88 thoughts on “General Discussion – Week of 2-24-2014 – #TeamBiddle Edition

  1. Some are suggesting that a future corner IF of Asche and Franco is a good thing. I disagree.

    Asche may be a major-league regular. Franco may be an all-star. Both may have value to the Phillies.

    Unless he can learn a new position, however, Asche’s main value to the Phillies is as a trade chip. Asche is not good enough, either offensively or defensively, to push Franco to first base.

    Furthermore, Franco should be ready for full-time duty by 2015, and Howard will be the Phils’ regular first baseman until 2017.

    The best outcome for the Phillies is for Asche to prove in 2014 that he is capable of being a major-league regular, for Franco to take over at third in 2015, and for the Phils to sign a FA first baseman with pop in 2017.

    1. Yeah.

      I think it’s funny that a couple of the “Franco to first base” crowd were patting themselves on the back when the organization started playing him at first base last year. But of course the valid reaction should have been that the move to first (assuming the move is permanent, which it now appears not to be) was either (a) bad news, as indicating Franco can’t play third and has less value than we hoped, or (b) a mistake by the organization.

    2. I understand what you’re saying, but this team is not a young squad so at the end of the day young players that can produce need to be retained. If they can get another young promising player at a position of need for him, then I can see trading him, but in my opinion I think there’s always room for solid young talent. This team needs guys like Asche who bring hunger to the team and excitement to the fan base. Asche just reminds me of a Philly guy who would be a fan favorite and there’s something to be said about what homegrown talent brings to a team.

      1. The goal isn’t to get younger – the goal is to become contenders again (long term). Now, I agree that a huge part of the way to achieve that goal is to get younger, but every move to get younger must still be made with the true long term goal in mind.

        Some people (not you, at least in this case) are so fixated on the “get younger” intermediate goal that they suggest moves that CLEARLY would not be consistent with the real long term goal. This is a closer case. But, unless Franco can’t handle third base (possible) or unless one of the two can’t be traded for equal young assets (unlikely), moving Franco to first hurts the long term goal. It just does. It HAS to, unless one of the above above two things are true.

      2. Note that I don’t advocate a trade now. But 8 months from now, (a) we’ll have a much better idea who our long term third base solution should be, and (b) both players hopefully will have enhanced trade value (trading Asche now in particular would be a mistake, as it would be selling low – after his poor debut, his trade value is likely quite low).

        Now, other results are possible. Maybe a year from now Asche will be a solid regular at third base, and Franco will keep hitting but it will become clear that he can’t handle third base. THEN you move him to first base. Or (hopefully not) one of the two will have a disappointing season. At least then the “problem” of having redundant prospects is solved .

        1. Please explain your evaluation of Asche’s ‘poor’ debut, as opposed to an ‘average’ debut or a ‘good’ debut.

          1. I’ve done so before … even lower in this thread. And I don’t want to keep harping on it, first of all because I LIKE him as a player, and second of all because I am confident he’ll get better.

            But he was pretty aweful. This isn’t a case of some odd metrics showing his debut as poor. It’s a case of ANY metric showing his debate as poor. Again I have no desire to do pound this into the ground, but briefly:

            (1) As a hitter, his line was .235/.302/.389.
            (2) As a defender, by the “eye test” he was decent but not by any means a great defender; by defensive metrics, a little below average.

            No amount of gritty play or “leadership” makes up for that combination. A slick fielding shortstop could maybe get away with that line – maybe. Marginally. but not an average fielding third baseman.

            He was, essentially, worse in every aspect of the game than Rollins (except power, and Asche wasn’t that good in that respect either) – who played a more demanding position, who was having perhaps the worst season of his career, and who was, if you listen to the Phillies fan base, a horrible player & probably Satan incarnate. (Not that I agree with that, but he DID have a pretty poor season. And Asche was much worse.

            If Asche has a full season in 2014 as bad as he was last year (again, I don’t think he will) he should and will lose his job – and go onto a career as a fringe major league player/AAAA guy.

            1. Now how does his first 179 PAs in the major leagues compare to other 3rd base players ….let us pick another, just one, how about Mike Schimdt’s first year?

