Monthly Archives: September 2015

Florida Instructional League – Game #2, 9/29/2015

Tuesday’s game against the Yankees provided a mixture of good, indifferent, and poor pitching with a very little bit of offense.  Starter Matt Imhof and reliever Felix Paulino both had poor outings.  Alexis Rivero and Will Stewart chipped in with satisfactory innings.  And Luke Leftwich and Kenny Koplove both pitched well.   Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #2, 9/29/2015

Prospect Discussion: Week of September 28th

Here’s an open discussion thread about minor league prospects.  Phillies’ talk and other non-prospect discussion should remain in the Open Discussion.

This is an open format for any minor league prospect you want to discuss.  This week I’ll introduce catcher Chace Numata to start the discussion.  Chace has had 6 injury-plagued seasons in the Phillies organization.  But the coaching staff thinks highly of him, and he was clocked with the best pop time in the organization this year.

  • Chace Kekoa Kenji Numata, catcher
  • Bats both, Throws right
  • 6’0, 175 lb.
  • Born 8/14/1992 (age 23)
  • Drafted by the Phillies in the 14th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Pearl City High School (Pear City, Hawaii).
  • 2010; GCL Phillies (age 17, -2.7)
  • 2011; GCL Phillies (age 18, -2.0) injured, didn’t play until mid-August
  • 2012; Williamsport (age 19, -2.1)
  • 2013; Lakewood (age 20, -1.6)
  • 2014; GCL Phillies (age 21, 1.2) injured, played about 2 weeks in August
  • 2014; Melbourne (age 21, -3.0) in the Australian Summer League
  • 2015; Clearwater (age 22, -0.6) played first 4 games in Lakewood in early May

Phillies’ catchers share time in the GCL.  No one catcher gets a lot of innings or at bats. Numata finally got 184 plate appearances in 2012 at Williamsport where he put up a .233/.287/.319 slash.  He followed that with a full season at Lakewood in 2013 where he posted a .231/.307/.305 slash.

Numata exhibits good skills behind the plate and the Phillies planned on bumping him up to Clearwater in 2014, but another injury derailed those plans.  He returned to get 27 plate appearances in the GCL before heading off to Melbourne for winter ball.  In Australia, Numata broke out with a .259/.293/.322 slash.

He continued to show improvement at the plate with a .263/.322/.324 slash in 2015 at Clearwater.  In addition, he threw out 24 of 40 base runners (37.5%) and was charged with only 2 errors.  While he had a team high 11 passed balls, pitchers had a team low 3.06 ERA when he was behind the plate.

He went 0-3 in 2 games in the playoffs with 2 walks.

Assuming Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro get the lion’s share of innings at Lehigh Valley and Reading, and with Deivy Grullon prepared to move up from Lakewood, Numata might begin the season as the starter in Clearwater with some roster shuffling by June.



Florida Instructional League – Game #1; 9/28/2015

The Phillies played their first Florida Instructional League (FIL) game Monday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.  Because of a 70% chance of rain, I went over early and was able to watch Franklyn Kilome start the game at noon instead of the 1:00PM scheduled start time. Continue reading Florida Instructional League – Game #1; 9/28/2015

Open Discussion: Week of September 28th

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

  • Aaron Nola tossed 5 scoreless innings Saturday against the Nationals.  It became his last start of the season when the Phillies decided to shutdown Nola for the rest of the season.  Nola scattered 6 singles and struck out five while walking none.  In 2015, Nola threw a career high 187 innings.  He started 13 games with the Phillies and pitched 77.2 innings (there goes his prospect status).  Nola posted a 6-2 record with a 3.59 ERA.  He struck out 68 and walked 19.
  • With Nola and Adam Morgan both shut down, the Phillies will go into the final week of the season with David Buchanan and Alec Asher starting the first two games of the Mets series.  Jerad Eickhoff will likely start the third game.  After a bullpen game in the series opener with the Marlins (in Nola’s spot), the Phillies will probably finish the season with Aaron Harang and Buchanan on the mound.
  • The Phillies are in good shape in their drive for the top pick in the draft.  They have 97 losses with 6 games to play.  Their “magic” number is 4 over the Atlanta Braves. Any combination of 4 Phillies’ losses and Braves’ wins should lock up the pick.
  • The only other team that can pass the Phillies is the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds have 92 losses with 7 games left.  The Phillies hold the tie-breaker with both teams (lower 2014 winning percentage).
  • The first Intructs game is tomorrow in Dunedin.  If anything interesting occurs, I’ll post a story.
  • I’ll post the Weekly Prospects Discussion tomorrow.

Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL

We conclude our player report cards with a look at relief pitchers at the lower levels.  A caveat here, below Lakewood there is very minimal (if any) analysis and grades as I haven’t seen most of these pitchers and their sample size is extremely small.  It becomes guesswork at that point, which I feel obligated to stay away from.


