Box Score Recap – 8/23/2016

The big story today isn’t an individual performance, but rather a team performance.  The Lakewood BlueClaws lead their division by 3.0 games in the second half, and with last night’s win have a winning record for the first time this season.  As recently as seven weeks ago, they were still 14 games below .500 for the season.  Jan Hernandez hit 2 home runs in Tuesday’s game.

Also, the GCL Phillies are tied with the Blue Jays for first place and begin a home-and-home series with them today.  They finish the season against the Jays with another home-and-home next week.

Individually, Ben Lively pitched kinda good last night for Lehigh Valley.  Brandon Leibrandt and three relievers pitched a shutout for Clearwater.  And, Bailey Faltr laid the foundation for Williamsport.

Lehigh Valley (77-53)  Beat Scranton, 8-0.  Ben Lively was pulled after six, one-hit innings.  He had a 2-0 lead and had thrown 48 pitches.  FORTY-EIGHT PITCHES!  Thirty-seven were strikes – 1 K, 12 GO, and 5 FO.  Average of 8 pitches per inning.  Manager Brundage said before the game that Lively would be on an innings count the rest of the way.  His 159.2 IP are a career-high.

Four relievers preserved the shutout, giving up 5 hits in three innings and throwing 64 pitches.

Every IronPigs player had a hit, Nick Williams, Brock Stassi, and Jesse Valentin had 2 each.  Cody Asche, Andrew Knapp, and Valentin had 2 RBI each.  Valentin hit his 2nd HR.

  • #1 Crawford (.254)  went 1-4 with a SF and RBI (27)
  • #3 Williams (.266)  went 2-5 with a double
  • #5 Thompson (11-5, 2.29) – promoted to Philadelphia.
  • #11 Appel – DL, season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur.
  • #12 Knapp (.262)  went 1-3 with a double and 2 RBI (41)
  • #18 Pivetta  DNP
  • #24 Lively (9-5, 3.29)  6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 48 pitches/37 strikes
  • #28 Ramos (0.38) – promoted to Philadelphia.

Reading (82-46)  Lost to Akron, 4-1.  Mark Leiter (6-3, 3.55) gave up 4 runs (3 ER) on 8 hits and a walk.  He struck out five in 5.2 innings.  Andrew Pullin (.345) and Scott Kingery had 2 hits apiece.  Kingery had the only RBI.

  • #4 Alfaro (.279) went 0-4
  • #7 Cozens (.286) went 1-4
  • #8 Quinn (.277) went 0-4
  • #13 Hoskins (.278) went 1-3 with a BB
  • #14 Kingery (.267) went 2-3 with an RBI (15)
  • #16 Pinto – (5-5, 4.09) – DNP
  • #18 Pivetta – (11-6, 3.41) – promoted to Lehigh Valley
  • #19 Eshelman (4-3, 4.75) – DNP
  • #26 Cordero – (0-1, 3.68) -DNP

Clearwater (75-51)  Beat Brevard County, 3-0.  Brandon Leibrandt (3-1, 1.71) pitched 5.0 innings of 2-hit, shutout ball – 3 BB, 6 K, and a pickoff.  Yacksel Rios (6.57) started w/3 balls, then threw 15 of 20 strikes. His FB was 94-97 mph. He retired all six batter he faced, including 3 strike outs.  His last pitch was 97 mph for his 3rd K.  Tom Windle (4.26) followed with a solid inning.  He threw a mid-90s FB and touched 97 mph on his one strike out.  Matt Hockenberry  racked up his seventh save.

Both teams were held to 4 hits, but the Threshers bunched 3 plus a HR in their 3-run fourth.  Carlos Tocci led off the inning with a single and moved up on a wild pitch.  Josh Tobias “broke the seasl” of the scoreless game with a two-out, RBI single.  Kyle Martin followed with a 2-run bomb, against the wind to the back fence in right field.  The HR was his 18th this season.  The two RBI give him 76.

In contrast to his pitching results, Leibrandt looked a little off in the early innings tonight. He threw 84 pitches/54 strikes in five innings.  He ran four, 3-ball counts, but threw 14 of 19 first pitch strikes (73.7%).  He walked more than 2 batters for the first time this season but only the second time in his career. (He walked 3 in his last game in 2015 before going on the DL).  Seventeen of his 54 strikes were swing-and-miss (31.5%). His FB was 86-90 mph and sat 87-89 mph.  All six of his K came swinging on 2 FB, 3 CH, and a SL.

  • #20 Garcia (10-3, 2.55)  DNP
  • #22 Canelo (.245)  went 0-3
  • #23 Tocci (.279)  went 1-4

Lakewood (64-63)  Beat Greensboro, 6-1, to win their 6th in a row and 9th in their last ten games.  It is the first time this season that the BlueClaws have had a winning record.  They started the season 4-16, were a season high 15 games below .500 at 20-35 on June 4th, and were still 14 games below .500 at 33-47 on July 3rd.  Their 35-23 second half has them in first place by 3.0 games with 12 games remaining.

