Box Score Recap – 8/29/2014

Let me say this first about Aaron Nola – he’s a 21 year-old coming to the end of the longest season of his life. He’s managed to get guys out at A+ and AA this year to the tune of a 1.07 WHIP. So that’s all well good and fine. But his K Rate at AA is only 5.63 or a K% of 15.3. His FIP at Reading (in a small sample, like the rest of these stats) is 4.90. Anyone who expects him to walk into the Phils rotation next year without some hiccups is asking to be let down, IMO. Not saying this guy isn’t going to be a mid-rotation guy for the better part of his career, barring injury – scouting eyes that know their stuff think that’s still the case, and I have no reason to doubt their consensus will fall apart. Just saying he’s young and has things to work on just like everyone else.

Couple game notes – Cam Perkins went deep – just his second AAA home run and fifth overall. Roman Quinn hit his seventh homer and stile his 31st base. Brian Pointer was 1-3 plus a walk and two steals. His wRC+ sits at 120 for the year. Nice job by him of overcoming that nightmarish start. In the second half he’s got 27 BB and 27 XBH. He’s not showing a hug platoon split, either – just 60 OPS points. I’ll take it. Jia Tromp hit his 14th home run, breaking a franchise record. Take that, Zach Green! And a nice line from David Whitehead, finishing up a comeback from TJ season. He’ll likely need to strike more guys out, but he does keep the ball on the ground, so that’s useful. We’ll see how he fares in 2015.

And one last note – Yacksel Rios? More like Yucksel Rios, amirite? Not a great closer for the promising righty, is what I’m trying to say.

With that – here are the boxes. Three days left, folks.

Here’s the affiliate Scoreboard from MiLB.

8-29-14 boxscores

38 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 8/29/2014

  1. Nola also gave up 4 homers in just 24 innings with Reading. Obviously he’s sort of a flyball pitcher and that park can be unforgiving for those guys. I think starting next year in Reading could be a good thing for him, if it goes that way. It’s been a very promising debut for him but I agree that he’s still got some things to learn and could benefit from more time in the minors.

    Pointer has surprised me by keeping his production going through the end of the year, but I still see that his K% is high- higher from June-August than it was in April-May actually.

  2. I was at the game last night with Nola. Agree he has a lot to work on BUT he showed some maturity. Trenton had 2nd and 3rd, no outs, and Nola pitched out of it. He also has an horrible team behind him, imo. He initially was at 91 mph but later in the game he was around 87 mph. Nola looks a lot different than any other pitcher I have seen pitch in MILB. Not sure why.

    1. sad part is whether he’s in aaa or with the phillies next year he’s gonna have a horrible team behind him again so he may as well get used to it. glad the article mentioned his low k rate. wonder about his upside. most of these high draft picks seem to have games where they dominate. haven’t seen that from nola. seems like a mike leake sorta guy. nothing wrong with that though

      1. Mike Leake’s been who he’s been compared to since he was drafted but his ceiling is slightly higher.

    2. Wow. It just isn’t NOLA with a horrible team behind him. That is a problem across the entire organization. Can’t believe it took you until the last week of games to figure that out.

    3. Were you getting his speed readings from the scout guns, because the stadium was reading 93 and 94 in the 4th and 5th innings along with a low of 89. As far as the team playing behind him, the outfield defense is probably one of the better defenses you’ll see in MiLB. I posted video of Nola’s 1st 3 innings last night at :

  3. I was at the game last night and I liked what I saw. He only gave up hits to two guys, they had 2 apiece. He hit 94 a couple of times. The kid lives down in the zone. I was right near the Philly on deck circle, 3rd row from the field. He was at the knees the whole game, with all of his pitches.

    What may end up hurting him, like with cliff lee at times, is that he is always around the plate. Sometimes a little too much. Only once did he bounce a slider. But for the most part, he knew the situation and worked out of a couple of jams very well.

    2nd inning, I believe he had 1st and 3rd, one out with mason Williams coming up. Mason was top100 recently, although I don’t know why. He throws him a first pitch slider which he rolls over into a double play.

    Then in the 5th, he had 2nd and 3rd, no outs. He busts mason in with a first pitch fast ball which he pops up to short. Next guy pops out to short on the second pitch I believe, and the last guy grounds to third to end the threat.

