Threshers Recap – 5/27/2019

There has been a lot of discussion regarding Deivi Grullon.  Sure, he’s off to a great start.  But, maybe just consider him this year’s Joey Meneses.  A guy who puts up great numbers but doesn’t really have a spot on the 40-man roster.

I don’t think we should consider him a trading chip, or a lost opportunity if he remains with the organization all season.  Twenty-nine teams passed twice when they had the opportunity to select him during the past two Rule 5 Drafts.  He becomes a free agent at the end of the season.  How much are you going to get for the rental of a minor league catcher?  How much does he bump up a package for a player that could help the big league team?  Your answers should be nothing and not much.

Clearwater (26-24) did not play, league-wide off day.

  • #1 Alec Bohm (.307)
  • #5 Spencer Howard (1-1, 2.25) placed on the 7-day IL, shoulder soreness
  • #11 Jhailyn Ortiz (.205)
  • #12 Simon Muzziotti (.306) placed on the 7-day IL
  • #17 Kyle Young (1-3, 4.29) placed on the 7-day IL, TJ surgery
  • #18 Nick Maton (.289) 
  • #19 Rodolfo Duran (.202)
  • #20 Daniel Brito (.254)

Lehigh Valley (26-21) beat Buffalo, 5-0.

Tom Eshelman (1-0, 2.25) pitched seven, shutout innings.  He allowed 4 hits, walked none, and struck out seven.  Austin Davis (0.82) struck out three in two, one-hit innings.

The IronPigs scored a run in the second inning on Ali Castillo’s RBI single.  They scored 2 runs in the third on Andrew Romine’s RBI double and a ground out.  They added another run in the fourth on Rob Brantly’s solo HR (2).  And, they picked up an insurance run in the eighth on a ground out.

Lehigh clubbed 10 hits, 7 by the bottom of the order – 3 by Castillo (.329), and 2 each by Brantly (.291) and Canelo (.253).

  • #6 Enyel De Los Santos (2-0, 2.37)
  • #7 JoJo Romero (2-2, 9.64) assigned to Reading on May 18th
  • #10 Ranger Suarez (2-1, 6.58)
  • #16 Cole Irvin (2-0, 2.25)
  • #22 Kyle Dohy (0-1, 10.22)
  • #28 Edgar Garcia (1-1, 1.80) promoted to the Phillies on June 6th

Reading (27-19) lost to Harrisburg, 4-3. 

JoJo Romero pitched shutout ball for five innings before allowing a run in the sixth.  He ended up pitching into the seventh.  He gave up 4 runs on 6 hits.  He walked none and struck out five.  Jake Hernandez (2.81) pitched 1.1 scoreless innings.

The Phils scored their two runs in the eighth inning on Adam Haseley’s RBI double and a ground out.

Adam Haseley and Cornelius Randolph had 2 hits each.

  • #2 Adonis Medina (2-2, 4.26)
  • #3 Adam Haseley (.262) went 2-4 with a double, RBI
  • #7 JoJo Romero (0-2, 8.18) – 6.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
  • #9 Mickey Moniak (.263) went 1-4 with a run scored
  • #13 Arquimedes Gamboa (.181) went 0-3 with a SF, RBI 
  • #15 Mauricio Llovera (2-1, 4.58)
  • #21 David Parkinson (4-2, 3.35)
  • #22 Kyle Dohy (2-0, 0.82) – promoted to Lehigh Valley
  • #25 Cornelius Randolph (.233) went 2-4
  • #29 Connor Seabold – on the 7-day IL

Lakewood (17-33) lost to Kannapolis, 4-1.

Victor Santos  (2-5, 3.79) pitched well.  He gave up one run in four innings on 4 hits.  He walked none and struck out four.  Ismael Cabrera (0.00) followed with one, two-hit inning.  Francisco Morales came on for the sixth and gave up 3 runs in 2.2 innings on 5 hits.  He walked one and struck out four.  Mark Potter (1.59) struck out two in 1.1 innings and stranded two inherited runners.

The BlueClaws scored their only run in the eighth inning on a fielding error.

Lakewood was held to 2 hits.