Harold Arauz  (4-6, 3.45) went 6.0 innings (plus two batters) and held the Grasshoppers to one run on four hits.  He walked NONE and struck out seven.  Edgar Garcia picked up the three-inning save (2).

Cornelius Randolph, Deivi Grullon, Jan Hernandez, and Grenny Cumana had 2 hits each. Hernandez hit 2 HR (9) and had 3 RBI (25).

  • #6 Randolph (.279)  went 2-4 with 1 RBI (23)
  • #9 Kilome (4-8, 4.14)  DNP
  • #27 Pujols (.246)  went 1-4
  • #29 Edgar Garcia (4-1, 2.63) – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • #30 Tirado (5-1, 3.75)  DNP

Williamsport (33-29)  Beat West Virginia, 4-3.  Bailey Falter (2.96) pitched 5.0 innings and gave up 6 hits and a walk.  He struck out four and left with a 2-0 lead.  The bull pen blew the save opportunity.  Two different relievers allowed an inherited runner to score.

Darick Hall and Juan Luis had 3 hits apiece.  Jesus Alastre had 2 hits.  Hall, Alastre, David Martinelli, and Luke Williams each drove in a run.

  • #17 Medina (4-2, 2.23)  DNP
  • #25 Romero (2-1, 2.60)  DNP

GCL Phillies (38-14)  Beat the GCL Pirates, 7-4.  They are tied with the Blue Jays for first, but trail in winning percentage .740 to .731 (the first tie-breaker is Win%).  They play the Jays today at the Complex and Thursday in Dunedin.  Important games for both teams.

Alec Asher pitched a rehab inning to start the game.  He gave up an unearned run on a soft single to right, an errant throw on a steal, and an infield out.  He struck out one, and his FB was 89-90 mph.

The Phillies quickly erased the deficit in the bottom of the inning.  Josh Stephen lined a single to center to start the inning and the next two batters walked (Jose Antequera and Mickey Moniak).  Danny Zardon cleared the bases with a triple down the right filed line.  He scored on a ground out.

In the fourth inning, Lenin Rodriguez crushed a 3-0 pitch deep to left field to extend their lead to 5-1.

Luis Carrasco had replaced Asher and was sailing along smoothly.  He was throwing his FB 91-94 mph and touched 95 and 96 mph.  He ran into difficulty in the sixth, giving up 3 runs without a ball leaving the infield.  The lead off batter reached on a soft, infield single that died on the grass between the mound and shortstop.  The next batter walked.  Both runners advanced on what has become the required balk call during these games.  The next batter drove in a run on another squibbed hit that died before it reached Cole Stobbe at short.  The next batter (Carrasco’s last) reached on a catcher’s interference (the play was a 4-3 putout).  However, on an incorrect ruling by the umpire that went unquestioned, the batter was awarded first base and the base runners were allowed to advance and a run scored.

Carrasco’s line was – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.

Justin Miller entered the game and got a ground ball that resulted in a force and a run scored.  Miller remained in the game and pitched well until Geury Ortiz relieved in the eighth.  Ortiz kept the Pirates off the board and Tyler Frohwirth came in to retire the Pirates in a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Phillies stretched their lead from 5-4 to 7-4 in the seventh inning on Josh Stephen’s RBI single and Jose Antequera’s RBI double.

Kevin Gowdy threw from a mound on an adjacent field.  He was watched by Charley Kerfeld and Ray Burris.  He looks fine.  When pitchers throw from a mound in plain sight of scouts and such, it is usually an indication that he is about ready for game action.  So, he may pitch again this season.

  • #2 Moniak (.289)  went 0-3 with a BB
  • #10 Gowdy (0-1, 4.50)  DNP
  • #15 Stobbe (.260)  went 0-3 with a BB
  • #21 Jhailyn Ortiz (.237)  DNP
  • Stephen (.277)  went 2-4 with an RBI (24)
  • Miller (0-0, 1.50) – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Andrew Brown (0-0, 1.56)  DNP
  • Stewart (2-2, 4.35)  – DNP
  • Fanti (7-0, 1.51)  DNP
  • Sixto Sanchez (4-0, 0.56)  DNP

DSL Phillies (28-37)  Lost two games to the DSL Red Sox1, 4-2 and 5-0.

  • Jonathan Guzman (.295)
  • Keudy Bocio (.225)
  • Simon Muzziotti (.256)
  • Dixon Gutierrez (.257)

DSL Phillies2 (40-27)  Beat the DSL Rangers2, 3-2.

