Box Score Recap – 8/20/2014

Lehigh Valley was stymied by Pawtucket pitching, managing just three hits and four walks. MAG threw two scoreless innings of relief, allowing a walk and striking out one. Kelly Dugan was 2-3 with two doubles plus two walks for Reading as Severino Gonzalez shutout Bowie for six innings and the bullpen completed the job. Gonzalez was throwing strikes, about 2/3 on the night, and he’s allowed 2R, 8H, 4BB and 13Ks in 13IP over two starts since being skipped at the beginning of the month to keep his innings down as he finishes out his first full season as a starter. Seems like the rest did him some good.

Roman Quinn was a triple short of the cycle, including his sixth home run of the year. Art Charles hit his second in as many nights (16), and Mark Leiter was strong over seven innings – he struck out seven after striking out 10 in 6.2 last time out. He’s walked just 35 men in 135 IP this year over two levels. I imagine he’ll start the spring fighting for a spot in Reading’s rotation. Jia Tromp hit his 13th home run, tying a Williamsport franchise record, shared by Zach Green from 2013. And I imagine the off-season can’t come soon enough for Chris Oliver. Another pretty good performance from Denton Keys – 2R 1ER 8H 1BB 6K in 6IP – he’s had four pretty good ones in a row. His offense did just about nothing to support him.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB. http://www.milb.com/scoreboard/index.jsp?sid=milb&org=143&ymd=20140820

8-20-14 boxscores

78 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 8/20/2014

  1. Keys has really stepped it up as of late. He has a really good gb/ fb rate, too. The more I think about it I think he prob. should be in LWood next year. Especially, if Oliver goes to pen.

    1. Some might underrate it because the HRs are down but his other numbers are really good a cross the board: .391 OBP, .838 OPS, 135 wrc+, with a K rate under 20%. Plus other than walks his home/away splits are pretty even.

  2. The Kelly Dugan question figures to be a divisive one when it comes time for the offseason rankings. Nice numbers, but more injuries. I imagine he’ll maybe be in camp for Spring Training, and then maybe go to LHV to wait for a Marlon Byrd trade (if Byrd isn’t traded in the offseason).

    I guess MAG is probably going to get a September call-up, since he’s already on the 40-man and he certainly seems to have done enough since his return to merit a look. If you told me I’d write that sentence in May I would have thought you were crazy.

    Finally, in #shouldakept file: former Rule 5 guy Ender Inciarte hit a big home run for the Dbacks lat night, coming off an 18-game hitting streak:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2168167-diamondbacks-ender-inciarte-has-longest-hit-streak-by-a-rookie-in-team-history

    1. What’s divisive about it? Career bests in BB% and K%. Getting on base at almost a .400 clip and while power is down, its still not bad. Projects to 12-15 dingers and a ton of doubles with a full season worth of ABs.

      1. I’m excited about Dugan. For me he profiles as a 4th OF that won’t hurt you defensively at either corner OF spot while providing LH pop off the bench. And probably room for more

        1. Very reasonable chance he has enough OBP and gap power to be an everyday regular. The baseline for a corner OF’s bat has really fallen since the end of the steroid days.

      2. The counterargument, which I am only making to play devil’s advocate, I’m not sure where I stand:

        1)seems to miss a stretch of time every season with injury
        2)didn’t show HR power this season in a park that tends to showcase it
        3)doesn’t seem to have any scouting buzz around him
        4)David Murphy (in a little Twitter tiff with Matt Winkelman a while back) said something to the effect of he’d never heard anyone within the organization ever talk about Dugan as a potential major league regular. Beat reporters may not follow the system intensely, but they definitely have a sense of who the organization is up on.

        I’m not saying Dugan’s not Top 10, but the offseason argument I foresee (and I could be wrong) is between people who would slot him behind less-finished prospects with higher potential upside. What is the most likely projection for Dugan? Maybe a fringe regular, Cody Asche type? I’d have trouble putting him ahead of guys like Grullon, Tocci, Quinn, Biddle, even if there’s real questions about whether any of those guys will come close to reaching their ceiling, for a variety of reasons.