  • #1 Alec Bohm (.367) – promoted to Clearwater, 4/29/2019
  • #4 Luis Garcia (.202) went 1-4 with a triple
  • #8 Francisco Morales (0-3, 5.23)
  • #14 Rafael Marchan (.300) went 0-3
  • #23 Dominic Pipkin (2-1, 3.86)
  • #24 Kevin Gowdy (0-2, 5.00)
  • #26 Jhordany Mezquita (2-3, 4.54)
  • #30 Manuel Silva (4.50)

Unassigned Prospects

  • #27 Starlyn Castillo

Williamsport begins its 2019 season on June 14th.

GCL Phillies East begins its 2019 season  on June 24th.

GCL Phillies West begins its 2019 season on June 24th.

DSL Phillies Red begins its 2019 season on June 2nd.

DSL Phillies White begins its 2019 season on June 2nd.

Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.

The rosters and lists are up to date as of May 27th.

Today’s Transactions (newest transactions in bold text)
5/27/2019 – Phillies optioned RHP Enyel De Los Santos to Lehigh Valley
5/27/2019 – 3B Jose Antequera assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
5/27/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated RF Nick Williams from the temporarily inactive list
5/26/2019 – 2B Grenny Cumana assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
5/26/2019 – RHP Alexis Rivero assigned to Reading from Lehigh Valley
5/26/2019 – Reading activated RHP Jose Taveras from the 7-day IL
5/26/2019 – Reading placed IF Raul Rivas on the 7-day IL
5/25/2019 – Phillies transferred RHP David Robertson from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL
5/25/2019 – Phillies placed RHP Pat Neshek on the 10-day IL, right shoulder strain
5/25/2019 – Phillies selected the contract of RHP JD Hammer from Lehigh Valley
5/25/2019 – Lehigh Valley activated LHP Ranger Suarez from the 7-day IL
5/25/2019 – LHP Josh Tols assigned to Lehigh Valley
5/25/2019 – RHP Rafi Gonell assigned to Lakewood from GCL West
5/25/2019 – Lakewood activated C Rafael Marchan from the 7-day IL

54 thoughts on “Threshers Recap – 5/27/2019

  1. I am a season ticket holder for the iron pigs. If grullon stays in the organization he deserves a chance next year to unseat knapp as the back up. Keep a close eye on jd hammer too. He is going to turn some heads given a fair chance.

    1. The fact that Grullon was passed in the past two Rule 5 drafts isn’t relevant now. He was passed after playing in A ball then passed when he played in AA ball. Now he is doing very well in AAA.The Phillies also do not have to lose him as a minor league FA. They can just add him to the 40 man. There’s lots of dead wood on the 40 that can be let go to add Grullon and other guys on the 40.

  2. Two words, Jim: Willians Austudillo. Grullon and the pitchers are the only reasons I look at the LV boxscores.

        1. In a rotational situation and with a 3rd catcher on the active roster., Knapp.

    1. Are we talking about the 27 year old Willians Astudillo was has zero WAR and has started 11 games at catcher? That Willians?

  3. I don’t see the Joey Meneses comp and I do believe that Deivy has value.
    1. Meneses was a 1B only. That carries an very high bar for hitting. Even with his strong (age 26 season) in AAA, it still was not a hitting profile for that position.
    2. Deivy has always been seen as a good defensive catcher. He has a howitzer of an arm.
    3. The offensive bar for catchers is very low. Especially for backup catchers which is what I see him as. I don’t think that he is a starting mlb catcher, but I also don’t think that means he has zero value.

    Imo his value comes down to how good he is defensively. I have not seen a report on his defense in a while. But if he is seen as good defensively, then I think that he has proven enough with the bat at age 23 to play many years in the majors at a critical defensive position.

    1. FWIW, watching Grullon is like watching Wilson Ramos hit. He’s a really big guy and he makes really good contact hitting the ball hard most at bats. He’ll make it somewhere next year.

      1. Catchers typically develop later as their position is so physically demanding. That said, he has a very good hitting age 22 season at AA and is having another very good hitting season at age 23 in AAA. Nothing to write off.