  • Leonel Aponte (2-4, 2.83)  DNP
  • Rafael Marchan (.339)  DNP

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

Extra Innings:

  • 8/22 – Lehigh Valley released LF David Lough.
  • 8/23 – Lakewood placed LHP Zach Morris on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to August 20, 2016. Left elbow sprain.
  • 8/23 – Blake Quinn assigned to Lakewood from Williamsport.
  • 8/23 – Phillies sent RHP Alec Asher on a rehab assignment to GCL Phillies.
  • Organization Rosters are up to date.

108 thoughts on “Box Score Recap – 8/23/2016

    1. I caught the error right after I hit enter. Unfortunately, correcting the error didn’t correct all the notifications that were sent out. Sorry.

  1. Leibrandt looks like he needs to be challenge . Jan Hernandez can he finally be putting it all together. Nick Williams coming back to normal, Knapp looking up Lively throws a short 1 hitter. Klye Martin 18 Hr’s 74 Rbi ‘s in Clearwater , C 2 for 4 Falter pitched World Series winner Boston Red sox.

    1. Nearly everything about Leibrandt screams success. He’s 6’4″ 190 and has the bloodlines. His stats are sick. In 2014 in Wmsprt opponents hit .203 against him and had a WHIP of 0.9. In 2015, after a double jump to CLW, opponents hit .227 against him with a WHIP of 1.03. In 2016 in CLW, opponents hit .186 against him with a WHIP of 1.05. His K rate went down in 2015 and BB rate went up. That’s expected from a double jump. In 2016, the K rate is coming back up but the BB rate is still high. He’s just getting back afterf injury so 2016 is definitely short season stats. The one problem is his speed on his fastball. At 6’4″ with a downward plane, he should be at least in the low 90s. His father, Charlie, was a soft tosser too and had great success in a different era. Can Brandon do the same? Let’s hope!

      1. Yeah, more velo would be nice. He looks like he is stepping toward the plate rather than driving off the rubber. He does know how to pitch, though.

    2. With Leibrandt I was thinking the same. He has success all along but the injury bug has slowed him some.

  2. This Harold Arauz kid continues to be untouchable pitching at home for Lakewood. Intriguing me to say the least. 0.88 ERA, BA bellow 0.200, 1.09 WHIP, etc etc.
    Hernandez showing big bat too.

    1. Lakewood could use Jan Hernandez’ big bat but he’s been hurt or out of sync for a while. His last HR before these 2 was on June 1. That’s over 125 ABs. This time of year, a big bat showing up late is a strong driver of a successful finish.

    2. I looked at Arauz’ stats at home and away for the last 3 years. The stats show the same trend. At Home, he’s lights out. Away stats are not very good. He came from the Astros and it happened there too. I guess he likes to sleep in his own bed and likes the home cooking. I’m trying to figure out how to break the away jinx? Maybe… NO, or possibly… Nah, I’ve got nothing….

  3. With Hellickson, Eickhoff and Morgan as the only arms NOT on an innings/pitch count at this point of the season (with Jake struggling it doesn’t matter) we’ll probably be seeing Buchanan and Asher on Sept 1. As of last night, the highly efficient Lively is on a pitch limit. I hope Pivetta isn’t. Would rather see him than Buchanan. Let’s hope Nola’s and Eflin’s time off will bare fruit come Spring.

  4. See herein lies the disagreement on Lively.

    On first blush, his line last night looks awesome. 6 ip with only 1 hit and no walks is great. But I don’t recall ever seeing a MLB pitching line where a pitcher only had one strikeout and also only gave up one hit. It just does not happen in the majors. You simply HAVE to have swing and miss stuff to get major league hitters out. I just don’t see a pitcher without good K% numbers making an impact in the majors. The data is alarming. I have looked. You need high K rates in the minors to be a quality MLB pitcher.

    1. It does seem that way in this MLB era.
      And you would think that the higher the velo the more swing and miss.
      Pitchers in the high 90s and low 100s do have that capability to induce more Ks.
      But how many starters have that talent…Thor!
      And now MLB hitters are hitting the mid-90s guys.

    2. It’s funny, when I saw that you posted, I figured it would be about Thompson as I was thinking about our reactions to a post that was put up about a month and a half ago. The poster asked what more could Thompson do to impress and, to paraphrase, you responded tersely that he could strike people out. Bingo! People vehemently disagreed with you, but you were right – getting people out in AAA with a (dreaded) pitch-to-contact approach does not necessarily translate to getting guys out in the majors. Thompson doesn’t fool major league hitters at this point, so they can wait him out and drive the pitch they like. He’s young, so it’s hard to know whether and how much he will develop (both in terms of velocity and pitch selection), but right now, he’s toast as a major league pitcher and he definitely needs to learn how to miss bats.

      Your concerns about Lively are well taken. He had high K rates earlier in his career, but if his FB sits 88-90, he’s going to need a wipe out breaking pitch to have any prayer of long term success. Frankly, I don’t know what happened to his FB – last year he was sitting 91-93 and routinely touching higher.