          2. And I KNOW that I should have just kept quiet, because this post will just conform in some people’s minds the false impression that I don’t like Asche. I like him, a lot. I think he’ll go on to become an average regular – high praise indeed.

            Plenty of players good on to good or even very good careers despite lousy debuts. But that doesn’t make the debut any less lousy.

            Mike Schmidt of course went on to a HOF career despite hitting below the Mendoza line in his first year (I’m discounting a September call up in 1972 – he wasn’t very good then either). Of course, despite that, his debut actually wasn’t half bad – he WAS an average regular, or even a bit above that, because of the positive things that he did (HRs, BBs, primarily).But he wasn’t what he would become.

            I shudder to bring this up, but Utley’s debut was not great – still a bit better than Asche’s, but I’m sure that the people who are convinced that Asche is Utley’s clone will be happy about that. He went on to a near HOF career.

            1. This is to break up your string of 8 comments in a row so it looks less like you’re talking to yourself.

              You’re welcome 😉

          3. We cross posted, obviously.

            But Mike Schmidt’s first year was, on the whole, much, much better. Far better. Comparable only in BA – in every other aspect Schmidt was much better. Especially in context (offense was lower in ’72).

            But even that misses the point. A lousy debut (or in Schmidt’s case, a mediocre debut) doesn’t become a good or even mediocre debut just because the player gets better later.

            It might be different if all or even most players tended to have “poor” debuts. Then we might not call it a “poor” debut. But, while players typically improve from their rookie performance, the NORM is a line more in tune with what the player eventually accomplishes. MOST players – well, most players that go on to real major league careers – have better debuts than did Asche.

            Now, that’s not necessarily predictive – again, I AM SAYING THAT I THINK ASCHE WILL IMPROVE SUBSTANTIALLY – substantially enough to become a major league player. But, in characterizing his actuall performance, we’re looking to the past, not the future.

            And his actul performance – well, it sucked. He was a replacement level player.

            1. “become an average major league regular”, that is – obviously he is already a major league player.

      3. Of course what makes this whole discussion (sadly) moot is that Howard isn’t going anywhere for the next 3 or 4 years.

      4. And not to beat a dead horse, but a large part of the reason I’m right* is that a contending team needs stars, and the chances of Asche becoming a star at thrid base, or Franco at first base, are small. Whereas if Franco can handle third base, he could be very valuable player. A 4 WAR per year player, maybe even more. That’s the kind of player you build contenders around.

        *Not the whole reason – at the most basic level is’s simply the case, that, all else equal, it’s ALWAYS a mistake to move a player to a less demanding position is he can handle the more demanding position)

      5. I do think that a large part of this – though I seem to be talking to myself at this point – is reluctance to think about parting with either player. Fans are in love with Asche’s intangibles (and probably sense that other teams won’t place a value on them) and in love with Franco’s tangibles (and realize that we’ll need a hitter

        1. Oops, sorry, hit post by mistake. Realized that I needed to get back to work and stop beating this into the ground, and hit post instead of cancel half way through composing this. 😦 Never mind.

  2. I believe this season will answer this situation. A lot will depend on Acshe’s projected ceiling, is he a .750 OPSer or .850 OPSer? Even then you have factor in his defense at third. I would say if Franco projects as a .900+OPSer and atleast an average 3B, then he takes over at third. Also what is out there to play first or if Howard resurrects himself will factor in. I would predict that Asche stays at third. Franco moves to first and Howard is traded to the AL with the Phillies eating half his salary.

    1. If Franco can indeed play an average third base, that would be a poor use of resources, even if Asche hits the high end of that projection (and that’s an incredibly optimistic ceiling for him – even if he breaks through and becomes a star,, I don’t see him exceeding .800. Of course .900 is also quite optimistic for Franco).

      The only way that moving Franco to first makes sense is if he is a major liability defensively at third base.

      And, absent a highly improbable rebound (in which case the Phillies would likely keep him), no one is taking Howard off our hands, even if we eat half his remaining salary.