          1. MLB had him at 70 in 2014:

            Deivi Grullon…Rank: 11 (Preseason: 11)Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA)ETA: 2018Position: CAge: 23, DOB: 02/17/1996Bats: R, Throws: RHeight: 6′ 1″, Weight: 180Signed: July 2, 2012 – PHIScouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 30 | Arm: 70 | Field: 50 | Overall: 45
            It’s hard not to get excited about this young Dominican catching prospect, though it must be tempered by his age and distance from the big leagues. Grullon has a short, compact body that is well suited to a career behind the plate. He has a quick release, a strong arm and will shut down the running game in the future. Grullon is not just an all-glove backstop, though. He has the chance to hit for average and develop some power along the way. The potential to be a top-notch all-around catcher is there, but Grullon will be just 18 for all of the 2014 season, so patience is key. Grullon has already shown an ability to deal with adversity and adjust, dealing with the death of his father the day after he signed with the Phillies and acclimating to the United States fairly quickly in 2013.

    2. This is a scouting report from 2017, so a little old. But defense doesn’t regress from age 21 to 23. And his hitting has certainly improved. For those who don’t know, a 1.93 game pop time is very, vert good.

      Grullon came to the Phillies as an international free agent out of the Dominica Republic in 2012. He has a short, squatty body that’s fully developed, but he’ll need to be attentive to his weight as he looked to be above his listed weight – closer to 215 pounds. He’s a defensive-minded catcher with a plus arm (1.94 pop time) who handles pitches well, with average receiving actions, good hands and good framing ability. While his lateral range and ability to shift is also average, that could play down a grade – or more – if he gets any bigger. Offensively, he is way behind his defensive acumen. He has a long swing with a groove-type swing path, and there is some some pull-side power. He swings and misses often, and is a high-strikeout guy (23% at Class A Lakewood, and bit better at 21.4% this year across two levels). His barrel control is limited, as are his pitch recognition skills, and he struggles versus breaking and off-speed pitches. Grullon projects to be a 30-grade hitter with 40-grade power, but he has the tools to be a solid-average defender with a plus arm. If he can monitor the weight and keep the body durable, he has the defensive ability to see a floor of a Role 30 up-down emergency catcher, with a ceiling of a Role 40 backup.

      1. Is it fair that a team takes a 17 year old kid and develops them through the system only to lose them to Rule 5 after all the money and time invested in them. Should be different rules in different situations. Not sure what they would be but doesn’t seem fair.

        1. Denny…..otoh…is it fair to stash a kid for 7/8/9 years in your system until you need him?
          It is the same rule for all MLB teams…..Rule 55 also gives the 7 year guy a chance to market himself.
          The Rule 5 draft is an opportunity that some may have not received before they did that draft.
          My only objection…is the Gowdy situation….when a kid misses a full year to medical reasons….the teams who rehabbed the kid, should get one additional year of protective rights….like in college ….medical redshirts

          1. Agree with the ‘red shirt’ idea. But the Rule 5 can be a graduated process with younger players having more time within an organization.

    3. Yeah, I think he has value, just not a lot unless teams are starting to view him as a future starter. I doubt that’s the case right now. I think he could be a piece of a trade but if we’re moving him as a headliner then it’s probably for a reliever or bench reinforcement.

    4. Would prob already have unseated Knapp on the 40 as backup C….except for the fact that Knapp is a switch hitter so they keep him around

  4. I agree with those who are saying how Grullon is different than Meneses, but at the same time, I think it is inexcusable that Meneses never got a shot. The team stunk and couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn; why shouldn’t he have gotten a chance. I think that an organization should send the message to all players that if you hit, you will be promoted and not fall into politics. Especially last year when there was so much trash on the ML roster.

    Meneses deserved to be called up last year, and you can make a strong case that Grullon deserves it now, although I think Eflin loves throwing to Knapp and perhaps getting Grullon consistant ABs in AAA is better long term for his development.

    1. LOL. Meneses was so good that literally NO MLB team gave him a shot. Get out of here with that trash take.

  5. Whats Grullon worth now that a 23-year old catcher has come into his own?
    Maybe a CBA or $750K/$1M inter. monies.
    That should be easily obtainable based on what has been traded in the past for that return

    1. Romus you are really off on this kid. He is a good Defensive catcher who has some pop. that is worth more than international money.

      1. Look in the system and see what we have done correctly with international money. Not much.

        1. Denny…maybe no Acunas. Robles or Sotos……but do you become the Baltimore Orioles and just give up completely!
          You keep plugging away until you get it right.