      1. The Phillies pitching philosophy changes as the pitchers reach AA level.
        They stress the 2Smr pitch-to-contact philosophy more than the 4Smr swing and miss philosophy.
        Asher and Thompson have admitted that…Eflin just continued it from his Padre days.
        It may be pitch count economical for the pitchers, but does not seem to be doing well for the young guns in their initial appearances at the MLB level over these last 3 months.
        On the opposite end of the spectrum is Velaquez…the mid-90s thrower. He will need to enhance his secondary pitches. I am sure if he didn’t make the team in April and went to LHV…he would be throwing the 2Smr more and working on the other pitches.
        And as far as Lively, he is just what they seem to want anymore in a pitcher.
        If he wasn’t already at around 160 innings or so, he may have been called up next week to pitch in September..

        1. Thanks for nothing Ray Burris. I detest the pitch-to-contact philosophy – as a general rule, it’s the philosophy of a losing pitching staff. How’s that working for Jake Thompson? And, by comparison, look at Jeremy Hellickson – he’s having one of his best seasons precisely because he is missing bats this year.

          I wonder if there’s a disconnect between the philosophy in the minors and that in the majors, because it looks like McClure and Mackanin value the strikeout.

          As I’ve always said, the only phrase in sports I hate more than pitch-to-contact is “prevent defense” – neither works.

          1. I believe the pitch to contact philosophy isn’t for guys with less stuff but to try and teach young pitchers with good arms how to not run up a pitch count every 5 days, thus save their arms for down the road? It’s not just a phillies philosophy

            1. Maestro…agree…all MLB teams do something similar anyway. though if you look at the current Mest staff….it is now a hospital ward of sorts….and they did not hold back the use of the 4Smr on Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom or Matz in their development. They went away from the Dillan Gees, RA Dickeys and Jon Neise’ (sp)and brought in the power arms. Now Neies back!

          2. How about….’no-doubles defense’…Wheels’ late inning phrase with the lead!
            Hellickson does have a very superb change-up which has induced a lot of his swing and misses. He was only a 90-93 guy most all his career. So his secondary pitches have flourished this year.
            The Phillies guys need to develop their secondary pitches…..though I think Nola has already done that.

            1. Agree with Romus … “The Phillies guys need to develop their secondary pitches…..though I think Nola has already done that.”

          3. I think Thompson’s main issue right now is control and consistency of his slider not necessarily that he’s pitching to contact. It was at one point a plus/plus plus pitch but we haven’t seen anything like that with consistency from him yet. Until he can get that back I think it will be a struggle for him.

        2. Some pitchers who don’t have high k rates but are sucessful. Hisashi Iwakuma , Doug Fisher, Rick Porcello, Masahiro Tanaka, Martin Perez, B Colon. I pulled most these pitchers off the win column.

            1. Funny has were taking about low K’s Eickhoff pitcher ing a 1 hitter with 1 k throw 5 . Hendricks is on his way too first Era crown. What’s up with De groom? His last 2 outings were horrible.

          1. @tim – I see you point but I prefer “sustained success” (proven track record in years) rather than a year or 2 of good numbers.

      2. Yeah I get it. We are all fans and it is fun to dream on prospects. But I have been burned too many times by fools gold of good milb stats that don’t translate. So I have studied prior top prospects and have formulated a few rules of thumb for analyzing prospects. One of them is for pitchers, you need to have very good scouting reports on stuff and also strike out hitters at a high rate. And also not walk a lot of guys. If you don’t do that, you have basically no comp for a successful MLB quality pitcher.

      3. I don’t disagree with you but Thompson’s control is terrible so far and is his main issue. You can’t pitch thigh level in the majors and survive. His pitch location has been bad. Good news is that he can improve it quickly.

    3. I completely agree with V1. I am a fan of lively and want him to succeed, but I just don’t see him being anything more then a spot starter, maybe a second division #5. We have seen it bear out over and over again just this year. Both Eflin and Thompson had fantastic stats and better K% then lively in AAA and look how they have struggled and one of the big concerns for them was they don’t miss enough bats. Nola was lights out when he could miss bats, when his curve ball was an out pitch, but as soon as he started walking people and his K rate dropped his era skyrocketed. Sure velo helps, but It is not all about velo either, it is about the ability to miss bats and strike people out, having that one out pitch that you can rely on to get that third strike. I do think that eflin and thompson will eventually find success in the majors, but they are going to have to figure out how to miss bats more often and they both have better pure stuff then lively. That is why Kilome is such an intriguing prospect, he can miss bats. He has alot to work on, but his swing and miss is unquestioned.

    4. I know this is kinda different but not really . . . Worley (who a lot of people thought was the next coming of Cole Hamels, on another board . . . Never understood his success in 2011) pitched I believe a game against the Pads (could be wrong on the team) where he didn’t have 1 swing and miss the whole game (he went deep into the game). That is EXTREMELY hard to do (having issuing finding the game now but I KNOW for a fact that i’m thinking of the right pitcher).