    2. Note that, even if Asche only hits the low end of your projection – a .750 OPS – assuming roughly average defense – he would have a HUGE value in the trade market. A 24 year old third baseman OPSing .750 with several years of team control? Enormous trade value.

      1. All those benefits…team control and youth… you can also apply to Franco.
        Franco could bring back more in return.

  3. If Franco OPS’ @t .900 in AA/AAA, and Asche OPS’ @ .750 with the Phillies, Franco is the better trade chip based on all circumstances.
    Franco can get you an Archie Bradley, or a Dylan Bundy.
    What can Asche bring back in return?
    I take the risk and move Franco if you can get one of the top young starting pitchers.

    1. Um, leaving aside Asche, Bundy and Bradley are guys who are ranked in or near the top 10 of prospects for all of baseball. Franco is a great prospect, I love him, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen him ranked higher than those guys. Why would those teams do that deal? I am trying to think of a case–ever–where a team traded a top prospect at one position for a top prospect at another position, I don’t think teams address their needs that way, there’s too much risk attached. Plus, if some team is suddenly offering to trade their better prospect for your worse one, shouldn’t you question whether they know something you don’t?

      You’re right that Franco has more trade value than Asche. What he might be useful in getting is a younger arb-eligible player from a small market team that is worried about the long-term.

    2. Franco is not getting you either of those guys, not even close. Maybe he gets you somebody like Mike Foltynewicz, Matt Wisler, or an Erik Johnson type. You aren’t getting one of those elite arms for him.

      But he does have more trade value than Asche

      1. Thats just your opinion. Like I said if he rakes in AA/AAA …he can get you one of those type pitchers.

          1. Ye sit is…..great this America isn’t it? Everyone has the right to free speech and a right to give or voice their opinion.
            Now some are open-minded and see the pros and cons in what others say, then there are those who elect to voice only their opnion thinking it is infallible to any dissent.
            Where do you stand?

  4. It seems that writers here have ignored or missed the FO’s talking about Asche. I believe the FO really means it when they’ve been saying that they view Asche as the team’s near-future Utley…not only as a very good player in the field and at the plate, but also as the team’s leader when Utley’s playing days are over.

    Leadership qualities seen in Asche–a college draftee–are rare to be perceived in a guy new to the bigs. But, they’ve been watching him carefully through his minor lg seasons and their comments should not be taken lightly.

    Already, there have been scouts’ doubts that Franco has enough lateral movement and arm accuracy to play 3rd base whereas Asche credentials include better than average fielding there with steady improvement that seems to promise excellent quality play developing.

    Franco will clog the base paths; Asche is a slighly better than average baserunner
    He was listed as 6’2″ 185 lbs. Now he has added “power” weight to 205 lbs. Look for an increase in HRs and extra base hits…including the ability to run the bases where Franco is a sluggard on the base paths.

    Asche was listed as 6’2″ and 185 lbs previously; now he has added about 20 lbs to gebnerate

    1. …to generate more HRs and xtra base hits, though his record shows power developing at each rung up the ladder.

      Having 2 new guys with hitting ability to add to this lineup makes it necessary to find ways to get both into the lineup at the same time, AND sets the pathway for an internal “youth movement” for this greybeard team that just MIGHT have enough gas left in the tank to make ’14 an interesting one for Phils fans.

      Franco will get more time at AAA LV in ’14 and depending on his success, he could be called up later in the season……or sooner if Howard struggles, but toward Aug-Sept where he could platoon with the Big Piece.

      At Lehigh Valley, Franco will certainly divide his time between 1st and 3rd. Let’s hope he has less trouble with breaking pitches.

      1. Art, I’m not going to get into it again with you – IMO last time both of us ended up looking bad (not for predictions, I think I’ve been almost dead on so far, but for civility).

        But maybe,just maybe, before we anoint him a near hall of famer (Utley) we should at least ,wait until he performs decently in the major leagues. Now, don’t get me wrong, I put little weight on last years debut, lots of players struggle at first and Asche has a history of taking time to adjust to a new level. I still think he’ll be an average regular, which is (a) high praise, and (b) more than most of the “experts” are projecting. And he COULD be more.

