Category Archives: Other Stuff

Lehigh Valley Report

The perspective juggernaut has been mediocre at best through the first two weeks of the season with the ‘Pigs sitting with a 5-6 record through 11 games, and in 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 2.5 games behind division leading Buffalo.  Lehigh Valley returns home tonight to begin what will be a six game home stand against Columbus and Toledo.

News and Notes: Jorge Alfaro has started the season very hot, getting on base in all 9G he has appeared in (.361, 1HR 5RBI)

–Through the first 11 games of the season, the Lehigh Valley bullpen is getting the job done with a 2.38 ERA and an opponents batting average of .190.

–In his second career AAA appearance, RP Mark Leiter set a ‘Pigs record for strikeouts in an appearance by a relief pitcher with 8.  Leiter has been predominately used as the ‘Pigs long man in the early going.

–Pitchers Dailier Hinojosa and Colten Murray have been placed on the DL to start the season.

–P Nick Pivetta has probably been the ‘Pigs best starter the first two times through the rotation.  Pivetta is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA.  Most impressively, he has not walked a batter while striking out 13 in his 13IP, while holding the opposition to a .167 avg.

–Jake Thompson has had significant troubles in each of his first two starts, lasting just 2.1 innings in each and yielding 9ER in one start and 6ER in the other.  His control has been poor as well with 6BB in 5.2 innings of work.

–RP Pat Vendittee has been extremely effective in his first 3 ‘Pigs appearances, throwing 5.1 scoreless innings and striking out 7.

–Both Pedro Beato and Michael Mariot have earned saves in the early going and look for the “closer by committee” after losing Luis Garcia to Philadelphia.

–A very successful first 11 games in his AAA career for 1B Rhys Hoskins, who is hitting .324/.452/.676 with 3HR and 5RBI in his first 34 AB.  The other half of the “bash brothers”, Dylan Cozens, sits at .158/.238/.316 in 38AB and has 17 strikeouts in his 42 plate appearances (40%).

–The struggles of JP Crawford have been well documented in the early going.  Crawford is at .086/.200/.143 thru 40 plate appearances.  He has a lone extra base hit and a lone RBI to go along with an “uncrawfordlike” 30% K rate.  Only one error in the early going, however, his range factor has been significantly lower than in previous years thus far.  It is still VERY early.

–INF Jesmuel Valentin has been the offensive catalyst in several of the ‘Pigs victories and is hitting at a .355 clip early on to go along with 5RBI in his 31AB.

–A big, three hit game that included a homer has gotten Nick WIlliams going back in the right direction after bumpy beginnings this season.  WIlliams sits at .265/.297/.412 with 1HR and 3RBI in 34AB.  The OBP is reminiscent of last year and must improve.  He has walked just once in 35AB and is striking out at a 35% clip.

Probables: Tuesday: Thompson; Wednesday: Pinto; Thursday: Lively; Friday: Pivetta; Saturday: Appel

Comings: Adam Morgan (optioned from Philadelphia)

Goings:  Zach Eflin (to Phillies), P Luis Garcia to Phillies,

2017 Schedules, Observations, and Rumors

Here is a consolidated schedule of all games for the organization’s stateside teams.  In the photo below, the action of every org team is listed for any given date, including the Phillies. The far right column lists the game times and location for Extended Spring games.  In June, the column deftly switches to Gulf Coast League games.  I attached the month of April just for explanation.  All six months are listed below as URLs. Continue reading 2017 Schedules, Observations, and Rumors

Lehigh Valley Roster

Six more days until opening day for Lehigh Valley and with that, the Phillies have announced the ‘Pigs roster. The roster is as follows:  Players age in (    ). Bold indicates on 40 man roster.  Look for Jake Thompson to get the nod opening day.

Catchers: Jorge Alfaro (23) and Logan Moore(26)

1B: Rhys Hoskins (24); 2B: Jesmuel Valentin (22); SS: JP Crawford (22); 3B: Taylor Featherston (27); INF: Hector Gomez (29); INF: Pedro Florimon (30)

OF: Dylan Cozens (22); Nick Williams (23); Roman Quinn (23); Cameron Perkins(26)

SP: Jake Thompson (23);  Ben Lively (25); Nick Pivetta (23); Mark Appel (25); Ricardo Pinto (23)

RP: Pedro Beato (30); Luis Garcia (30); Mark Leiter (26); Michael Mariot (28); Hoby Milner (26); Wander Perez (32); Cesar Ramos (32); Pat Venditte (31).

Notes: The roster contains 6 of the top 10 prospects in the Phillies system (Baseball America)

–Expect to see Luis Garcia as the closer at the beginning of the season.

–Hector Gomez played in the Korean League in 2016 and hit 21 homers.  He has played in the majors for both the Rockies and Brewers.

–The ‘Pigs play the Reading Fightin Phils in an exhibition game on Tuesday in Allentown before opening the season next Thursday against Pawtucket at 7:05.

Too Slow or Not Too Slow, That is the Question

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced in a press conference today his frustration at the MLBPA’s “lack of cooperation” making any changes aimed at improving the pace of play.  The commissioner’s comments came in the wake of statements by the MLBPA’s Tony Clark.  The Executive Director indicated the association’s unwillingness to incorporate any changes this season.

Since the “presser”, I have seen comments and tweets whose general sentiment is that baseball “purists” are happy with the game as it is.  In fact, if you are in favor of change, you aren’t a true fan.

So, I am curious about the opinion of Phuture Phillies readers.  The poll is simple.  Yes or no to change.  It’s anonymous.  No comments.  So, if you aren’t a “true fan”, no one will know.  I’ll follow this up with the results.  And maybe a follow up poll if necessary.