      As far as what I said about Jake Thompson yesterday or the day before . . . I wasn’t basing my opinion off of a few ML starts . . . I was basing it off of his stuff, what I’ve seen in person and video (have seen a reading start in person, 2 LHV starts and have watched a few games (MiLB Package) when he was with Frisco). I just don’t get the hype and I don’t see what others do but I guess I have to remember these other people (Scouts) know a hell of a lot more then I do when it comes to evaluating prospects. In my honest opinions Eflin, Nola, Eickhoff, VV, Pivetta and even Morgan will carve out better careers than Thompson. Just my opinion.

      I never understood the innings limit . . . I understand why but I feel like you want to monitor pitches, not innings. You can go out there in 5 innings and throw 100 plus pitches while someone else throws a complete game where they throw 100 pitches. Also the type of innings would matter too . . . you can labor through 7 innings while someone like Lively got through 5 innings with ease. I’m also surprised that Pitches/IP isn’t a number people look at (maybe they do but i’ve never seen it talked about) I feel like that would give you a better idea of what to expect. I’m sure VV P/IP is high while some like Tims boy KH is on the lower side.

  5. The middle of the Reading Fightins has disappeared. From Alfaro through Fox there is little production. Hoskins and Cozens have been swinging at bad pitches. It is probably growing pains as most experience what August feels like, but it does not bode well for playoffs.

    1. I think that is some of it, but I also think that the HR record chase has a good bit to do with it.

      1. Here’s the conundrum. I agree the HR/RBI chase has a lot to do with it because the Minor Leagues are more about personal development than winning and losing. In the Major Leagues it’s all about getting to the playoffs and then winning in the playoffs and finally winning the World Series. I would say to the guys on Reading, Play like you’re in the Major Leagues right now. Play to win. Take the BB if it’s given. Go the other way with the pitch instead of trying to barrel a HR every at bat. And you can smash the HR if the right pitch presents itself. You already have the stats on your score card. Just play for the team now. Play for us fans trying to live vicariously through you.

  6. Shirley you must be facetious Jim, when you say Lively had a “kinda” good night…and don’t call me Shirley!

  7. Good to see Quinn move up, he looked too good for Wsport. He’s the first guy from this draft class to get to Lwood.
    Good to see Asher back in the field. He’ll get some starts in Philly in Sept

      1. My bad. That’s good to get two arms up to Lwood do quickly with good results. Romero and Irvin could easily handle a move as well

    1. He had a horrible first year also, but contributed last year. He has never been aa good as advertised, but he is probably better than awful. They gave Pujols a chance and he seems to have learned at last. I hope they have patience with this “bonus baby”.

      1. Not all is lost … at least it can make us appreciate what Jhailyn Ortiz is doing even more so in comparison to Encarnacion!

      2. Interesting thought in comparing Pujols and Encarnacion


        2013 18 GCL 0.188 0.278 0.369
        2014 19 GCL/WIL 0.226 0.273 0.377
        2015 20 WIL 0.238 0.311 0.359
        2016 21 LW 0.246 0.302 0.462


        2014 17 GCL 0.229 0.294 0.343
        2015 18 GCL 0.271 0.313 0.370
        2016 19 WIL 0.158 0.195 0.198

        I think the above shows the case for patience. Encarnacion’s first 2 seasons are arguably better than Pujols. His 2016 season is just a total mess and not really consistent with his first two years. Obviously, the Phillies see something in him to keep throwing him out there (think Tyler Viza as well) with such a disaster of a season. Even repeating Williamsport next year at age 20 will, I believe, keep him age appropriate. That being said, next year will be HUGE for him.

      3. Encarnacion faces a formidable task. He was signed as a third baseman, moved to left field briefly, and finally ended up at first. As a right-handed batting, first base only player, he’ll need to really pick up his production.

  8. What would be a successful season for Jhailyn Ortiz? If he continues to struggle will his season still be considered successful? He’s hitting .237/.339/.436 with a K rate that’s creeping closer and closer to 30%. Do we consider it successful just because he’s shown the ability to display his plus power in game? or just getting on the field and getting reps more of the goal?

    1. Eric… 17 in the GCL, I think he has been successful, since most are still in the DSL at his age. I do not worry about the K rate right now…or even next season.

    2. Jhailyn Ortiz is learning to bat against a steady diet of off speed pitches. The only fastballs he has seen this week, he saw close up – high and tight.

          1. Watching video of Sixto … he doesn’t waste any time. He gets the ball and fires it. Also he looks bigger than I was imagining.

            1. Well, the perfect game is gone, he’s going downhill … the 4th inning he allowed a hit and didn’t strike anyone out … he must improve!

