Reading Report: 5/27-6/1

It was a bit of a busy week for the Fightins, even though this recap will only cover six games. (I cheated a bit and posted last Tuesday instead of Memorial Day.) For the team, it was a bit of a rough go, as they went 1-5 from Tuesday-Sunday. There are plenty of storylines to cover in this week’s recap, so let’s get to it.

It was a bit of an abbreviated week for Cam Perkins, who took a foul ball off the left forearm while leading off of third base on Thursday. He returned to the lineup Sunday, and picked up a hit in three at-bats. He had three hits on Wednesday against Trenton including a walkoff 3-run homer and 4 RBI.

Perkins is now at .342/.408/.495 for the season, and there are legitimate questions about how much longer Perkins should be kept in AA. At this point, is it out of the question to envision a mid-June call-up? Not really. It doesn’t look like Perkins has anything left to prove at AA, and Lehigh Valley could use the bat in the lineup. This is far and away Perkins’ best year in the Minors, and the Phillies have handled him carefully. But now is the time to be aggressive, and a call-up would reward Perkins for what he has contributed thus far in 2014.

There was someone who did get a call-up this past week, however. Tyler Knigge, who has been a bright spot in the system this year, was called up yesterday, and will join the LHV bullpen. He finished his stint in Reading with a fantastic performance on Wednesday, going three innings in the 9-6 win against Trenton. He struck out four and walked none, with an efficient 36 pitches (25 for strikes) in those three innings.

Knigge’s final line for Reading in 2014 (or at least he hopes so): 3-0, 2.12 ERA, 34 innings, 26 hits, 10 walks, 20 strikeouts. Obviously, the question for Knigge in AAA: Can he miss some more bats? That .260 BABIP might not be sustainable.

As we ruminated in this space last week, the Mike Nesseth starting experiment is over. It appears Ryan Demmin will have the job for now. Demmin’s Friday start wasn’t a whole lot of fun, as he went 3 2/3 innings, allowing nine hits, seven runs (all earned), and walked one while striking out one.

Jesse Biddle’s start on Saturday was a bit more what the Fightins were looking for. Biddle went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, three runs (two earned), and walked two while striking out three. As Matt talked a bit about in his “moves for June” notes, Biddle’s name will be talked about within the organization in terms of a promotion to Lehigh Valley.

Biddle has strung together three nice starts in a row, although he hasn’t thrown a whole lot of pitches in each start. We had a question come in on the Reading Report last week as to whether or not he is on a pitch count. As of now, it appears they are handling Biddle carefully, and have limited him to pitch counts of 81, 87, and most recently 85 in his last three starts. We’ll keep an eye on this.

So what about that possible promotion for Biddle? It’s anybody’s guess, but it would seem to still be a little bit away. You would have to think the organization wants to see Biddle put together a nice, long stretch of success before rushing him to AAA. I could see a promotion for Biddle in mid-July if he has a big month of June, but it doesn’t seem like something that is going to be rushed. We’ll take a look at Biddle’s season a little bit later this week with a more in-depth article.

Questions for the week:

  1. Does Cam Perkins get the call soon?
  2. Is Jesse Biddle right behind him?
  3. Will Ryan Demmin grab the 5th starter spot?
  4. Random wild-card question for the week: Do you look at the Miguel Alfredo Gonazlez signing as a failure, or are you willing to wait things out?

What’s ahead:

3 @ Harrisburg, 3 vs. Richmond (a 4th wrap-around game to Monday morning, with the 9:35 AM start time)

14 thoughts on “Reading Report: 5/27-6/1

  1. I would wait a little bit longer on Perkins. He cooled off some in May, with his BABIP regressing and his LD% really falling off. I’d like to see what he does over the next few weeks.

    I don’t look at the MAG signing as a failure right now. He’s still signed for two years after this one, even if it seems pretty doubtful at this point that he’ll pitch in the Phils’ rotation. I’m glad they went after an int’l FA, and to me it seems more like the situation has gone bad because of injury, and not necessarily because the scouts got it wrong.

    1. YOU joke right?? Part of scouting is injury history, why did he go from 48 to 12 million?? This was a mistake on the part of the scouts, fo and medical team, a real team effort,

    2. I agree on the MAG signing. The guy hadn’t pitched in what seemed like forever. It was a crap shoot from the start. His upside is/was pretty high but no one knew how the arm would come back. If he has 1 good year in those 3, it would be worth it. I’d be freaking out if the Phils spent $48M on him. $12M is one solid starter year’s worth.

    3. Too bad they went after the wrong Cuban FA. Solar, Puig….nah, let’s go for MAG. Chr#st….

  2. On the continuum of career success, how close will these three Phillies’ pitchers end up:
    – Kyle Kendrick,
    – Brett Myers, and
    – Jesse Biddle?

    Do they all end up as solid regulars?

    1. Myers substantially above Kendrick. Although he was less consistent, he could pitch like a 2 at times and he was an effective reliever for a time. I’d say Biddle’s projection is still mid rotation. He could end up better or worse, but that’s his slot. I’d project his value as being close to Myers. Less potential than Myers had, but a class act and hard worker, wheras Myers was, to be charitable, kind of a jackass.

      1. I wonder if ranking Myers ahead of Kendrick is both temporary and based more on perception than reality.

        Certainly, Myers was the more highly regarded prospect, but he only had a couple of good seasons, and, most of the time, he barely performed above replacement level.

        Kendrick, OTOH, has over-achieved, given low expectations, and has settled in at comfortable mediocrity. Four more years of the same, and Kendrick could match Myers.

        1. Myers has him by quite a bit on career WAR, and a better adjusted ERA too. Myers had a few legitimately good years as a starter, but I can’t say the same for KK, so I’d have to agree with Catch that Myers is the clear winner.

          I would hope Biddle can have a career similar to Myers’, but maybe without the really bad years like Myers had in ’04, ’09 and ’11.

  3. Myers gets an “A” for his role in the all time Prank played on KK in 2008…..Just think Kendrick for Kobiashi

    1. That was very funny. Kendrick sitting at his locker stunned that he’d been “traded” to team in Japan. Priceless.

  4. Demmin, as reported by Jim, was moved to CLW to be stretched out. I’m not sure who the starter will be in Reading. I’d like to see Perkins and Biddle get called up but I’m fine waiting until the end of June. Neither will get a call up to the big club this year unless all hell breaks loose. Wait?…. I think all hell has broken loose.

    I see the Reading attendance numbers have dropped by 2K per game from 2013. Do you think that’s because the big club is so mediocre or does it reflect the Reading club itself?

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