          1. Romus as bad as we do in international market and draft .I rather put names in a hat and pick

      2. Yes I know….but the ‘minor league time’ bind the Phillies are in with him creates that lower return value.
        The Phillies will need to put him on the 40 in order to trade him for value….but when they do that, obviously, that is one less 40 spot they could have used for another position.
        They could trade Knapp….but they get little return also.
        Like I said the other day ..there are 5/6 teams in the AL-Central and West that may find value in Grullon, why not make a move.
        And with Realmuto in Philly…Grullon becomes a back-up for the next few years.

  6. I watched Jo Jo on tv yesterday and it was his best start of the season by far. However I just kept thinking I was watching a future reliever, not a starter, with his small size and style of pitching. Hopefully he can build off this good start.

    1. So far JoJo has been a similar pitcher to Gio Gonzalez…by the metrics.
      …they even physically profile similar…that may be where it all ends however.

      WHIP-1.283 H/9-7.4 HR/9-0.8 BB/9-4.1 K/9-10.3
      Jo Jo:
      WHIP-1.286 H/9-8.4 HR/9-0.7 BB/9-3.1 K/9-8.2

  7. Okay, we have a 23 year old catcher at AAA hitting very consistently at .349 and OPS over 1 and is plus defensively, I feel like I’m missing something? I remember the same things being said about Chooch and he was older and not putting up close to the power numbers Grullen is. When’s the last time we had a 23 yr. old putting up theses kind of numbers at AAA.

    1. Correct…..but he will back up Realmuto for who knows how long.
      And I have my suspicions the Phillies management prefer Knapp as their back-up who is probably a few notches below Grullon in both offensive and defensive abilities.
      They will lose him in 5 months, unless they make a decision with either Knapp or Grullon…he becomes a minor league FA and will go where there is an opportunity to get to the majors.

      1. Knapp can play 1b and maybe OF. We might be able to try him at 3b if needed. He can be a valuable PH and 3rd catcher.

  8. If you guys have some time, go back and look at Chooch’s MiLB year by year stats. Just about identical to Grullon’s. To comp him to Joey Menese’s is down right laughable. Chooch is the spot on comparison here.

    As we all know, Catchers always develop hit tool mixed in with fine tuning defensively much later. Grullon is an asset. Period. Knapp did not put up anything close to these numbers on his journey to big leagues.

    1. Exactly….look how long it took Yadier to get his hit tool together with the Cardinals.
      Two or three years after they brought him up…but he did start at an earlier age.

  9. Agree with V1 that the Meneses comp is just not a good one for many reasons – an older first base prospect is not comparable to a much younger catching prospect.

    My view on Grullon is to keep him in AAA for a few more months to mature and get experience and then promote him or trade him if you get a really good offer. I assume Realmuto will be signed long term, but who knows? Also, I believe it is likely that the NL will get the DH in the next two years which would give him a chance to get some more ABs if he grows into a strong ML hitter. Grullon gives you some flexibility with that and, by the way, he’s so much younger than Realmuto that it’s possible he could become the back up and then also the heir apparent, as most catchers have notoriously short shelf lives. A catcher can be at his peak at age 28 or 29 and then be washed up at 33 – in fact, it’s more the norm than the exception. So I’m not giving Grullon away so quickly or so readily.

    1. ‘So I’m not giving Grullon away so quickly or so readily’..
      well Matt Klentak is on the clock to do something.
      Grullon walks if not on the 40 by five days after the World Series Nov… a minor league FA he will get offers based on his age, the position he plays, and last two years of offense at the highest minor league levels..
      The Phillies can carry three catchers on the 40…they did it a few years ago.

      1. Romus – I don’t understand why “Klentak is on the clock to do something”. We’re playing good baseball, and are in first place. If there is an injury at catcher, Grullon will be added to the 40 man and promoted immediately. At the worst he’ll be promoted on Sept.1st.
        It’s not even June, and you’re concerned about what may happen in November. There’s just too many variables in between. For me, I’m concerned about tonight’s game, and tomorrow I’ll be concerned about tomorrow’s game. Stay focused.

        1. Wawa…..GMs and FOs need to be planning and thinking, both tactically and strategically.
          And Nov will be here faster than what you think.
          Let Kapler worry about tonight, Klentak needs to worry about the tomorrows.
          Unless Realmuto or Knapp goes down with a sustained or even a few week injury, Grullon is counting the days until he can market himself.
          Klentak will not put him on the 40 during the season unless that happens.
          In 5/6 weeks Klentak will be trying to finaliz trade deadline deal(s) to strengthen the team for August and Sept.