    Even though it was the bottom of the order, he got himself out of trouble both times. He did give up a couple of hard hit balls, but they were right at the outfielders.

    He definitely out pitched the big, new, shiny Luis severino of the yanks. Reading hitters were unbelievably patient with him.

    Jake fox seems like a really nice guy. That’s all!

  4. Pujols is up to 200, Perkins up to 213, and has anyone noticed what one of my favorites Herlis Rodriquez is doing? He’s one good game from finishing over 300 at A+ which is pretty good. As for Nola, I’m sure he’s plenty tired at this point and he’s exceeded my expectations. Having said that, he ends to start at reading next year and not be rushed. He’ll be up the following year for sure. What’s the rush? They’ll stink next year regardless. Three runs on no hits last night… Little league ball…. They really need to sign the Cuban LF and he’s going for big bucks at 23 yrs old.
    What is the big decision on promoting Franco for a month? It’s not like he’d be missing game action by only playing once a week. The fans, US, want to see Franco. Let’s go!

  5. Franco is not on the 40 man roster so the Phillies have to buy his contract and release someone from the 40 man. It is not a simple decision like ‘hey call him up.’

    There are other factors to consider including his service clock, where does he play, options, and arbitration.

  6. Thanks to everyone for all of the box score reports.

    Nola looks good and I think a full year in AA will serve him well. He has done well but still has a lot to learn.

    That said, what we are seeing so far is positive.

  7. Perkins is having a nice little hot steak before the season ends. I would like to see more strikeouts from Nola as well. He is around the zone a lot so I would guess guys can put the ball in play more easily than a guy who works off the plate more. I think next season we will see some more strike outs. He has thrown a lot of innings this year so with some rest and the experience he’s gained so far I think the ks will come. He has pitched just about as well as we could have hoped for and I like him a lot going forward.

  8. Austin Wright has had a tough transition back after his surgery. I look forward to his return to form next year. Grenny Cumana stopped hitting suddenly. His average dropped over 100 points in less than amonth. Is he injured? tired? Marrero started red hot and finished ice cold. I was beginning to think he was capable of advancing a couple of slots, but now I don’t think so. Colt Murray continues to do well. I can’t wait to see how he does in the AFL. Roman Quinn and Chris Serritella are tied in home runs hit. Serritella had a 70 power rating when he began his career. What happened? Quinn looks like he hasn’t skipped a step.

  9. Was that a Mike Adams sighting in the Iron Pigs box score? Anyone have first-hand knowledge of how he looked? Oh – not to come across like a big expert, but Jason Marquis also seems like he may not be quite ready to step back into a MLB starting rotation role

    1. He got the 1st 2 outs on 1 pitch each. A rocket to 3rd and a rocket to left fielder. Last batter got 2 quick strikes, ended with a lot of foul balls and a 9 pitch strike out.

    2. I was at the game. He wasn’t as good as the box score would indicate. First out was a line smash that Franco somehow caught. Second out was a lined rope to the OF. It wasn’t as if he was fooling the opposing hitters or that his stuff was too much for them. You could say that for a clean inning, he was damned lucky.

  10. I think we all need to temper our expectation for this organization over the coming years. There are some pieces on the farm and some pieces in the lineup. Will they turn into a future contender? Who knows. Will they turn in All Stars? Who knows.

    But we have some good prospects for the future where a year or so ago the cupboard was dry.

    We need to be patient and realize that the Phillies are not Wildcard hopefuls and on a rebuilding tract.

    This offseason the team needs to make important decisions and a variety of moves to set the path forward for the future. It will be a long and sometimes painful process but the team needs to make important decisions this offseason and set the course for the future.

    1. Al the more reason we don’t need salary flexibility in the short term (and will have it int he long run regardless as contracts expire. 🙂

      Okay, I’m not really trying to reignite that debate. Obviously I mostly agree with this post, except for qualified disagreement with the last sentence – I’m not sure this off season is so key. Except that I do want them to sign the Cuban kid – whose name escapes me (though it looks like I am not the only one who forgets his name).

      Also obviously I’d like to see them move on from Howard – and the organization seems to agree. The questions are whether they will find a taker, and, if not, will they bite the bullet and release him. And I’d like to see them shop some of the other vets, but as I’ve said more than once, with no prospects knocking at the door that is, at the relevant positions), I’m not sure it matters much. Even with Papelbon, who I would like to see gone, it isn’t a huge deal. Giles is going to pitch as much as a set up man as he would as a closer.