        But struggle he did. For perspective, he was worse in every respect (contact rate, BABIP, BB%, defense, defensive position, base running) except power than Rollins, who was having perhaps his worst year as a major league player.

        Will he get better? Yes. Will he show more power? Probably. But the Utley comparisons are ridiculous.

        And Franco is a better prospect.

        But even if you’re 100% right about both Franco and Utley, it would STILL be foolish for the team to move Franco to first, unless he just can’t play an adequate third base.

        1. Listen Larry, your fancy numbers will never be able to quantify that special quality Asche has, that leadership ability, that college education, that flawless English, that fact that he is so … how shall I put this … ashy?

          1. We kid, but I DO put some weight on his “makeup.” I think it is indeed often the difference between success and failure as a major league player.

            And reports of Asche’s makeup are positive, even if I take them with a grain of salt (as I always do). But at some point, it has to show up in the numbers.

            That said, I should have taken a kinder tone I think. Asche’s chance at stardom may be small, but if he reaches it, Art will have every right to say “I told you so.”

            1. I already have LARGE “I told you so”s in that I was the one who told all that Asche would get to the bigs as promptly as he did…when many here ,fascinated by Franco, said Asche be lucky to make it any time. Also, I said his power would increase as he moved up the ladder; it did.

              I also said that his fielding at 3rd base would contnue improvement yielding a better than average guy at 3rd.

              All along, during his rise through the system, all of my predictions about him have come to pass.

              I will repeat my prediction, updated: he’ll be at 3rd base in Philly for quite a few years…doing well, and my personal candidate for All-Star status.

              So far, ALL of my hosannas for Cody and oredictions have all come true, whereas my scoffers have lost at every turn.

              Why haven’t you skeptics appreciated my thinking when it is shown to be accurate, incisive, perceptive, honorable, wise, knowledgeable, and fraught with the meaning of life?

            2. Yeah, Larry, I actually totally agree that makeup is a real thing and it has a huge amount to do with whether a guy makes it or not. And I wasn’t really directing this comment at Art so much as the Philly.com commenter I saw the other day who wrote a comment that went: “I love Asche, I think he is going to be as good as Utley, I just wish he could teach a thing or two about how to play the game the right way to Jimmy Rollins.” And then he went on to slag Byrd and Brown in the next breath. I mean… it’s pretty obvious what is going on here.

              I like Asche a lot and, like you, I have been pleasantly surprised enough by his development to question whether he might be one of those guys whose performance exceeds his physical gifts. We all know those people exist in this world. It’s just that people who talk about sports–and I include journalists, broadcasters, and maybe even team personnel in this category–so often use loaded language when it comes to this sort of thing. Brown is so “athletic” but lacks a work ethic and good judgement; Asche is a hard worker who makes up for his lack of physical endowment with hard work and intelligence. And so on.

              I’m just saying, if there does end up being a competition at third base sometime soon, it is going to get ugly.

            3. Art,

              As I said, I don’t want to get into it with you again and don’t have time either. But you’re acting like you were a lone voice of praise for Asche in 2012, That’s far from the case. Most of us were on board as early as you were, just not as enthusiastically. And your early enthusiasm STILL looks overly optimistic. At least so far.

              MY recollection is that, in the summer of 2012, the consensus (myself included) was that, assuming continued progression, which we felt was likely, he would likely be the Phillies’ third baseman in 2014, maybe with a September 2013 call up. You, on the other hand, were advocating/predicting that he would start 2013 as the regular third baseman.

              In reality, we were off by about a month, and you were off by a couple of months in the other direction. Not sure anyone gets”I told you so” rights on that one.

              Now, it’s true that a few people were more pessimistic (though mostly in the sense that they weren’t buying him as a regular at all – I don’t recall any predictions that he’s be the regular starting in 2015). Those people were wrong. I wasn’t one of them.

              As for all your “other” predictions coming true … THAT’S not even close to true. Which ones, specifically? Of course predictions of stardom haven’t come true, but might. Again, when/if they do you can brag. But they haven’t yet. Your specific predictions about batting average – at one point you were touting him as a .330 hitter – on the other hand, pretty clearly did not come true.

