Box Score Recap – 4/29/2015

Lehigh Valley lost to the Durham Bulls, 9-3.  Dom Brown was in the line up and went 1-4, pulling his average up to .150.  Joely Rodriguez and Jason Berken pitched 4.0 innings each and threw a combined 140 pitches.

Reading beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels, 6-4.  Jesse Biddle gave up 3 earned runs in 5.0 innings, 86 pitches but only one walk.  Ethan Stewart pitched a perfect sixth inning.  Elvis Araujo struck out 4 in 2.0 innings.  Nefi Ogando picked up the save with 2 strike outs in the ninth.  KC Serna (2), Aaron Altherr (2), Cameron Perkins (2), and Brodie Greene (3) had multi-hit games.  Perkins pushed his average up over .200, Altherr is back above .300.  Roman Quinn had a hit and stole his 9th base.

Clearwater was scheduled off after playing 20 days in a row.  They are 10-10.  After 20 games last season they were 5-15 and on their way to a 5-21 April.  Their leading hitter was Pete Lavin (.292).  Their leadoff hitter was hitting .217 (Brian Pointer), clean up hitter .195 (Harold Martinez).  Willie Carmona (.111), Nick Ferdinand (.143), and Justin Parr (.136) were well on their way to playing themselves out of the organization.

Lakewood beat the Augusta GreeJackets, 4-2.  Josh Taylor pitched 7.0 three-hit innings allowing 1 earned run and striking out nine.  Jesen Therrien gave up a run in 2.0 innings but picked up his second save.  Carlos Tocci went 1-3 with a double (and his average dropped to .356).  Rhys Hoskins went 2-4 and crept over .300.

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

Extra Innings –

  • More on Monday’s XST game.  Not only did J.P. Crawford make his first defensive start, but he faced rehabbing, major leaguer Chris Capuano.  The Yankees’ left hander allowed only one hit in his 4.0 innings.  Crawford was the player to get that hit.  A hit off a major league left hander, not too shabby.
  • After yesterday’s rain out, Crawford played 5-6 innings at short today in an intrasquad game.  No chances.  He hit the ball hard in 3 ABs and drew a walk.  Too be honest, he looks bored at this level.  Time to move up?
  • Hoby Milner threw 3-4 innings, mid 80s but only allowed a couple base runners.
  • Yoel Mecias and Yacksel Rios struggled in multiple inning stints.  One was hit around (mecias, i think) and the other was wild, hitting several batters ((Rios?).  In either case, neither impressed.

32 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 4/29/2015

  1. I don’t mind much that Biddle gave up three runs if he only allowed one walk – that’s probably the biggest issue for him.

    Araujo is very talented. I was impressed with him in ST and was actually surprised that he went all the way down to Reading. If he can even show a moderate amount of control he has a future in the big leagues.

    I feel the opposite about Rodriguez. When I saw him in ST I wondered how they could get so little in return for Bastardo. Although he’s a reliever, Bastardo was a controllable lefty with a good arm and some track record. They would have been far better off getting a younger prospect with a better ceiling than getting a AAA arm with little projection. They’ve mostly done quite well in the last year obtaining pitching talent – but I think the Bastardo trade was not a good one.

    1. I believe that you are overvaluing Antonio Bastardo’s value to the Phillies. Bastardo is not tearing up the league with a 4.50 ERA and a very high WHIP this year.

      1. I know he had limited value, but given his stuff and his strikeout numbers he has more value than a AAAA starter – put another way, if the choice is keeping him or trading him for someone who has almost no shot of making the majors and staying there, I’d opt to keep him.

    2. Think you’re overvaluing Bastardo a bit. He was controllable only in that this was his last arbitration season. Will be a FA after 2015.

      I think he was traded simply to clear the decks for their younger relievers.

    3. agree on araujo, he was very impressive yesterday. consistently at 94 and with what looked like an effective mid 80’s changeup. very good command. a big dude. ogando was 95-97 and impressive closing for the second time in the series. he had to pitch to 2 extra hitters in the 9th because alterr and quinn collided on an easy fly ball in right center. you can guess who got the worse of that. it was the center fielder’s ball and the only thing alterr did wrong the whole series. quinn is a very impressive all around ball player but needs to stop striking out so much chasing bad balls.

      don’t know why pierre is playing over martinez, who seems to have improved a lot at the plate (vsss) and made a wonderful pick on a very difficult hop tuesday night. pierre in contrast showed low baseball I Q yesterday. after a walk, single and a walk, he swung at the first pitch for an easy double play. make the pitcher throw you a strike! he just walked 2 out of three. the next inning he made a wild throw on a bunt where he had no chance of getting an out. eat the ball in that situation. the next inning he got picked off first to complete the trifecta ( i thought he was out, the ump didn’t). hopefully these are learning experiences.

      reading had a good series overall but it was against a richmond team that is in a terrible slump.