            2. My eyes aren’t that great, but I was looking at the video again … Is Sixto wearing number 66 ??? If so, that is awesome !

          2. Great day (assuming he’s done) … 5 IP, 1 hit, no walks with 4 Ks. Don’t believe he’s gone past five innings before. I wish the GCL box scores showed pitch counts.

            1. To get the pitch counts fro the gCL games, you may have to go back to each of his 10 previous starts and get JimP’s Box Score Recap for that game…..Jim does on occasion keep the PCs when he is at the game and the breakdown of pitches.

            2. 65 pitches in 6 innings, predominantly FB thru the batting order the first time, more CH and CB from the 4th inning on. He had 56 pitches after 5 innings. FB was up to 98 mph on more than a few pitches.

    1. Not just Day Sixto. Also another Cole Stobbe day. HR #4 in his first AB. He’s really been impressive the past week or two.

      1. Have to really admire what Sanchez is doing,,,,,five of the Jays starting nine position players are 20 and older.

          1. rocco…….Stephens could be a real fine for the Phillies. Hopefully he can keep up the hit tool skills. He sort of reminds me of Andrew Pullin with is swing and overall skill set. Remember Eric Valent from the 90s…..another one that also comes to mind. And enjoy.

  9. Sanchez is incredible – the hype is building and rightfully so. He has started 11 games now (including today) and given up a total of 3 earned runs. 3!!!! He also has a better than 5/1 K to BB ratio – and the scouting reports on stuff are as good as the stats.

    1. I agree. I saw that Jim had him ranked pretty low (24 I believe) and he’s actually had eyes on him. Very anxious for the BA league top 20s to come out to see where he ranks in the GCL.

      1. I had all the GCL guys much lower than most. It’s their first season of pro ball and all are an extreme risk at this point in their careers.

        Sanchez just turned 18. If he were living stateside, his GCL season would likely be his HS senior year. I recall a lot of concern about HS pitchers with high 90s FB on this site (e.g., Riley Pint). So there might be even more risk assigned to Sanchez.

        One of the considerations for the poll was the value of the player to the organization. I believe that prospects with extreme risk who are so far from contributing at the major league level, can be ranked lower and moved up as they earn the higher ranking.

        But, don’t misunderstand me, I think highly of him as I do a lot of the GCL pitchers and players.

    2. You know you’re damned good when – you pitch 6 scoreless innings and your ERA only goes down by .06. Bob Gibson would be proud.

  10. phils traded possible hall of famer Cole Hamels and a lefty reliever that throws 100 mph for what ? finding out Thompson, Williams, asher, Eickhoff is a 5 starter and Alfaro is still in AA ???? Can we have our number 1 pitcher and much needed lefty pen guy back !

    1. It’s funny you mentioned that today. I was thinking about the trade today and I thought to myself – if Alfaro doesn’t turn out to be at least a minor star, this could end up being a very bad trade. Where you are trading a real star, these 5 for 1 type trades make me nervous. And remember, the Phillies also took on the bad Harrison contract, so they literally paid for these prospects as well. We’ll see, but the trade looks much worse at the end of this year than it did at the beginning of the year. I wonder if they could have had Mazara if they didn’t get Thompson and Williams.

      1. We’ll never know what happened for sure, but I think the Phillies may have sacrificed obtaining one or two higher end prospects in that deal because they wanted a lot of prospects, they wanted those prospects to all be close to major league ready and they insisted on taking several pitchers. It is beginning to feel an awful lot like the Curt Schilling trade (thanks again for nothing, Ed Wade).

      2. There were many reports that Mazara and a couple other guys were completely untouchable. There was no way the Rangers were considering including him. In this era of baseball, teams don’t trade prospects of that caliber.

    2. Jimmy…..what were the Phillies to do…keep Cole and still finish last. next season is his 33- year old season. haven’t the fans seen enough of mid-30 great pitchers suddenly lose it.
      Diekman is a reliever….too much yearly fluidity with relievers.
      The trade is a risk. Every team goes through one at some point.
      But it was necessary to move forward.

      1. But, Romus, that’s not the issue. Everyone agrees that the Phillies needed to trade Hamels either last summer or during the off season. The question is whether it was a good trade and whether they could have received a better deal with another team or with the Rangers.

        It’s totally unacceptable to trade a franchise type pitcher and not get back at least one future star or at least a couple of above average regulars, but I’m not sure that’s what the Phillies are going to get here.

        Hopefully, I’m wrong, but the trade is looking highly questionable now.

        1. My personal view is that how the trade is perceived in retrospect will be determined in large part by what kind of player Alfaro becomes. I’m pretty down on Williams right now and Thompson, to me, looks like a 3/4 at best. Alfaro has a ton of ability, but his future is unclear.

        2. Too early to tell…..but if some reason it doesn’t work…..the Phillies are not the only team that has experienced bad trades.
          Right now you are experiencing early on-stage symptoms of buyer’s remorse.
          I think both teams will make out well.
          No one was skunked.
          Two years from now Ranger fans may be feeling the same as you feel now.

