where he is in 2 months.

          1. Fair enough. Let’s delve a little deeper into what we need to see in terms of “changed approach.” He swings at basically everything. As I understand it from people who have watched him, that’s not the whole problem but it’s most of it. Getting a bit more selective at the plate should cut down on the Ks a little (which will also increase the BA), and increase the BBs. He does not need to walk a lot, but he needs to walk more. It’s barely possible, though difficult, to be successful with a sub 4% BB rate if you are a good contact hitter, but Valle is not that and won’t be. If he can (say) get his K% down to 20% and his BB% up to 5% (both marks still below average), and maintain that in the major leagues, he might have a career.I’m less optimistic than some that he can do that, but given his age & level it is certainly possible.

            That’s not just because of the direct benefits of more BBs and fewer Ks. The indirect benefits may even be larger. With his current approach, against major league pitching, his other offensive skills, including his power, won’t manifest themselves. He’ll never get a decent pitch to hit.

        4. Seriously Larry, why would VOR bait you!
          He merely is comping two similar positional players, with one’s age a plus in the total scheme, and projecting an outcome that could be viable and realistic.

          1. The problem is that you can use a side by side comparison to “prove” any point you want to make. Like Valle? Comp him to Ruiz. Don’t like Valle? There are probably 25-50 catching seasons from single A in the past decade that are better than Valle’s from guys who either never played in the majors or aren’t any more than a backup. Check out Lou Marson’s age 21 season at Clearwater.

            Heck if you wanna make Jonathan Pettibone the next Roy Halladay, just stick their AAA seasons next to each other. You can do this endlessly. It looks persuasive at first glance, but it doesn’t really prove anything.

          2. Romus, I can’t read VOR’s mind. But he’s simply too smart yo really believe the “similar” “viable” and “realistic” portions of your second sentence.

            To be clear:

            (1) Valle could become a successful major leaguer, but the Ruiz/Valle comp sheds zero light on the question of whether he can or will be.

            (2) Even if it did, it was entirely irrelevant to my point, which conceded that Valle had some chance to succeed, but responded to the patently false belief that his low BB rate, unless significantly improved, is not an absolute bar to major league success.

            1. And my first point is based partly upon the argument well articulated by Pat in his comment, and also upon the fact that the two players really aren’t remotely similar because of Ruiz’ contact skills.

        5. LarryM, I can’t tell you how to take things, but showing a statistical comparison that counters your argument, is not a personal attack or insult.
          Your original statement to Joey was wrong. He did not say that ‘Valle didn’t need to change/improve his approach’. He and I, both said Valle is a better prospect than Rupp (Which is a very debatable view). So your assertion that he and I are “wrongheaded” is off base. We never said he doesn’t have to improve his approach.
          You implied that Valle had as much chance of improving, as Galvis had of hitting 50 HRs. I would understand your position if Valle was a 24-25 year old player, but he is not. Valle is still young for AA, as a catcher. If Valle sat it AA for the next 2 years, it would not be impossible for Valle to improve his BB rate to 5% this year, then 6% next year, while decreasing his K rate by 3% each of the next 2 years. He would then be 24, in AAA.
          Making declarations that a 21 year old player in AA cannot improve, invites a retort. It isn’t personal.

          1. VOR, I didn’t say that you were making a personal attack or insulting me. I said you were trolling – specifically, you made in irrelevant response to my post, presumably for the purpose of getting a rise out of me.

            Now, it’s possible, I suppose, that, rather than trolling, you just didn’t bother to actually read my response. But, if you read my response, you would know that your Ruiz/Valle comparison not only failed to respond to my point, but wasn’t even relevant to my point. I even explicitly said that Valle was a better prospect and could improve if he changed his approach. What I was specifically disputing was the statement in Joey’s post that “I think a catcher with 20 HR power and good defense is valuable even if he dosent walk.” Now, it’s true that there is no explicit statement that he doesn’t need an improved approach (and he later agrees that he does), but I think the most reasonable reading of his statement is that the incredibly low BB rate isn’t a problem. And it is. Indisputably. Even in his later post he talks about improving his approach to increase his batting average. Which is not entirely off base – an improved approach WOULD likely result in an improved BA – but the elephant in the room is the fact that Valle swings at absolutely everything, AND has mediocre at best contact skills AND has been moving in the wrong direction in those aspects of his game. That’s a huge problem.

            Can he overcome it? It’s possible. But it’s not going to be easy. This isn’t a case where a player needs to tweak his approach; it’s a case where he needs to basically tear it down and start over.

          2. of course VOR was wrong. Anyone who dares to debate you are wrong.

            LarryM please get your own blog. Let’s see how many people will read your long winded views.

  6. I think the Phils would have no problem using Joseph as i feel he is in their near term plans. He, in my opinion, would be starting within the next 3 years making his options moot.

Comments are closed.