      1. I don’t know that swinging at a first pitch in that situation shows a low baseball IQ. A walk single walk isn’t exactly throwing 12 balls in a row or even 8. Were the walks on 4 pitches, deep counts etc. Also the 3rd situation, was he picked off or not? You said the ump called him safe correct? Then regardless of what you thought, he wasn’t picked off. I think HM should be playing more considering he’s hitting and was a 2nd round pick. Then again Pierre was also once a highly regarded international signing from the DR (Blue Jays signed him for 700k, traded to the Phillies for JM Jr), only tool it seems that he still has is his arm. Also unless Aarujo picked up a change up (to my knowledge he hasn’t) , it was a slider that he was using as his secondary pitch.

  2. I blinked and Hoskins is hitting over .300. Two guys in CLW are holding him back: Walding and Zack Green. Walding is the same age as Hoskins. Green’s a year younger. Both Green and Walding are sub .200. If Hoskins continues to hit well, with some pop, either could be moved back to Lakewood and promote Hoskins. If Walding is demoted, Green would go back to 3rd, where I think he belongs. Hoskins would play 1st in both scenarios.

    1. I think Joe Jordan likes to fast-track collegiates who do well.
      If Hoskins keeps this pace up, I can see him getting the promo to CLW in June/July.
      And would not surprise me if they also target him for the AFL in the fall…but getting ahead of myself now.

  3. Final game of my three day trip yesterday.

    Biddle got the win but it wasn’t pretty. Up and down performance by him. His fielders also contributed to the problem. They committed an error on a bunt to 3rd and the 2b bobbled (did one of those flip the ball in the glove tricks except the ball didn’t come out of the glove). The errors seems to throw Biddle off his game. Looked like he started to press. After the error on the bunt, he allowed four straight hits.

    Where Lively and Nola were all right around the plate. Biddle was missing more. He seemed to really trust his fastball and used that when he needed too. He is also a flyball pitcher. I think he only had two ground ball outs in his 5 innings.

    Overall, he battled but inconsistent.

    Elvis Araujo came into the game and gave them two strong innings. I guess he has also been inconsistent this year but he was “on” yesterday. I think he throw 93-94.

    Nefi Ogando came in to close the game. He did his best Mitch Williams impression. His second pitch hit the backstop going 95. Next two where up and in to the batter but he battled back. He was 94-95

    Quinn and Altherr collided on a routine fly ball. The official scorer ruled it an E8 but I believe they later changed it to a hit. Home cooking there. (The official scorer also gave the win to Ethan Stewart only to correctly change it back to Biddle since he pitched 5 innings and they pinch hit for him in the top of the 6th where the Fightin’s took the lead).

    Altherr had a clutch rbi double.

    My wife just won 8 passes to the Reading Phils at a silent auction so I’ll get more chances to see them. This time closer to home.

    1. Having followed and watched Biddle for a while now, I think I have a feel for his “issues” and what he needs to do to succeed. Biddle’s challenge is that, while he has a good fastball (it’s 55-60), it’s not a dominant pitch and he only has average command of the pitch, so he needs to mix it up with other stuff. The curve is a devastating pitch, but his command of this pitch is inconsistent and better hitters simply won’t swing at it unless he’s far ahead in the count or consistently getting it over for strikes. I think his command of the curve can improve, but by how much is unclear. As a result, long term, unless he can really master the curve, his success will be tied to developing his change and improving his overall command. His upside is high (3 or even a 2) if he can do that and if he can’t he’ll probably still make the majors, but he’ll be a 4 or a 5. But when you watch him, you realize how good Nola, Eflin and Lively are with their command. I think Eflin has some big time upside and I wouldn’t worry too much about the strikeout numbers – he throws a lot like Roy Halladay and Doc didn’t post good K numbers early in his career either.

      1. You are way overvaluing him. No way his FB is close to a 60 pitch. and no way his ceiling is even close to a 2. he is 23 and in his 3rd season at AA and still struggling with control and the mental parts of the game. we all want to believe, and hope, but the reality is he is a #5 that maybe plays a few years. if he was in another system we would have zero interest in acquiring him. zero

        1. I said 55-60; 50 is average – his FB, especially when he has good life on it, is definitely above average. His curve, when he can command it, is a 70 or better pitch – it’s filthy.

          I know many are down on him and I get it and your concerns are valid. My point is that there is a fairly large range of outcomes with Biddle, the downside of that range is more likely, but when he has his good stuff he can be nearly unittable. I know, I’ve seen it in person at least 3 times.

          1. 70 curve huh? I have not seen that anywhere. The “when he commands it” part kinda is the point.

            Sometimes I feel that people forget how big of a leap it is from AAA to the pros. It is night and day. Every flaw is magnified. Every weakness is exploited. To be a sustainable quality pitcher at the MLB level you need to be really good all the time. Not just show flashes. Maybe flashes are fine as a 19 yo. But not as a 23 yo.