          1. Yes, it’s still early. We probably won’t have a firm grasp on the outcome for another couple of years. That said, I think Rangers fans are loving the deal right now.

    3. @ Jimmy Smith …

      #1. You could end being correct, but it’s waaaay too early to evaluate the Rangers trade. You’re comparing the successes of two big league pitchers in their prime vs three players who (for the most part) haven’t even reched MLB. You’re comparing players who are about ten years apart in ages.
      #2. It’s unlikely Cole Hamels is going to be a HOF’er.
      #3. IMO … Eickoff is more than a #5 starter … and he was the number four guy in the trade.
      #4. Your point about Diekman is valid. Everyone fails to mention him when discussing the trade.
      #5. (@ catch) Forget about the fact that the Phillies ate Matt Harrison’s contract. Who cares? The Phillies should being doing more of that to obtain talent.

      1. Hinkie – I agree with you in concept that adding money to get more talent is a good idea; I’m not arguing that in theory.

        What I’m saying is that if it turns out that it was a bad trade on the players alone, then adding a payment of around $30-40 million to that transaction (which could have been used on free agents or international signings or farm system development or analytics or whatever) makes it an even worse deal, right?

        1. If this were a small market team (Pittsburgh, KC, Oakland, etc.) then that Harrison money may have resulted in the Phillies not being able to sign FA’s. The Phillies have the finances to take on bad contracts and still be able to do all the things you mentioned above.
          Also … The Phillies (if the reports were correct) were asking for better players. They wanted Betts or Bogarts. They wanted Mazara. They wanted Seagar. If the Red Sox, Rangers, and Dodgers weren’t willing to give them up, then the only option was to add prospects in bulk or hold on to Hamels longer and risk injury. Also, remember the Phillies had been discussing a deal with the Astros, but Cole wouldn’t waive his no trade clause to bacome an Astro.

          1. As for the players the Phillies wanted, didn’t wanted, were offered, or were not offered, it’s all speculation – we don’t know any of that.

            As for paying money, again, in theory, it’s a great idea IF IT WORKS. But if the trade is bad on the players alone, the addition of significant amounts of money (i.e., cash consideration), by definition, makes it even a worse trade.

            1. And, yes, I get that the Phillies do not have extremely limited resources and that taking on salary in this case did not prevent them from using money elsewhere. I get all of that and I agree that taking on salary is a good idea in principle in order to obtain better talent. But when you lose the trade on players alone, giving up a lot of money on top of that makes it even worse.

            2. Catch, while you make good points, it is way too early to evaluate. Asher and Thompson should turn it around. Eickhoff, really just needs to figure out round 3 of a lineup and he ends up being legit. Don’t think the Phillies thought they were receiving an ace. Williams and Alfaro should be fine. Alfaro has improved steadily this year while Williams has just been in a funk.

            3. I agree it’s too early to assess the trade – we need at least another year or two. My concerns about the pitchers are not based on their current performance, it’s based on their stuff. I’m a big Eickhoff fan, but his ceiling is limited.

              My concerns about Williams are not based on his slump, they are based on his plate discipline.

      2. I’m with you Hinkie. Harrison’s contract is covered by insurance so it’s not really dead money and for a big organization like the Phillies – you’re right who cares!

        HOU, LAD, BOS and TEX are the teams in play. Cole KO’s HOU and Phils is right to ask for at least a Seager or Urias in a deal which LAD rightfully said NO. BOS is a pain in the rear and really tried to fleece the Phils by giving up mediocre players.

        So it’s just TEX or keep Hamels and risk injury or bad year. On hindsight, it’s appears that the Phils can get more than the 2015 TEX trade since Cole is CY Candidate, his contract is $$ friendly and SP market is really thin. But nobody can see the future, otherwise, a lot of us will be millionaires by now.

        The TEX trade is the right move to make “AT THAT POINT IN TIME” considering the “FACTS and CONSIDERATIONS” that exist. Whether if the trade yields the results that the Phils expect (which they need time and luck) or not, it’s the “RIGHT MOVE” to make in regardless of what will happen to Cole, Diek, Harrison’s health and the prospects they received.

        1. just to add – the impact of Harrison in the trade is the “roster spot” that he takes during the offseason (before can be moved to the 60-day DL) which the Phils can use for a player or prospect to take/protect. The $ is almost a wash.

    4. Eickhoff and Alfaro alone project to be strong major league impact players, if you’re already writing off Williams who most industry people still see as a top 3 prospect. Thompson? Jury should take a breath and wait and see if he can start missing bats. Asher was filler. Anything he becomes is a bonus.

      It’s easy to trash a deal when no one AT THE MOMENT is shining (except Ike, perhaps).