      A big decision may come next June at third base. Too early to say for sure how it will turn out; Franco remains the higher upside player.

      1. They might feel they need more salary flexibility to be able to spend big on a Cuban. Salary flexibility might allow them to pick up a youngish salary dump next season. We aren’t going to win next season, so it makes little sense to bloat the payroll with aged players. Salary flexibility is exactly what it says. It is the ability to seize an expensive opportunity when it arises — whether that opportunity is a Cuban, a Japanese player, or a trade which requires taking on substantial $. A great failing of RAJ in past years, including the current year, is that he allows himself no salary flexibility and is thus forced to do stupid things. That’s why such a high proportion of Burnett’s salary is pushed into next season. That’s why we give so many options and extra years. A GM with greater salary flexibility pays more up front and saves later year aggravation. There is absolutely no reason for the Phillies to go into next season with an MLB salary budget riding at or within hailing distance of the luxury cap limit.

        1. First of all, you keep repeating that story about Burnett’s contract and no one has bothered to call you on it, but you are dead wrong.. You’re misinterpreting the contract. In terms of the luxury tax threshold – all that matters – the contract is not back-loaded. He has deferred money next year that counts against this year’s threshold. If he doesn’t retire – I expect he will – he’ll make the same next year as this year.

          That said, lack of salary flexibility hasn’t really been the problem in the past. I mean, I know the kind of moves you are referring to – but frankly signing or trading for cheap veterans over the past couple of seasons was a GOOD strategy. Where Amaro went wrong was, in some cases, talent judgment as to WHICH cheap players to sign or trade for (the Youngs, e.g.). You can make the argument that the Lee trade was a result of a lack of salary flexibility. I think that’s too simplistic, but let’s grant that one for the sake of argument. The CURRENT situation is different. The team just doesn’t NEED to spend a ton of money, and probably shouldn’t. Heck, too much salary flexibility might even be counterproductive, as the team might use that money on a long term deal for a FA (as opposed to the mostly short term deals for the current veterans) which might hamstring the team when they are ready to compete again.

          “They might feel they need more salary flexibility to be able to spend big on a Cuban” is speculative at best and makes no sense at all. Even if Thomas went for an absurd price – say 20 million AAV – they could sign him without going over the luxury tax threshold – and there is no reason in the world to imagine for a second that they wouldn’t approach the threshold if they could sign a young slugger.Sure, they might get outbid, but there’s just no evidence at all that shedding salary would impact their bidding strategy. You’re doing what you sometimes have done in the past – assume without evidence a deep, deep irrationality that is improbable at best. Yes, the organization has made foolish choices – but always choices which make sense given certain (often dubious) assumptions. (Again to be clear – it is possible that they will lose a bidding war because they tend to under value players who aren’t major league “proven” players – but no reason to think that “salary flexibility” would matter.)

          “ability to seize an expensive opportunity when it arises” is just silly. A team that isn’t a contender does not generally want to look for “expensive opportunities.”. Trades are of course 100% off the table. There is literally no player in the league who meets the following three criteria: (1) expensive, (2) worth picking up for a rebuilding team, and (c) obtainable for a package that it would make sense for the Phillies to pay. Not one. As for international players, as stated they have plenty for the one guy they are likely to target.

          Really Allentown you’re a sensible guy, but you’re so invested in getting rid of the older players – i.e., the team’s five best players, and, except for Giles, their only good players on the team – a couple other might become good players but aren’t now – that you’re manufacturing reasons to do so.

          Again, some of these guys should be placed on the market for other reasons – I mean, you DO have a point that keeping these guys for next year doesn’t matter THAT much -, sure they would lose 120 games if they traded ALL of them, but no sensible person is advocating that -, but salary flexibility certainly isn’t one of the reasons. (Again, it would be nice to shed the bad contracts – Howard, Papelbon and arguably Lee because of the injury – but even there it isn’t as if there is a practical use for the money in the short run).

    2. Was the cupboard dry a year or two ago, and has it really filled that much since then? There’s always hope for guys in the low minors, so we see the scouting reports and think the hope and psyche ourselves that there is already a lot more down on the lower levels than there actually is. We’ve been saying that there’s a lot of strength low down on the farm for years now and as the players progressed, the results haven’t been as expected.