Jason Zgardowski, 21, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 34G, 4-1 with a 3.12ERA; 57.2IP 36H 26BB 54K; .184 opp avg; 1.08 WHIP; 1.08 GO/AO; 4.1BB/8.4K per 9; .176 vs LHH, .186 vs RHH, .180 last 30 days.  An excellent year for Zgardowski was went undrafted last year and was a very good find.  He throws very hard and was overpowering at times for Lakewood.  Walk rate needs some work.  Grade: A-; 2016: CLearwater

Calvin Rayburn, 23, Phils 16th round pick in 2014; 32G , 5-3 with a 4.44ERA; 1/3SV; 48.2IP 37H 24BB 26K; 2HR allowed; .214 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 1.50 GO/AO; 4.4BB/4.8K per 9; .215 vs LHP; .213 vs RHP; .313 last 30 days.  Rayburn was generally pretty effective but seemed to run out of gas during the later part of the year.  He will not overpower you, but knows how to pitch.  Grade: B; 2016: CLearwater

Jairo Munoz, 24, Signed as a free agent in 2015: 13G(3 starts) for Lakewood; 3-0 with a 2.67ERA; 33.2IP 26H 9BB 28K; 1HR allowed; .217 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 2.00 GO/AO; 2.4BB/7.5K per 9; .180 vs LHH, .243 vs RHH, .198 last 30 days.  I admittedly dont know too much about Munoz and have never seen him pitch but his line looked good.  Grade: B; 2016: Clearwater

Matt Hockenberry, 24, Phils 9th round pick in 2014; 42G, 4-4 with a 2.24ERA; 19/22SV; 52.1IP 34H 19BB 51K; 1HR allowed; .186 opp avg; 1.01 WHIP; 1.68 GO/AO; 3.3BB/8.8Kper 9; .207 vs LHH, .168 vs RHH, .167 last 30 days; .209 with RISP.  Quite honestly, I don’t know what more the Phils were looking for out of Hockenberry and was very surprised he was not promoted during the season.  He was consistent all year other than a very short stretch when he was injured, bounced back very strongly after a DL stint and was the primary closer throughout most of the season for Lakewood.  One homer allowed in over 50 innings to go along with a strikeout rate approaching one per inning, while holding the opposition below the Mendoza line.  Grade: A; 2016: Hockenberry’s age is what is working against him, however the calendar is out of his control and he can only worry about his performance.  No reason he shouldn’t be double bumped to Reading to see what he can do.  Closers mentality. Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers–LK, WP, GCL

Braves Pitch St. Petersburg Sports Complex

A friend sent me this article from a newsletter he receives.  In short, the Atlanta Braves are looking into moving their spring training operations from Orlando, FL; and have come up with a proposal that would place them in St. Petersburg, FL by 2018.  Atlanta’s lease with Disney is up at the end of the 2017 season and neither is interested in renewing the lease.

The move would benefit Atlanta (and me) since it would Continue reading Braves Pitch St. Petersburg Sports Complex

Post Season Report Card-Relief Pitching, LV, REA, and CW

A look at relief pitchers at the upper levels of the organization.  The report on relief pitchers from Lakewood, WIlliamsport and GCL comes Thursday

Lehigh Valley

Jason Berken, 31, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 28G (13 starts); 5-8 with a 4.61ERA; 113.1IP 133H 33BB 78K; 11HR allowed; .291 opp avg; 1.46 WHIP; 0.95 GO/AO; 2.6BB/6.2K per 9; .287 vs LHH; .294 vs RHH, .369 last 30 days; For a good portion of the year, Berken was one of Lehigh Valley’s most dependable starters, but then bouncing between roles and presumably tiring towards years end, he really struggled.  Grade: C; 2016: ANother organization

Chris Leroux, 31, Acquired from Milwaukee in 2015; 22G (3 starts); 3-3 with a 2.82ERA; 60.2IP 47H 19BB 40K; 3HR allowed; .210 opp avg; 1.09 WHIP; 1.67 GO/AO; 2.8BB/5.9K per 9; .150 vs LHH, .314 vs RHH, .159 last 30 days; Acquired mid season because of injuries and call ups, Leroux was asked to do a little of everything and did it well.  Spot starting, long man, late innings, Leroux was effective throughout coming on strong towards the end of the year.  Not overpowering but knows how to pitch.  Grade: B+; 2016: Could get an invite to Spring Training and hold down a Lehigh Valley roster spot depending on needs in March.