  11. I understand what you are saying. Yes, in theory, a bad trade is made worse when you give up lot’s of cash in addition to players. I’m just saying, “who cares about the money” ? I’d risk eating money every day of the week for better returns. Any time you make a trade, you run the risk of losing. I’d rather lose money than a player (for the most part). Like I said above … this franchise can withstand risking dollars.

    1. Hinkie – I don’t think we disagree on the money issue in concept. It is of course better to eat free money than to trade talent. We all agree on that.

      Kurt, I also get your point – but we don’t know whether this was the best deal because we really don’t know the options the Phillies had available to them and we don’t know what they prioritized and were asking for in terms of players. What I will say is that two of the worst trades I ever saw were 5 for 1 type trades, where the team traded its best pitcher for numerous good, but not great, near major league ready prospects. The deals I’m referring to are the Schilling and Seaver trades. Both deals turned out to be utter disasters even though a couple of players in each trade were okay. So, having seen those trades, I’m not a big fan of substituting quantity for quality in these trades – if given the choice, I’d rather get two great prospects than five good prospects.

      We will see how this pans out – things could change quite a bit and I certainly hope they do. But I still think the value of this trade is going to turn on Alfaro. He’s the one guy from the trade I think has legitimate star potential. A few of the other players could be decent (as I said, I like Eickhoff a lot, but he’s not a headliner), but I don’t think they are likely future pillars of the team.

      We will check back in a few years and see who was right. Hey, I hope I turn out to be wrong about this guys – believe me, I do.

      1. @catch – nobody really knows what’s happening behind the curtain. But it is reasonable to assume that the teams that want a stud SP via trade are a) contending teams; and b) prospects to make the trade — there’s only 4 teams that fit that description – LAD, HOU, TEX at the deadline and BOS at the beginning of the season. There’ll probably 2 or more teams but they don’t have a deep farm unlike the other 4 teams – STL, BAL, LAA, etc. TOR took itself out of the picture with the Price and Tulo. And it is publicly known also that the Phils are looking for prospects that are close to the majors preferably SP, C and OF (this alone you know who fits the ideal partner – BOS or TEX).

        So even without the “1st hand knowledge” of the facts we can already draw a clear scenario of what the Phils are dealing with Hamels and their options.

        HOU is OUT, LAD and BOS doesn’t want to dance so there left TEX. Personally I prefer Mazara, Brinson and Ortiz. But both teams know that they cannot be greedy (i.e. BOS) otherwise, the deal is off. So I can assume that the options are: a) Mazara + lesser prospects; b) Brinson + Ortiz + lesser prospects; c) package the Phils that the Phils received. TEX is a smart organization they know that they still make a strong package with only 1 top prospect (1 of Mazara, Gallo, Alfaro, etc) and the depth of their farm will fill in the gaps.

        1. Prospects considered “elite” are very difficult to trade for, especially as years of control has become as/more important than best year upside.

          But even more so, most prospects fail to reach even their conservative upside. So if Phillies traded for Mazzarra, and he became Dom Brown then the trade would still be bad.

          As in every transaction, getting the ‘right’ players is the only thing that matters. If that ‘works’ then the players or money or time ‘lost’ will be easily explained away.

      2. The Phillies had a unique scenario with Hamels. He was/is in the middle of his career and he was/is under control for another 3-4 years at what is now a hugely discounted price. Basically it is and was a contract (between duration and price) that cannot be obtained elsewhere in baseball right now. If they didn’t trade him at the trade deadline they would have had at least 5 or 6 serious suitors in the offseason – if they didn’t like the price they really could have waited it out. Most teams cannot do that at the trade deadline – the Phillies could have. I’m not saying they should have done that – only that they could have if they didn’t feel the consideration was fair – they were not up against the wall in any way whatsoever.

  12. I was looking at more video … this time of Jose Pujols. Holy cow ! He packs a lot of punch for a guy who looks no bigger than Carlos Tocci. Wait till he adds another 10 pounds and gets to Reading. He may hit 40 HR’s there.

    1. I’ve seen them both in person, Pujols is a much bigger and more powerful guy than Tocci. I’m going to get a picture my wife took of Tocci out of uniform in spring training and send it around – he looks like a high school distance runner or a kid who doesn’t play sports – it’s mind boggling. Trust me, he’s not built like Tocci.

      1. But, yeah, I think Pujols has big time power. But it’s like it is with so many of these guys – is the hit tool good enough so that he will be able to demonstrate in-game power at higher levels. Hopefully, his recent improvements are permanent.

        1. Pujols broke two records in this last week…the LKW single- season HR and K records….and has 12 remaining games to add to those totals.

    1. Sorry. That’s a tweet from Matt Winkelman. I don’t know why it didn’t post the way I wanted it to.

  13. If you do use the phrase “Pitch to contact”, it’s actually said much more now (or at least in my experience) “pitch to weak contact”.

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