        1. Two questions for you: Why do you trust David Murphy over Matt and is not Inciarte a Ben Revere light? I trust Matt over David Murphy every time when it comes to prospects and Inciarte looks like a 4th outfielder but not a difference maker.

          1. I don’t mean to demean Matt’s writing efforts, but he’s sitting in Wisconsin and following the teams from afar, while David Murphy is a professional journalist who spends a significant amount of time covering the organization, including the entirety of Spring Training when guys like Dugan are around, taking part in batting practice, drills, games, etc. He also covers Reading games from time to time to keep up with what’s happening in AA. Matt is entitled to his assessment about Dugan, and he may well be right, but as someone who has constant contact with team officials Murphy is probably better positioned to assess the off-the-record opinion and gauge the enthusiasm level about any given prospect within the organization. That was my only point. Sometimes organizations are proven wrong, but they know these prospects better than anyone else. And I was just listing it as one strike among several against him when it comes to making an assessment.

            On Inciarte, I was kidding, I don’t think we should have kept him as a Rule 5 pick. I just thought it was worth noting that he’s had a nice stretch in the majors.

            1. Huh, instead of linking it it just embedded the text, it went on for a little while, Murphy said Dugans swing is a “dealbreaker” and said he had never heard anyone inside or outside the organization say he profiled as a major league regular. Again, just one man’s opinion, but he’s a fairly informed man, at least on the subject of what the organization thinks at this juncture.

            2. I don’t particularly care what the team tells guys like Murphy or what they even think about particular player. From the production to pedigree to scouting reports, Dugan is by all rights a legit outfield prospect. Keith Law for instance last year went out of his way to praise Dugan in the same report he was bashing Franco.

              The prospect sizzle and hype is hard to maintain if you are injured every season and aren’t a particularly high draft pick. As of right now he’s healthy and producing, so I don’t know if he’s at a greater injury risk going forward or not.

            3. Sorry, can’t reply directly Nik, but I’d say you’re totally within your rights to discount the signals the team sends and to buy into a few positive mentions of Dugan by Keith Law. (I actually think he’s said nice things about Dugan a couple times, though I think they were all last year.) I’m just suggesting that if the team was as high on Dugan as Law, we’d probably have heard it by now, and if we’re not hearing really impressive reports about a corner outfielder who has only managed 5 home runs this season, it may be something to take into account in gauging our expectations.

            4. Here is Keith Law before this season:

              Outfielder Kelly Dugan is ranked fourth by Law. “Dugan has a chance to be a solid-average regular if he can tighten up his plate discipline, which fell apart after a midseason promotion to Double-A,” wrote the ESPN minor-league expert.

              His discipline has improved to career highs and the strikeout rate has dropped since then.

            5. In fairness David Murphy doesn’t watch many minor league games. Its debatable how much inside information he is getting from staff in minors. If your really looking to rely on people who are actually seeing it themselves and have proven ability to articulate that….I look to Mitch Rupert (Williamsport) and Eric Longenhagen.

          2. Here’s the whole back and forth over Dugan that I referenced, by the way.

    2. I am reasonably high on Dugan, though I think he needs to show more of the power he showed last year to be a decent major league regular. And I’m less concerned than some are about the injury issues. I think a call up to the majors is possible next year, though 2016 may be more likely.

      But it’s interesting that it took a BABIP fueled August to get other people on the band wagon. (To be clear, I was on the band wagon earlier, albeit with reservations which I still have.)

      1. One other positive – the Oliver projections on Fangraphs, based I believe on last year’s performance, project him as an above average major league regular. The assumption (based on statistical models) is a bit over 20 HR a year. If he can meet that HR projection, I believe that, with the rest of his skill set, he will indeed be an above average major league regular. However, that is a pretty significant “if.”

        1. If he hits 20 bombs a year he’s more than a regular – he’s a building block for the next contending Phillies team.

          1. Well he is not going to have a BA anywhere near .300 in the majors. And his plate discipline looks good but not extraordinary. Same with defense. And I did say “above average” major league regular.