Dustin McGowan, 33, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 31G, 2-2 with a 4.08ERA; 15/17SV; 39.2IP 41H 24BB 28K; 1HR allowed; .261 opp avg; 1.64 WHIP; 0.82 GO/AO; For Phils: 14G, 6.94ERA; .296 opp avg; 2.10 WHIP.  I actually expected McGowan to make a big league contribution this season and that dream was put to rest early with extreme ineffectiveness leading to his demotion to Lehigh Valley.  Occasionally effective as a closer for the ‘Pigs, McGowan continued with his inability to throw strikes.  Grade: D; 2016: Elsewhere

Seth Rosin, 26, Re-acquired via Rule 5 return in 2014; 47G; 4-3 with a 3.29ERA; 3/5SV; 68.1IP 76H 21BB 49K; 4HR allowed; .278 opp avg; 1.42 WHIP; 1.05 GO/AO; .300 vs LHH, .261 vs RHH, .250 last 30 days;2.8BB/6.5K per 9; Rosin had a very mediocre year and looks now to profile as the stereotypical AAAA mid to late inning reliever.  Grade: C; 2016:  Rosin will be a minor league free agent and will go wherever he has the best opportunity.  Not likely to be added to the 40. Continue reading Post Season Report Card-Relief Pitching, LV, REA, and CW

Prospect Discussion: Week of September 21st

Here’s an open discussion thread about minor league prospects.  Phillies’ talk and other non-prospect discussion should remain in the Open Discussion.

This is an open format for any minor league prospect you want to discuss.  Last week, I started the ball rolling with Angelo Mora.  How about another player who isn’t on anyone’s top 30 but impressed me with his appearances in Clearwater, Jesen Dygestile-Therrien. For the past couple years, I have thought of him as the kid with the hyphen who showed up alphabetically between C and E even when they listed him as Jesen Therrien.

  • Jesen Dygestile-Therrien, relief pitcher
  • Bats right, Throws right
  • 6’2, 200 lb.
  • Born 3/18/1993 (age 22)
  • Drafted by the New York Mets in the 36th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit (Montreal, QC) – the US equivalent of high school.  He was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 17th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft from Ahuntsic College (Cap-Rouge, QC) – the US equivalent of a Junior College.  He was drafted after his FR year, at the age of 18.
  • 2012; GCL Phillies (age 19, -1.4)
  • 2013; GCL Phillies (age 20, -0.6)
  • 2014; Lakewood (age 21, -0.7) spent 4 weeks from 7/12 thru 8/9 in Williamsport (-0.4)
  • 2015; Lakewood (age 22, 0.0) promoted to Clearwater (-1.0) on 5/16
  • Assigned to the Glendale Desert Dogs on 9/16 for 2015 Arizona Fall League Season.

Therrien pitched well enough early in his career to remain on the organization’s radar.  In 2015, he broke out in 9 appearances with Lakewood.  He had a gaudy 0.52 ERA, 14 K in 17.1 IP (7.3), and only 2 walks.  He allowed 13 hits and his WHIP was 0.865.

He continued to pitch well in Clearwater posting a 1.77 ERA, 40 K in 45.2 IP, 15 walks (and a spike up to 3.0/9).  He allowed only 37 hits and his WHIP rose to only 1.139.

The past two years Therrien has thrown his fastball consistently in the 89-92 mph, touching 93-95 mph.  In his first game with Clearwater, I watched him throw 93-94 (pumped up by the promotion or our “hot” gun).  But as the season wore on, he was more 90-92.  He keeps the ball down in the strike zone.  Toward the end of Clearwater’s season, he was their most consistent reliever, IMO.  I was not uncomfortable when he took the mound.

He made one appearance in the playoffs.  He pitched 2.0 innings against Daytona and retired all 8 batters he faced. Eight in two innings?  Yeah, he had to pitch around lead off fielding errors by infielders in both innings he pitched.

2015 Instructs: 9/21/2015

Instructional League games don’t begin until next week.  However, I stopped by the Carpenter Complex to pick up some papers they were holding for me.  And to my boundless joy, there were ball players on three of the fields taking batting practice.  As I approached the offices, I could hear the distinctive pop of pitchers’ offerings landing in catchers’ gloves on the “Seven Mounds” behind the Complex .  You would think that after five-plus months of games I would be “baseball-ed” out.  But, to be honest, attending the Instructional games and work outs s are among my favorite times down here. Continue reading 2015 Instructs: 9/21/2015

Open Discussion: Week of September 21st

Here’s an open discussion thread so the minor league posts don’t get cluttered with Phillies’ talk and other topics.

  • Adam Morgan, Jerad Eickhoff, and Aaron Nola all pitched well against the Atlanta Braves this weekend.  Things are looking good for the pitching staff in 2016.
  • The Phillies pulled off a major coup with a three-game, reverse-sweep in Atlanta this weekend.  In spite of the great pitching from their young starters, they managed to lose 2-1, 2-1, and 2-1.  Plus, Eickhoff and Nola managed to avoid taking losses.
  • The three-game sweep and their current six-game losing streak have put the Phillies back in the driver’s seat in their drive for the number one pick.  They now have a four game lead, plus tie-breaker, over the Braves with 12 games remaining in the season.
  • With 94 losses, it’s a cinch that the Phillies reach 100 losses just four seasons after posting a 102-win season.
  • The Phillies have shutdown Adam Morgan for the remainder of the season.  Aaron Nola may remain in the rotation for the rest of the season.
  • One GM candidate is off the market as the Brewers are expected to announce that they will hire Astros 30-year old, Assistant GM, David Stearns, as their GM.
  • I’ll post the Weekly Prospects Discussion tomorrow.