              Look, I’m NOT someone who pats myself on the back when I make a correct prediction, even though my track record is as good as anyone’s around here (partly I admit because I don’t go “out on a limb” with my predictions very often). But while we’re on the subject, so far at least, my projections for Asche are holding up better than just about anyone’s. If anything, based on last season’s frankly disappointing debut, my predictions are looking a little optimistic. But again, I don’t put much weight on that performance – I still think that he will become (as I have been saying since mid 2012) an average major league regular at third base. High praise.

              But again, I don’t want to re-start this,and I don’t have the time either, so go ahead and have the last word.

            4. I’m NOT one of the people who gets down on Howard for “make up” issues. but the contrary argument isn’t very strong either … that is, I don’t give an credence to the notion that the fact that the team’s record is better with him means much of anything. It’s partly coincidence, and partly the fact that the players replacing him in the lineup were, by and large, pretty awful.

              As for his “failure” to “get better” after his MVP year .. two things. One, some players are better able to make adjustments than others, independently of how hard they work. Two, “conditioning” is a lot harder for a guy built like Howard. That is, even a hard working guy that big is going to have his skills deteriorate faster than a little guy.

              Now, that said, unlike Utley and Rollins, where there is IMO positive evidence of good “makeup,” I wouldn’t say the same about Howard. But IMO there’s no NEGATIVE evidence on that front either. The reality is that 95% of all major league players work darn hard at the game. No reason to think Howard isn’t in that 95%. OTOH, Rollins and Utley both are likely in that (say) 10% on the other extreme – guys who work ESPECIALLY hard at improving and staying in shape. Though even THAT is somewhat speculative.

          2. And yeah, it does bug me that the so called good intangible players often have a tendency to have .. pale skin. Though in fairness, I don’t think most people do that do that consciously.

            A guy like Rollins, for example – I think it’s HIGHLY likely that he has worked really, really hard at the game of baseball. The inferential evidence of that is quite strong. He is IMO a really good character guy. Yet the fact that he doesn’t always run full speed on every grounder makes him a object of hate among the Phillies’ fan base. Such a shame.

            1. Charlie Manuel didn’t appreciate Rollin’s lack of running out (apparently Cano has the same problem) grounders either and Sanberg simply won’t tolerate it. So it is more than the fan base. I agree that Rollins keeps himself in shape and is a good character guy. I describe him as a christian Allen Iverson.

            2. also lets not forget the amount of work a mister Howard has put in after his MVP year to get into better shape and get better at fielding. Despite what you think about his results you cannot deny that his work ethic is worthy of praise

            3. FWIW….little trivia on Howard and teams results when he plays…over the last 162 games he has played (two year time-frame) the team has won 93 games.

            4. Yeah, I made my comment above before reading this. I agree. I love Rollins. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a highly successful career after baseball, too.

      2. Art, I love Cody Asche as a prospect and was right with you in early 2012 (while he was in Clearwater), when I said he would be on the Phillies by the end of 2013. But, I view his likely trajectory to be somewhat lower than what you predict (although, believe me, I hope you are right!), but higher than what Larry is expecting. I view Asche as an above-average third baseman who might be in the running for an all-star berth in selected years – a guy who, in his best years, might slug between 20-25 homers, hit close to .285 with acceptable plate discipline and who will be average to slightly above that in the field. Something like a Scott Brosius or Mike Lowell in their primes.

        What I am really secretly hoping is that, after adjusting as a hitter, he can at least try going back to second. I know he failed in a previous attempt, but gosh, if he could play an acceptable second base, his hitting would play there in a big way and Franco could slot into third and, perhaps, Galvis at short.

  5. Not sure if this has been posted elsewhere, but BP has listed their 2014 Org rankings. The Phillies came in lower than what I think many of us would have expected – #25, even after factoring in injuries.

    In this writeup, they highlight the following: State of the System: Injuries to several top prospects have taken the system down a few pegs, but the organization’s ability to find and acquire Latin American talent could pay off in a big way in the coming years


    1. This is not a surprise. As I’ve talked to many folks here in Clerwater the last two weeks, there just isn’t much of note in the system beyond marginal big leaguers and far off high risk guys. Not good gents.