      The top guys in the system are Crawford and Franco, but they were there last season. So was Quinn. Franco’s star actually shone brighter then. We’ve added Nola, and like Crawford, he is a really serious talent. However, compared to last year and especially 2 years ago, Biddle has slipped. Two years ago, Morgan looked like a mid-rotation major league starter by now. His and Watson’s and Pettibone’s return from arm injury are at least iffy. Mecias looked brighter pre-injury than he does now.

      Going back two seasons, there was more hope for Collier. Going back a year, more hope for Altherr. Dugan has come on this year. A season ago Asche was a very solid minor league prospect. Now he’s graduated. Same with Giles.

      A year ago Rupp seemed a solid prospect. Two years ago Joseph did as well. Grullon has come on, but is far down in the low minors.

      I think we are deeper in mid-level prospects than we were a year ago and especially compared to two seasons ago. There are a lot more promising Latin American guys in GCL than there had been. Imhof seems a legit prospect.

  11. For those saying that Franco needs to be put on the 40 man roster, do you really think that it is that hard to release a guy like Reid brainiac or someone similar? This 40man is not filled with young budding stars, so save your breath with that excuse .

    1. If it was such an easy decision it would have been made by now.

      Just because he had a great month it does not ensure a callup.

      The organization is trying to get Asche his bats and wants Howard to pad his stats so that he can look more attractive for an offseason trade (doubtful but that is their intention.)

      The big roster is a mess right now and Franco’s splits, while nice, indicate a lack of plate discipline.

      If he comes up and strikes out a lot what do you do?

      1. And it wouldn’t be made by now, they want him finishing the season in AAA. However the decision is prob already made but it’s not time to call up yet.

  12. From college pitching once every 5-6 days, Nola has added a lot of innings to his season in the pros. His adjustments to pro ball have gone well so far….How long ago–if ever–did we have a draftee compete in AA ball closely after signing?

    The key to Nola is his command plus some good pitches that are under pro development, as we would have expected. these refinements MIGHT bring about a late ’15 call-up to the bigs.

    If we add refining his pitches to his command it seems to me that he is likely to become a #2 and later a #1.

    Nevertheless, I hope we still go for college pitchers in the early rounds of the ’15 draft. Of course that could depend on what player=prospects we receive in trade(s) over the off-season. And, of course, the NECESSARY signing of that 23 yr old (?) Cuban outfielder a la Epstein.

    1. Yasmani Tomas is the Cuban power prospect who plays OF. I couldn’t agree more that we need to sign him. Watching Soler crush three home runs already makes me want Tomas even more. These cuban sluggers are legit! Obviously each player is different, but I think Tomas will be successful in the majors.

      I do not quite agree with your evaluation of Nola. I am high on Nola and thought it was a smart pick at the time (and an even smarter pick now). IMO Nola is most likely a number 3 starter with the potential to be a number 2. I am not going to rule out Nola becoming a number 1, but I think its a bit of a stretch.

    2. A college pitcher isn’t a sure thing. Had we finished slightly better in last year’s standings, we don’t get Nola. We are now set to draft about #10. That’s past the point where the primo/high probability talents in the draft often end. Certainly too late in the draft to say we want a college pitcher rather than simply taking the best talent remaining on the board. There’s really no reason to focus upon a college pitcher anyway. It’s not as if we had a plenitude of bats in the system.

  13. IMO, the way to success in MLB is through pitching. We do know that our collection of prospect pitchers would not make us jump with glee. Nola is a good start; more is needed to allow us to think in terms of post season play.

    For our ’14 draft I was pleading for college pitchers who could journey to the bigs in time shorter than H.S. player-pitchers. With no time to waste, I advocate gathering pitchers first and all else later. I’d be happy to add a superior pitcher as our first or second pick in ’15.

    Despite opposition here to the pleas for college pitching first up in ’14, the FO agreed and we now have Nola. I’d like to believe that they listened to me in making that pick….but it was obvious to people who were paying attention to the state of our pharm.

  14. Good night for the affliates.
    Ethan Martin and Sev Gonzalez with a good showing on the mound..
    Pujols and Pullin also did very well at the plate.

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