            I guess I depends upon what you mean by building block, but a guy with his skill set who hits 20 HR a year as a right fielder is an above average regular, but not a star. Still, a very nice player to have, especially for his cost controlled years. That’s a ceiling, of course; most likely he falls short of that.

      1. The Phils’ minor league people mention Altherr more than Dugan. I think it is probable that Altherr gets the nod in September over Dugan. Maybe both go up. They need to see as many outfielders as they can, especially since Profrock mentioned the outfield farm hands as the reason why they may not be as interested in Castillo.

        1. Well Altherr’s a bit different due to his CF defense but when I hear them mention him over Dugan consistently I can’t help but think of the organizations love of toolsy project able OFs. (And then I let out a loud sigh)

          1. Is it also possible that Joe Jordan as an experienced evaluator of minor league talent may see something that we don’t from the peanut gallery?

            1. It’s certainly possible, but I myself wouldn’t make any arguments requiring the proficiency of the org’s evaluation of talent, considering they also believe that Ryan Howard is productive enough to play most days.

        2. I don’t think it was that uncommon, heading into this season, for people on this site to favor Altherr over Dugan either. Based on the performance of each so far it seems like Dugan has distanced himself from Altherr, but maybe the Phillies know something we don’t. Maybe he’s been dealing with an injury all year, or maybe they just like him more because of his defensive potential. But if either guy is ready (or close to ready) to face major league pitching in a couple weeks, it’s Dugan.

          Of course, the Phillies are still trying to win games, so they might like to have Altherr up to be a pinch runner/defensive replacement.

  3. Good game for Quinn last night. MAG seems like he is figuring things out at AAA. I think he really needs to be stretched out and be a potential starter for us next season. With questions about Lee, Burnett, Kendrick, and even Williams they will need starters next year. There could be an even bigger hole if they trade Hamels. Our bullpen is already pretty full and there does not seem to be many openings for next year so MAG would be most valuable as a starter. I really hope that Chris Oliver can come into next season and put up some decent numbers. A lot of people had him as a steal in the fourth round, but his numbers have been quite bad. Idk if his lack of success is due to being tired, a mental thing, mechanics etc. Hopefully he can figure some things over the off season and be the guy he is capable of.

    1. Matt W. said that the team is trying some things with his delivery and that he has trouble throwing his fastball for strikes because of the movement on it. Still likes his upside a lot.

    2. I think MAG definitely deserves a callup in September. Even if he does not see much time the experience of what he needs to do at the MLB level will be beneficial this offseason and next year.

      He has pitched well enough in AA and AAA that he can be an asset out of the bullpen.

      I am not sure I want to see him put into a starting role at the MLB level even if they fix his fastball problems. It would be best if he spent a few months starting at LV to stretch out his arm and prepare him for a starting role rather than throw him into the fire.

  4. Jose Taveras has an 8-4 record with a low ERA for a horrible team in the DSL. I think he is in the GCL next year. The GCL team has the second best record in the league. Pujols promotion left a huge hole in the middle of the order and some of their better hitters (Cumana and Zier) have been slumping. Also, Matt Southard has been released.

  5. Who is Jose Taveras and why is it that no one mentioned him? I always notice his stellar stat lines and rarely does anyone bring him up in discussion.

    Also, I saw Dugan last Spring Training and he reminded me so much of Ben Zobrist. Not 2009 Ben Zobrist, but still a pretty good ballplayer. I think he’ll be the RFer in Philly for a long time.

    1. The reason no one is talking about him is that he is 20 years old in the DSL, and frankly none of us no what he throws. It is certainly an impressive year, but it is hard to say more than that and have it mean anything.

      1. Agreed there. If I had to pick one pitcher of that roster who might be an interesting prospect in a year or two it would be Adonis Medina. Still 17 (Edgar Garcia is another 17-year-old doing fairly well), and is getting a handful of starts already. Obviously guessing here and none of the pitchers had announced bonuses, but it is usually the youngest guys that get starts that are worth watching.