            1. You think I don’t “get it” – I do!!! His command is inconsistent. I get it!!! That’s my whole point. But you seem to think that all pitchers stop developing when they are 23 – tell that to Cliff Lee. I am telling you that when he is able to command the curve, it is freaking unhittable. If he can’t command it or better develop the change, he will be a 4 or a 5 at best. There’s no disagreement on that. What I’m saying is that if he does develop, he has more upside and can flat dominate professional hitters. But, yeah, that might not happen and in fact that probably won’t happen.

    2. I think we would all value Biddle differently if he wasn’t a Phillies prospect.

      Imagine a scenario that he was with Boston and being discussed as a potential trade chip. I think we would be bashing that scenario on here. He is just not as good as we want him to be.

      1. MLB.COM has his FB at a 55 and I’d have to agree that that’s where it’s at especially coming from the left side. His upside is a decent 2 solid 3, that’s his ceiling if everything breaks right.

        1. MLB.com also has him as an overall 45 grade which is a #5 starter.

          Fangraphs has his fastball at a 50 and his overall grade at 45 as well.

          we can all hope, but objectively, he is no where close to a #2 or even #3.

          btw, both give his control a 45 grade.

          1. So you agree with them on one but not the other? Picking numbers that go w your argument but dismissing others are we? 😉 jk. I believe those numbers are where he is at this very second, not what he can be or is projected to be. Right now if he was a 4 or 5 I’d take it but right now he’s in AA and had work to do. By all accounts so far his command and control have been better then the past.

            1. A 55 pitch is not a 60 pitch. And I don’t care if he has a 55 fb. He has 45 control. That is literally all I need to know. He is 23 in 3rd season in AA and has been plagued by control issues entire career. In the show the strike zone is smaller and hitters are more selective. Weaknesses get magnified. You are free to hope if you want. But I don’t see him as anything more than a short term #5. He will get his cup of coffee. But I wouldn’t bank on real value from him. Hell he isn’t even the 2nd best pitcher on his own AA staff. Maybe not even the 3rd best.

            2. Well you said that it’s NO WHERE CLOSE to a 60, 55 isn’t that far off from a 60. Most scouts and publications say that he would be a 2/3 if all goes right with him or if he reaches his ceiling. Yes this is his 3rd season in AA but with starts it’s more like his 2nd season and first where he’s completely healthy. Nothing wrong with being 24 and a rookie, if all plays right that’s where he would be.

  4. Josh Taylor is really a surprising ‘prospect’.
    Twenty-two-year old UFA out of a small Georgia college. Maybe a little overaged for his current level but he is big, strong and a LHP that throws low-90s. Add a quality CU and breaking ball and he could really be a pleasant surprise. And if he gets stronger maybe can touch mid-90s. Would like to see how he would do against Florida League hitters down the road.

    1. Matt Winkelman predicted him to lead the organization in strikeouts this year and he’s on pace for more then a K/9. How does a 6’5 225LB LHP who sits in the low 90s go undrafted? Hard throwing LH starters with his size doesn’t grow on trees. Could be a good find by the Phillies scouting department.

      MLBTRADERUMORS.com (a FanGraphs article linked by MLBTR) had an early preview for the 2016 draft (and even 2017 draft) my pick for next year who I’ve talked about, local product Jason Groome, LHP IMG Academy was ranked at number 8 for next year with a chance he jumps into the top 5. Here’s what they said about him:

      8. Jason Groome (17.8), LHP, IMG Academy HS (FL), Vanderbilt commit: Groome is another guy with a chance to jump into that top 5, elite group, He’s very young for the class, a projectable 6’6/180, has a zero-effort delivery and is regularly 89-93, with reports he’s been as high as 97 mph this spring. The off-speed stuff is more 50-55 right now, but there’s more than a few of the positive Brady Aiken indicators here and there may be even more upside.

      Having seen him in person coaching against him as a 15 year old, he’s the kid I want to draft next year.

    2. I first saw Taylor in a GCL game at Dunedin’s complex last summer. Jays’ officials were asking Wolever where he found Taylor and Zgardowski. (I think he said he signed them both out of a showcase camp for undrafted free agents.)

      1. Both were signed out of the Northwoods League (college summer wood bat league) showcase here in Madison (for the leagues best prospects of any level). Both were working out of relief showing velocities in 92-94 range touching higher.

        Both Taylor and Zgardowski were at junior colleges for two years and then spent 2014 at small schools with poor numbers. I know that Zgardowski saw a 2mph jump last summer, I am not sure about where Taylor was before last summer.

      2. So far, have to give Marti a little credit there for finding them and perhaps ‘stashing’ them from other team’s scouting eyes.

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