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.

Dalier Hinojosa, 29, Acquired off of waivers from Boston in 2015; 29 games in AAA between Red Sox and Phils organizations; 3-2 with a 3.76ERA; 55IP 53H 22BB 52K; .255 opp avg; 1.36 WHIP; 0.78 GO/AO; 3.6BB/8.5K per 9; For Phils 12G; 1.02ERA; .182 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; Acquired late in the season off of waivers from the Red Sox, he has been a bright spot in a miserable September for the Phils.  2016: I think he is a leading candidate for one of the open Phillies bullpen spots.  Likely to be lost through waivers if he doesn’t make the team.

Colton Murray, 25, Phils 13th round pick in 2011; 52G between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 8-3 with a 2.67ERA; 77.2IP 55H 31BB 77K; 3HR allowed; .196 opp avg; 1.11 WHIP; 1.72 GO/AO; 3.6BB/8.9K per 9; Murray had a very good year all in all with a blip in the middle where he lost his command and needed to regain it in Reading.  He did so and came back to finish the season very strong for Lehigh Valley, earning a September callup to the Phils.  Grade: B+; 2016:  I think Murray has a very good shot to land in the Phillies bullpen

Nefi Ogando, 26, Acquired from Boston in 2013; 45G between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 4-5 with a 2.86ERA; 3/9SV; 63IP 52H 31BB 55K; 3HR allowed; .222 opp avg; 1.32 WHIP; 1.00 GO/AO; 4.4BB/7.9K per 9; For LV: 21G, 2.86ERA; .243 opp avg; 1.38 WHIP; 3.8BB/7.0K per 9.  All in all a good season for Ogando as he began to shows signs that he can throw strikes consistently and transitioned well to AAA.  Now a member of the 40 man roster, I see him beginning in Lehigh Valley next year.  Grade: B

Adam Loewen, 31, Signed as a free agent in 2014; 40G between Reading and Lehigh Valley; 2-3 with a 2.01ERA; 10/11SV; 58.1IP 39H 37BB 73K; 2HR allowed; .195 opp avg; 1.30 WHIP; 0.90 GO/AO; 5.7BB/11.3K; For Phillies: 14G; 0-0 with an 8.79ERA; .328 opp avg; 2.23WHIP; 8.2BB/11.9K per 9.  A true roller coaster for Loewen this year. He started miserably, not being able to throw strikes, was sent to Reading where he found his command and began to dominate.  Called up to Lehigh Valley he was consistently lights out for a two month period.  Finally, called up to Philly where he has lost his control and his ability to get anyone out.  He has nasty stuff at times, just too inconsistent. Grade: C+; 2016: Likely elsewhere

Ken Roberts, 27, Acquired off of waivers in 2015; Pitched in three games for Lehigh Valley after being acquired off of waivers from Colorado.  Didn’t allow an ER in 3IP.  Called up to Philadelphia and has allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 3 innings.  2016: If he is back, I highly doubt it will be on the Phillies opening day roster.


Tom Windle, 23, Acquired from Dodgers in 2015; 34 games (14 starts); 4-5 with a 4.35ERA; 97.1IP 98H 51BB 64K; .272 opp avg; 1.53WHIP; 1.25 GO/AO; As a reliever: 20G: 2-0 with a 1.69ERA; .206 opp avg; 1.16 WHIP; 3.7BB/7.1K per 9; .244 last 30 days. Windle was a completely different pitcher as a reliever. Wildly inconsistent as a starter and removed from the rotation, Windle found a real nice groove as a left handed arm out of the bullpen, showing enhanced command and consistently getting outs.  Grade: All in all a “C” for the year, but looking up.  2016: Lehigh Valley

Hoby Milner, 24, Phils 7th round pick in 2012; 30G (3 starts); 3-1 with a 3.52ERA; 64IP 63H 17BB 41K; 6HR allowed; .264 opp avg; 1.25WHIP; 0.62 GO/AO; 2.4BB/5.8K per 9; .224 vs LHH, .269 vs RHH, .250 last 30 days.  Milner was pretty much a spare part for Reading through much of the year but performed fairly well when given the opportunity.  This was his first year as a relief pitcher and he transitioned better than most.  Grade: C+; 2016: It is pretty clear from the manner in which Milner was used that the priority was not him by the Phils.  I am hoping he gets more of a shot next year but could become victim to the numbers game

Stephen Shackleford,26, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 53G, 4-2 with a 4.45ERA; 30/32SV; 54.2IP 51H 24BB 56K; 3HR allowed; .241 opp avg; 1.37 WHIP; 0.79 GO/AO; .341 vs LHH, .165 vs RHH, .347 last 30 days; Quite an interesting line for Shackleford who set the Reading franchise record for saves.  Unhittable by right handed hitters, got crushed by left handed hitters and lacked control at times but ultimately often came through when it counted. The wheels pretty much fell off during the seasons last few weeks when I suspect his workload caught up with him.  Grade: B; 2016: Hoping for Lehigh Valley but I think more likely another organization