  6. Ethan Martin leaves the game with an injury. Not good, I was looking for him to be a emerging power arm outta the pen this year.

    1. Ryan Lawrence@ryanlawrence21

      Ethan Martin leaves game with shoulder discomfort. philly.com/philly/blogs/p… #Phillies

      1. obviously, this is not good news. We will hope for the best.

        Imagine, however, the level of concern we would have if T. Walker were a Phillie:

        Mariners shut down RHP Taijuan Walker for seven days after exam in Los Angeles reveals shoulder inflammation.

  7. When I hear that a pitcher is experiencing shoulder discomfort, I feel almost the way I do when I see a thoroughbread race horse break a bone. I kind of view that pitcher as being done. I know there are exceptions, but I’ve been watching baseball for over 40 years and I’d have to say that, in my view, less than a third of the pitchers who have a significant shoulder problem come back and throw similar to the way they once did. Those exceptions include Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, so it’s not a a fait accompli that a shoulder injury will effectively end or seriously change a career, but it’s pretty darned close to that.

    But if you ask me today how likely it is that guys like Pettibone and Morgan and perhaps now Martin (we don’t know what his problem is – if it’s a tendon problem it’s likely not a long term issue) will come back and look the way they did before their problems surfaced, I’d have to say it’s not likely at all, although it’s somewhat possible. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

    1. Martin, Morgan, Pettibone and Watson….sounds like it would make a good law firm at this point, versus anything resembling a pitching rotation.

  8. Eliot Shorr-Parks @EliotShorrParks
    Shocker, no PHI..Rt @ChrisCotillo 13 MLB teams are here at @SloanSportsConf: ATL, BOS, CLE, COL, LAD, HOU, MIL, LAA, NYM, PIT, SD, TB, TOR.

    1. CSN Reports:
      Amaro defended his team’s handling of pitchers and their arms. “I love what our guys do medically and what we do to prevent injuries — our stretching program, our routine,” he said. “It’s anatomy. You can’t do much about it. “We do as good a preventive job as anybody. We’re probably one of the most state-of-the-art, medically sound organizations in baseball. Our doctor (Michael Ciccotti) is the president of the doctors’ association of Major League Baseball. “It started way back with [former athletic trainer] Jeff Cooper, as far as us being as up to speed and advanced as we possibly can. Our stretching program, our strengthening program, the things that we do for the shoulder, the studies we’ve done on elbows and stuff — our guys are on top of it. “Sometimes anatomy is just anatomy. What are you going to do? You can’t do anything about it, other than try to prevent it. If the guy breaks, he breaks.”

      1. I have no idea whether the stuff he says about the team being state of the art on pitching rehab and injury prevention. I will say, however, that what Amaro is saying about these things just happening is pretty much true and I don’t see any indication that the organization has been anything but careful with its young arms. It has been less careful with older pitchers, but that was mostly on Charlie and Rich Dubee (Halladay and Hamels often threw too many pitches and Cliff Lee was on the borderline many times as well).

    2. Okay, so most teams are NOT there. If so, why should it be noteworthy that the Phillies are among the majority?

  9. MAG must have been holding back these last few weeks. His curveball was really breaking today. Still has to harnish some control however..

    1. That is definitely a glass-half-full review of that performance!

      1. The guy hasn’t pitched professionally in 2-3 years and had elbow issues that cost him more than half of his original contract. The fact that he was touching 93 and striking guys out with his breaking ball is very positive. Anyone that thought he’d get plugged into the Phil’s rotation was naive. He will need at least half a season of pitching in AAA to get back to what he was and it would be extremely foolish to think he won’t improve significantly from his first professional appearance in several years.

        1. Pitching coach Bob McClure’s assessment of MAG:
          “I saw a very competitive (guy), and that is what I was really hoping for,.I knew it was going to be rusty. I knew that. But it didn’t seem like he was in awe, by any means, and he looked competitive and under control. It wasn’t the results you look for, but I was pleased with how he handled himself and how competitive he was and how he pitched. There were a lot of pluses for me there.
          “And he might be one of those guys that’s not the best practice player, but you put him in a game and he competes his ass off. So, for not pitching in a couple of years, having a major injury (elbow/bone chips removed in 2012), and first game against the Yankees, I thought he was pretty good. Command wasn’t – but the intangibles (were good). Those are the things you look for.”