Phillies 2017 Projected Arbitration Salaries

MLB Trade Rumors has published their annual Projected Arbitration Salaries article for players who are eligible for this year’s arbitration process.

The Phillies have several players who are arbitration eligible.  MLBTR offered projections for four of them.

  • Player                            Service Time    2017 Projection    2016 Salary    Projected Increase
  • Jeanmar Gomez       (5.063 yrs)               $4.6MM                   $1.4MM                     $3.2MM
  • Freddy Galvis              (4.021 yrs)               $4.4MM                    $2.0MM                    $2.4MM
  • Cody Asche                   (3.022 yrs)              $1.3MM                     $525K                        $775K
  • Cesar Hernandez       (2.154 yrs)              $2.5MM                     $530K                       $1.97MM

Darin Ruf, Emmanuel Burriss, and Frank Hermann entered the off season as arbitration eligibles.  Burriss and Hermann have already been outrighted.  Ruf will likely be outrighted also.  I heard around the Complex that he has a $4MM offer to play in Japan.  If true, that is significantly more than his 2016 salary of $527K, and more than he could reasonably expect to make through arbitration or free agency.

Okay, one more thing.  I’ve got nothing against the guy, but I just don’t see how a slash of .213/.284/.360/.635 in 71 games (218 PA/197 AB) with 4 HR and 18 RBI should project Asche for a raise of about 147%.  He joined the MLB team on June 2nd this season and was optioned to Lehigh Valley on August 12th.  I wish I got raises like this when I worked in the private sector.

Oh, one more “one more thing”, Jimmy Paredes and Patrick Schuster have elected to declare free agency.

Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers, Top Half of Organization

Final report card of the year looking at relief pitchers at the upper parts of the organization.

Lehigh Valley

Luis Garcia, 29, Signed as a free agent in 2013; 48G; 6-3 with a 2.14ERA; 13SV; 54.2IP 38H 24BB 53K; .203 opp avg; 1.13 WHIP; 2.09 GO/AO; 4.0BB/8.7K per 9; .203 vs LHH, .203 vs RHH; After throwing in 72 games for the Phillies in 2015, I was surprised to see Garcia start the season in Lehigh Valley and I was even more surprised that with the lack of bullpen depth in Philly, he didnt receive more of an opportunity with the big club before September.  He pitched well for Lehigh Valley and is out of options next season.  Grade: C+; 2017: ELsewhere, based on the lack of big league opportunity this season.

James Russell, 30, Signed as a free agent in 2016; 29G (13 starts) for Lehigh Valley; 3-5 with a 4.29ERA; 79.2IP 88H 19BB 49K; 11HR allowed; .272 opp avg; 1.34 WHIP; 0.74 GO/AO; 2.1BB/5.5K per 9; .176 vs LHH, .301 vs RHH, .346 last 30 days; Russell started the year in Philly and was sent down to Lehigh Valley after several awful outings.  He pitched well for Lehigh Valley in multiple roles in the seasons final month where he really ran out of gas.  Grade: C; 2017: Elsewhere

Dailier Hinojosa, 30, Acquired off of waivers from Boston in 2015; 22 games; 1-3 with a 2.96ERA; 24.1IP 25H 14BB 23K; .281 opp avg; 1.60 WHIP; 0.64 GO/AO; 5.2BB/8.5K per 9; Hinojosa was expected to be a key member of the Phils bullpen.  That didnt happen.  First, he was ineffective for the Phils, then was injured and after he came off the DL was very inconistent for Lehigh Valley.  Grade: C-; 2017: I would be surprised if he were back

Colton Murray, 26, Phils 13th round pick in 2011; 27G; 2-2 with a 2.95ERA; 36.2IP 31H 15BB 36K; .230 opp avg; 1.25 WHIP; 0.97 GO/AO; 3.7BB/8.9K per 9; .242 vs LHH,. .259 vs RHH; Murray pitched well for Lehigh Valley but has struggled during multiple stints with the Phillies; I would expect him to spend another year as pitcher #14-15 in the organization, bouncing back and forth to Philly when (if) injuries occur.  Grade: C+

Elvis Arajuo, 25, SIgned as a free agent in 2014; 18G, 1-0 with a 2.18ERA; 20.2IP 15H 6BB 19K; .195 opp avg; 1.02WHIP; 0.87 GO/AO; 2.6BB/8.3K per 9; .148 opp avg last 30 days; Arajuo pitched very poorly for the Phils in 32 games this season, struggling with his control and simply getting hit around.  To his credit, he came down to AAA and threw well, but the Phils saw enough of Arajuo to not call him back up in September, leaving you wondering what his future with the organization may be.

Joely Rodriguez, 24, Acquired from Pittsburgh in 2014; 53G; 7-0 with a 2.35ERA across 3 levels; 5SV; 76.2IP 65H 23BB 69K; .237 opp avg; 1.15 WHIP; 2.06 GO/AO; 2.7BB/8.1K per 9; For LV: 13G, 0-0 with a 2.79ERA; 19.1IP 16H 6BB 18K; .232 opp avg; 1.14 WHIP; 2.8BB/8.4K per 9; Rodriguez left 2015 as a failed starting pitcher and was removed from the 40 man roster.  He successfully reinvented himself as a left handed high leverage reliever and did an excellent job. One of his primary issues in ’15 was his control, which was much improved this season.  With his call up to Philly in September, much rides on his performance as the role of LOOGY at the highest level is open for the taking.  Grade: A- Continue reading Post Season Report Card–Relief Pitchers, Top Half of Organization