    2. Taveras is playing his first DSL season as a 2-year old, turns 21 shortly after the season. That is a bit odd and he is old for a prospect in DSL. Clearly the Phillies saw something they really liked or he wouldn’t have been signed at that age. I imagine he’ll be state-side for 2015. Given his age, I doubt we’ll have a good handle on what we have in him, until he plays in a full-season league. His stats are REALLY good, but I don’t know how much to discount for age in a special situation like his.

  6. Dugan is a top 5 prospect to me. How many players in phillies org have a good first round pedigree. Solid tools in all five areas, maybe nothing great but the hit tool, but avg to above in all areas, and is putting up solid numbers to back it up? There aren’t many. I am so tired of excitement about a ball guys that can’t consistently make contact.

    1. Curious who doesn’t make the top 5 from the following: Franco, Biddle, Crawford, Quinn, Nola. Except possibly for Biddle, it’s hard for me to see ranking Dugan over any of them. I assume it’s Biddle then?

      After that top 5, Biddle is definitely in the mix. But I think you can make cases for Atherr, Imhof and Grullon, There are a couple of others that other people might throw in that mix.

      But he’s top 10, and 5, while IMO a little aggressive, is at least arguable.

      1. Eh.. I dont put Quinn over Dugan at this point. A little too much swing and miss at this point for a speed guy. Although I like them both a lot.

        1. (1) Center fielder versus right fielder
          (2) Huge speed edge (impacts base running and defense both)
          (3) 2 1/2 years younger versus one level higher

          Weighing against that, Dugan is performing a bit better as a hitter (albeit some of that is BABIP related). And his ceiling as a hitter (taking Quinn’s base running out of the equation) is probably a little higher. But not a lot higher. Not NEARLY enough to outweigh those advantages to Quinn.

          You cannot credibly argue that Dugan is a better prospect that Quinn. I would wager that there isn’t a scout or professional talent evaluator that would agree with you. Ranking him 5th behind Crawford, Franco, Nola and Quinn is defensible. Ranking him higher than Quinn is not.

          1. You forgot to mention that Quinn has one more home run than Dugan in roughly the same number of games played!

    2. Down towards the bottom is Law’s assessment from last year. Essentially average tools across the board but approach and ability to develop into an above average RF makes him project as an everyday player

        1. I mean, I hate to be the Dugan basher in this conversation–like I said, I like the idea of having a decent OF prospect at AAA next year–but that was a merely ok assessment, and it’s more than 13 months old. Longenhagen has a more recent one, he said the two biggest questions about him were the approach at the plate and the injury issues:

          http://crashburnalley.com/2013/12/02/the-future-is-unwritten-kelly-dugan/

          So, continued injury issues but an improved approach says to me… I dunno. But I can’t see ranking him in the Top 5, though I can see others making an argument for it, which is why I see Dugan as likely to be a polarizing prospect going forward.

          1. I wouldn’t argue with Dugan being sixth behind the top 5 above. I am an altherr, imhof and cozens fan as well. Cozens could be a future Nelson Cruz type to me

          1. I haven’t see one since the season started. I did see Joe Jordan was asked about Dugan, Collier and Altherr last week said they’ve all made progress but is waiting for one of them to take a step forward with the bat

  7. The other day Jim Salisbury mentioned the Phillies will probably not go hard after Rusney Castillo, he mentioned another Cuban defector that he expects them to go after hard in the off season, does anyone know his name?

      1. Based on numerous daily estimates,If Castillo can command $68/70M at age 27 for 5 years….Tomas, 23-years old, could be a 6/7-year guy @ also $14M per year.

        1. My fear is that someone overpays on Castillo to the tune of $14 million. Given Tomas has a higher potential ceiling, if reports are right, and is 4 years younger his asking price will be much more.

            1. All it takes is one GM to go bonkers and overpay because they desperately need that player.

              Phillies: Byrd, Burnett
              Flyers: Vinny

              Look at our original bid for MAG. It just takes one GM who desperately needs a player to make a splash.