  10. One thing I’m verrrry interested in see on Matt’s list is where he has MAG. It’s not fair in a way, because he gets to do his after seeing the pitcher MAG appears to be, as opposed to relying on what now seem to have been wildly exaggerated scouting reports. What do other people think? Would you drop him from #4? Drop him out of the Top 10? Drop him out of the Top 20? If he turns out to be what today’s outing and all the bullpen sessions have suggested–a guy who sits in high 80s with some good breaking stuff and poor command–then he’s not even Severino Gonzalez. That said, probably too soon to come to that conclusion–but if I had to do it today, it’s hard to see how he would be Top 10.

    Of course I had Ethan Martin #4, so it’s been a bad week for me too.

    1. MAG stuff, for a pitcher off for 2 plus years, wasn’t that bad. You can see the potential but it will take patience and he will best be suited to start the season in LHV. Not sure how his arm feels now, I guess wew will all know that tomoroow morning, but once he gets his strength he could be a fairly decent #3 in the rotation. IMO, I think after 10/15 starts in LHV he may eventually see the ‘Bank’.

      1. I agree. If you told me before the MAG ST circus began that he would throw between 91-93 in his first ST start and flash a plus curveball, I would have been thrilled. He looks already to have gained several MPH, so let’s be patient. If he can add a few more MPH and gain command, he may very well have the upside we were told was there.

        On Buchanan, I’m thrilled, did anyone see his start that can comment? I was listening on the radio and they said he was sitting 92 or 93 on the FB and mixing in lots of good breaking pitches. If that’s the case, wow, he could really turn into something. And, man, that’s one thing I love about baseball. A guy like David Buchanan – totally under the radar at ever level – gains a few MPH, masters some breaking pitches and, bam, he’s a solid major leaguer. Most people don’t remember this, but Orel Hershiser squeaked into the majors as a 24 year old and did not start out as a big deal, but within a few years he was the best pitcher in baseball. David Cone had a similar start to his career (I saw his first start in the majors and it was a nightmare – he gave up like 9 runs). I’m not comparing them to Buchanan, just observing that, especially with pitchers, this type of late blooming happens from time to time.

        1. The one problem with Buchanan is the lack of changeup. Out of the draft he was 92-93 touching 95 (so the velocity actually isn’t new), with an average slider that he was starting to show good feel for.

          1. Does he have a third pitch? It would be extremely odd for a borderline starting pitching prospect to go through the minors and only throw two pitches. If that’s the case, shame on the Phillies.

            1. He has a changeup, but that doesn’t mean it is a major league viable pitch right now (hence the lack of changeup). It also would not surprise me if he spins a curveball too

        2. Buchanan would not be bad #5 in the back, at this point, but it is early. And if he truly is sitting at 92/93 (not touching) then he should be the guy, if not here then in LHV
          Other news: Ethan Martin due to start throwing again last week of March…so it is LHV for him for sure, which was expected all along, however, Petttibone is throwing again which is encouraging.

        3. Looking at his profile, his K/9 at 5.6 would indicate his FB does not have the last movement you may want, but he does have good control. He turns 25 in May and is close to the magic 500 innings in the MiLB that teams seem to like so he could be one of the first in season call-ups, especially since Martin now will be behind schedule..

  11. Anyone else getting concerned about Asche? He looks lost at the plate and in the field so far, not good. Franco looks like a guy who needs to get more time in the minors which is not unexpected. Other third base options???

    1. As Ruben says in the above posting by anon…….’anatomy is anatomy…..if the guy breaks he breaks’
      What are you going to do!

  12. Mario Hollands came on strong last year. This year he is showing it was no fluke. As a lefty, he may also merit consideration to bolster the rotation.

  13. Cody Asche should only miss 4/5 games with the bruised hand, and be ready for the weekend. How things can quickly change.

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