Ryan O’Sullivan, 25, Acquired from Dodgers in 2012; 36G, 2-3 with a 2.39ERA; 4SV; 52.2IP 46H 18BB 30K; .241 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; 1.50 GO/AO; .259 vs LHH, .226 vs RHH, .255 last 30 days; 3.1BB/5.1K per 9;  Far from overpowering, but consistently effective nonetheless.  Grade: B; 2016: Lehigh Valley

Ethan Martin, 26, Acquired from Dodgers in 2012; 22G(5 starts); 3-1 with a 3.25ERA; 51.2IP 46H 15BB 31K; 3HR allowed; .241 opp avg; 1.18WHIP; 2.6BB/5.3K per 9; .233 vs LHH; .246 vs  RHH; .146 last 30 days.  Martin’s year began with more injuries, being removed from the 40 man roster and being sent down multiple levels. Likely on the verge of release, Martin pitched well, albeit with less velocity than in the past towards years end.  It seems like we have been talking about “dead arm” for Martin for upwards of three years now.  Grade: I admittedly have zero clue how to grade Martin’s progress or lack thereof.  2016: I think the Phils bring him back to camp but whether he survives depends on how dead the arm is come March.

Reinier Roibal, 26, Signed as a free agent in 2015; 31G(5 starts), 7-2 with a 1.64ERA between Clearwater and Reading; 60.1IP 49H 12BB 58K; 4HR allowed; .220 opp avg; 1.01 WHIP; 0.77 GO/AO; For Reading: 25G(5starts); 5-1 with a 1.66ERA; .202 opp avg; 0.95WHIP; 1.8BB/8.7K; .143 opp avg last 30 days; Roibal was signed as nothing more than a warm body early in the year and with the opportunity came some eye opening results.  He threw extremely well for Reading, pitching in many high leverage situations with success towards the end of the year.  Its worth bringing Roibal back to see if he can follow up this years success.  Grade: A; 2016: Challenge him as a long man in Lehigh Valley

Jimmy Cordero, 23, Acquired from Toronto in 2015; 45 games, 0-2 with a 2.55ERA between A+ and AA for Toronto org and Reading; 67IP 51H 24BB 64K; .212 opp avg; 1.12 WHIP; 1.79 GO/AO; 3.2BB/8.6K per 9; 4HR allowed; For Reading: 13G, 0-0 with a 2.12ERA; .193 opp avg; 0.88 GO/AO; Cordero had success across multiple levels in multiple organizations this year. Consistency is what he needs to work on most.  Throws in the triple digits but must locate better in the long run.  Grade: B+; 2016: Lehigh Valley

Edubray Ramos, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2009; 47G, 4-6 with a 2.07ERA between Clearwater and Reading; 8/12SV; 69.2IP 48H 16BB 65K; 2HR allowed; .196 opp avg; 0.92 WHIP; 0.66 GO/AO; 2.1BB/8.4K per 9; For Reading: 18G, 1-2 with a 3.54ERA; .233 opp avg; 1.20WHIP; .172 vs LHH, .272 vs RHH, .216 last 30 days.  Ramos had an excellent year all in all, dominating for Clearwater before his mid season call up to Reading.  Less dominant in his transition to AA, but still threw well with very good command.  Grade: B+; 2016: Reading to start


Jesen Therrien, 22, Phils 17th round pick in 2011; 39 games between Lakewood and Clearwater; 5-0 with a 1.43ERA; 5 saves; 63IP 50H 17BB 54K; 1HR allowed; .218 opp avg; 1.06 WHIP; 1.13 GO/AO; 2.4BB/7.7K per 9; For Clearwater: 30G, 5-0 with a 1.77ERA; 1.14 WHIP; .222 opp avg; .261 vs LHH, .207 vs RHH, .253 last 30 days; Significant progress for Therrien who pitched extremely well for both Lakewood and Clearwater throwing often in high leverage situations.  1HR allowed in 63 innings shows the level of effectiveness this year.  Grade: A; 2016: Reading

Cody Forsythe, 25, Phils 25th round pick in 2013; 34 games; 3-2 with a 3.65ERA; 56.2IP 44H 20BB 56K; 9HR allowed; .206 opp avg; 1.13 WHIP; 0.69 GO/AO; 3.2BB/8.9K per 9; .286 vs LHH; .172 vs RHH, .158 last 30 days.  I was surprised when Forsythe didn’t make the Reading roster out of Spring Training and then heard that he was being told to tinker with his off speed stuff to improve himself in Clearwater.  Forsythe was generally solid ending up with similar numbers at the same level as 2014. Gave up too many homers;  Grade: C+; 2016: Likely Reading but could be the odd man out…

Harold Guerrero, 25,Signed as a free agent in 2015; 25 games, 2-2 with a 3.40ERA; 1 SV; 39.2IP 30H 34BB 36K; 7.7BB/8.2K per 9; 2HR allowed; .210 opp avg; 1.61WHIP; 0.55 GO/AO; Guerrero is difficult to hit, but the opposition doesn’t need to with a walk rate approaching 8 per 9 innings.  Grade: D; 2016: Released.  Too much talent in the organization to hang onto a 25 year old who doesn’t throw strikes.