      2. If Ruben can pull off a major coup and sign both Cuban OFers, Castillo and later Tomas, then he could get a mulligan for the past few years of failure for his team..

        1. If Ruben pulled that off he would be strutting around like a kid after their first kiss. He would be very happy to do a press conference the next day as well. While I do not think they will land Castillo, Tomas is a good possibility. Signing both would be a huge shocker and very good upgrade for our OF. You can’t rule it out completely because Ruben is usually very sneaky in his moves. We can hope they sign both, but Tomas is really the ideal player out of the two. If they don’t sign either I think its time we pull out the pitch forks and run Ruben out ourselves.

        1. That money is not going to be used towards the payroll. It will be used to buy Ruben and his colleagues a pizza party every friday which will contain a cotton candy machine, a chocolate fountain, face painting, a pony to ride on, a clown, a petting zoo, a magician, 3 acrobats, a dunk tank, and unlimited capri sun juice boxes. That is why there is so much emphasis on selling tickets. The front office does not want player salaries interfering with their parties.

          1. I agree. The Phillies never exceeded the luxury tax threshold when they were filling the park and winning World Series.

            They are not going to do it with a 90 loss team.

            Oh, Castillo is about to sign a six year, $72 million contract with Boston.

            I think that bumps Tomas up to the $15 million AAV range for the same amount of time.

            …like I said it just takes one GM to overpay.

    1. Remember that a year ago we didn’t think Brown could be this bad. Not to say Dugan will fail (I really like him and ranked him as such last offseason), but remember that the majors are really hard and guys need to constantly make adjustments and on some level you don’t have it until you prove you can do it.

      1. Statistical analysis only adds to the level of complexity. You can key in on how a guy will react given the situation and adjust accordingly.

        That is not to say that hitters cannot adjust because they do but the level of complexity and speed at which adjustments are made can overwhelm guys.

        What they used to do at the lower levels in terms of getting by on natural ability is just not enough.

        1. David I think I am the only one who likes to see a player to judge, In my opinion to judge a guy in the minors based on war and other stats, means nothing to what he would be as a professional. In the minor how many future big league pitchers will you face . You can be a 300 hitter against the O Sullivan’s and other junk, and not hit the good pitching, all the stats will call you a star, that’s why imo so many prospects are overrated, I want to see a guy in person to judge. I guess most believe that is nonsense on here. especially larry. I heard yesterday they were trying to rated Dugan and Quinn how do you do that? without seeing them in person, watching them play. both are coming off injuries. both are at different levels. so there numbers mean nothing imo. I got ripped on brown, but I watched him on numerous occasion and he doesn’t hit good fastballs imo. kills changes up but the league caught up with him and now you see the results, was dead wrong on stuts thought he would be a big league pitcher out of the bullpen. cause I saw him a lot , so what I am saying is how do you rated a guy without watching him play?? its over my head and really confuses me.

          1. I think you need both. Statistical analysis is very good at uncovering trends that one may not find with the eyes. Seeing a player will allow you to find out areas that cannot be uncovered by statistical analysis.

            You need a good marriage of both. One without the other is doing yourself a disservice.

  8. Crawford last night (8/21) went 1 for 3 with a BB. An unremarkable line but a decent one. What’s interesting – not significant, but interesting – he seems to go 1-3 with a BB a LOT. I count 6 times just going back to mid July.

    1. Thus his CLW OBP is .361 over a .284 BA. The kid clearly gets it. A cat and mouse game good hitters play with pitchers. Once you prove you won’t chase balls out of the zone and take your walks the scouting reports will get out. It’s then that you will start to see more pitches to hit.

      It has to ying and yang for them to sustain success

    2. A friend of mine used to joke that Rod Carew went to the Hall of Fame by going 1 for 3 with a walk every night. Actually, if you look at his career line (BA .328, OBP .393, SLG .429) that joke is pretty much supported by the numbers.

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