  10. Wow Jim you tweaked the monster. Let’s talk about something else. The Minor League organization has a 96 – 97 mark at Memorial Day. 3 teams are over .500 with one dragging down all the others. At the onset, Reading looked like the team to watch this year and they’ve started showing it. The pitching is straightening out. They are in the middle of most of the Eastern League teams pitching stats. Hitting stats are not good… not good at all. they are last or next to last in hitting stats except BBs, OBP and Triples. They also lead the league in SBs. So they score just enough runs to win while the pitching staff tries to keep the runs against as small as they can. I guess I’d call them opportunistic or a type of small ball.

    By the way, thank you for your service to all the veterans out there. Also thank you to all the families whose loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice.

    1. Bellman – When I look at a Phillies box score, I’m mostly concerned with the team result. In the minor league box scores, I’m more interested in the individual players stats. That’s why this is my favorite site. Jim always gives an objective view of the previous days games. I’m most excited by the pitching at all levels of the farm system.

  11. Mennesses comp is completely off IM humbled opinion. Gruillon is only 23 and is a compared to JM who was a 1B/DH. JM had bounced around while this is DG first full year in AAA

  12. With only 2 catchers on the 40-man, and a 50%? likelihood of needing another due to injuries etc., I think the Gruillon situation will be resolved by the end of the season.

  13. grullon looks like a trade chip given the presence of JTR
    I just have no idea what his value is
    a 23 yo good defensive catcher with a 1000+ OPS at AAA seems like a top 25-50 prospect in all of baseball if its real but my sense is no one really believes that is who he is.
    his trade value will probably be what other teams feel is the true player
    in his case, I think time increases his value because the longer he excels, the more other teams will believe this a true starting major league catcher

  14. Knapp’s market value can’t decrease. He has none but is only valuable to the Phillies in the role he currently occupies. Grullon’s value – whatever it is currently – can only decrease should he be promoted to be exactly what Knapp is.

  15. For those who think that Grullon’s more than just an organizational body I don’t understand why you would want him promoted to be the back-up catcher behind Realmuto in Philly. He’s going to play 1 game a week and lose both development time and decrease his market value in the process. It is foolish to promote a player you actually think can be an everyday regular into a role that involves sitting on the bench.

    The reason that Knapp is the backup is because he’s got no future value beyond what is already is, a backup catcher.

  16. Grullon’s BABIP this year is .457. Last year in AA it was .296. If we assume a BABIP of around .300, he would be hitting in the .240s. His K rate is 28.8%. His Batting Average this year is BABIP-driven, in a way that’s not likely to be sustainable.

    He’s young for AAA. He has pop (ISO is .255 this year; was .242 last year). And with good defense, that is a backup catcher.

    The comparison with Chooch doesn’t fit. When Chooch was 24 in AAA (albeit a year older than Grullon is this year) he had a K rate of 13.2% and a BB rate of 9.9%. He hit 50% better than the league (wRC+ of 150) that year and it wasn’t BABIP driven.

    1. Agree…Deivy’s current year Batting Average is driven by his unsustainable BABIP. But he has a decent walk rate at 7.4% and his highest Line Drive rate of his career, 19.4%. He also is hitting the ball to all fields, so not shift-able. And his ISO is the highest of his career at .255. His HR to Fly Ball rate is also the highest of his career, at 32.1%.

      If your point is that he is a different hitter than Chooch, I 100% agree. He has more power and less contact ability.

      But he is a very good defensive catcher with very good power that is showing up in games.

      There are just so few MLB catchers that hit for power and take walks and area also very good defensively.

  17. Front office continues is”Lost “ approach with its approach to whole system. Hoping to find The Gem” with its signings and promotions. Latest. Hard Throwing Righthander” a thousand/millions out there when in fact #41 prospect 2018, Quote 95-97 but flat FB, 2 additional pitches but below average. Add the fact that Milb experience 2 levels 40 plus innings. Everyone hit the FB.
    Happy for the Kid but.

    Together the recent findings of Arjona, Gonell, Taveras and what about Windle, Tols and AAA guys who are playing by the rules, long days, nights, bus rides for years of minimal pay.
    FO give players some of the money who make your business and Show profitable

    Make things fair and right

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