Ulises Joaquin, 23, Signed as a free agent in 2010; 46G, 4-2 with a 2.95ERA; 16/20SV; 55IP 51H 12BB 53K; 5HR allowed; 2.0BB/8.7K per 9;.248 opp avg; 1.15 WHIP; 0.93 GO/AO; .206 vs LHH, .266 vs RHH, .222 last 30 days.  Joaquin was very good as the primary closer for the Threshers. Good command and very consistent.  After missing all of the 2013 season, Joaquin is a bit behind developmental schedule.  I see the Phils being aggressive with him next year.  Grade: B+; 2016: Reading

Miguel Nunez, 22, Signed as a free agent in 2009; 40G (4 starts); 3-2 with a 3.22ERA; 8/8SV; 72.2IP 57H 25BB 45K; .218 opp avg; 1.13 WHIP; 0.73 GO/AO; 3.1BB/5.6K per 9; 4 HR allowed; .250 vs LHH; .203 vs RHH; .229 last 30 days; As a reliever: 36G, 2.11ERA; .178 opp avg; Nunez really came into his own after being transitioned out of the rotation and was one of the mainstays of the Threshers ‘pen.  Grade: B; 2016: Reading

Yacksel Rios, 22, Phils 12th round pick in 2011; 26G (10 starts); 6-5 with a 2.75ERA; 1/3SV; 88.1IP 61H 23BB 71K; 4HR allowed; .214 opp avg; 1.04 WHIP; 1.28 GO/AO; 2.3BB/7.2K per 9; .206 vs LHH, .217 vs RHH, .276 last 30 days; Rios was asked to perform in multiple roles bouncing back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen several times this year.  He did it very well,  Grade: B; 2015: Reading

Alexis Rivero, 20, Signed as a free agent in 2012; 41G between Lakewood and Clearwater; 4-2 with a 2.64ERA; 10/14SV; 71.2IP 48H 18BB 67K; 7HR allowed; .188 opp avg; 0.92 WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; .194 vs LHH; .175 vs RHH, .127 last 30 days;  Rivero pitched equally well for Clearwater after getting promoted holding the opposition to an average under the Mendoza line.  All in all, an outstanding year, especially considering his 2014 was spent in the GCL.  Grade: A; 2016: Clearwater to start but likely to move when roster shake ups occur.

Alberto Tirado, 20, Acquired from Toronto in 2015; 40G in High A; 5-3 with a 2.68ERA; 3/4SV; 77.1IP 51H 53BB 77K; 4HR allowed; .198 opp avg; 1.34 WHIP; 1.45GO/AO; 6.2BB/9.0K per 9; .244 vs LHH, .175 vs RHH, .103 last 30 days; Tirado dominated during the last part of the season but the high walk rate will inevitably come back to bite him.  A good year all in all, but I don’t see him conquering High A until the walks come down significantly.  Grade: B-; 2016: CLearwater

8 thoughts on “Post Season Report Card-Relief Pitching, LV, REA, and CW

  1. Having filled our minor lg teams with pitchers received in the trades of last winter and this season, several of those who are listed as starting pitchers are likely to end up in the pen. Certainly, there’s no room for all of them as starters…but IMO the gaining of strong arms that can be worked with in the minors should produce more relievers to be created for the big club.
    We should be aware that the relief corps has taken on increased importance in baseball when starters no longer are asked to pitch nine. Now, 7 innings are required from starters with the final two innings set for relievers. So, relievers culled from this group should gain reliever status during the ’16/’17 seasons. Plenty of arms in our system now that the trades have infused the system…with a hopeful #1 pick (and our 2nd round ,too) we should grab a #1 and a #2 for the rotation.

  2. One stat they put in the boxscores that is very telling for a relief pitcher is Inherited runners scored. At AAA, the Phil’s relievers were terrible. At AA and A+, it wasn’t much better but it’s so important as a Major Leaguer. I haven’t found a data base where that’s accumulated and I guess I understand why. If a reliever comes in with bases loaded and no outs, a couple of well placed ground outs could yield two runs, especially when the team has a comfortable lead. But coming in with 2 outs, should be automatic to get that 3rd out without a run scoring. I guess it’s a subjective stat in which the situation has to be evaluated but good relievers limit the damage. Having a big pitch that gets the team out of jail, goes a long way toward showing a reliever the way to the big leagues. Who has that out pitch? Tirado and Cordero for sure but like Giles, before them, they have to learn to control it. Anyone else?

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