Zack Segovia, who took the loss in yesterday’s debut, and reliever Joe Bisenius were optioned to Triple-A Ottawa to make room for Jon Lieber and new acquisition Francisco Rosario. Both moves were expected.
The Phillies coaching staff will call upon Rosario blindly having not seen him except through the eyes of scouts. In addition, they have yet to see Lieber perform in his new capacity, so in essence, what should have been happening from Feb. 15 through the end of March is happening a week into the season.
As for the demotions, Segovia didn’t help in yesterday’s losing cause, but performed as one would expect in a debut, allowing five runs over five innings with defense to blame for at least one run. Bisenius didn’t allow a run in his two chances, but only looked so-so. Both players look like they can be Major League contributors and stand to benefit from the experience.
Chris Coste quietly optioned
The Chris Coste issue was adopted and discussed through most of winter here, but his demotion to Triple-A Ottawa went largely unnoticed. Coste’s patient plate presence would have come in handy yesterday during two bases loaded chances that were bestowed upon Carlos Ruiz. While Ruiz’s self-confidence and natural ability make for a bright future, one of his biggest knocks became apparent yesterday, and that is, he tries to be too much of a hero.
Clout’s point on batting philosophy
Beerleaguer regular Clout made an excellent statement about hitting in yesterday’s thread and it deserves more prominent placement:
The Phillies as an organization do not believe that OB is a useful skill. Batters are encouraged to hack. What you saw today, from Victorino and Ruiz, among others, is the Phillies way, from Class A- to the majors. If a player like Kevin Youkilis were to show up at a Phillies tryout camp, he'd be laughed off the field. Greg Golson is the quintessential Phillie prospect. A marvelous athlete, who looks good, is strong and fast, can run and jump and catch and throw. When his bat accidentally meets the ball he can send it a long way. His 320/66 K/BB ratio is the way the Phillies teach the game.
Spot on, isn’t it, and yesterday’s game shows the philosophy goes all the way to the top in game situations. The Marlins handed the Phillies 11 free passes yet most approaches constituted out-of-control hacks. That is why Florida’s Double-A quality pitching had no trouble beating them. The Phillies gambled with the long ball inside an extreme pitcher’s park, instead of staying with a consistent attack built around OB, to capitalize on Scott Olsen’s wildness that was evident in the first frame. Ask yourself what the Atlanta Braves would have manufactured with 11 walks to play with. The answer may be one reasons the Braves are 5-1 while the Phillies stand 1-5.
Beerleaguer placed at the mercy of Mets fans
Perhaps against my better judgement, the information superhighway is open once again between Philadelphia (Beerleaguer) and New York City (MetsBlog). Check out my Mets/Phillies series preview for the benefit of Mets fans on our rival blog.
Poll: Who goes when Freddy Garcia comes back?
Antonio Alfonseca, Clay Condrey or Matt Smith could all be considered. Smith could be optioned, Alfonseca released and Condrey designated, although there's no guarantee they'd be able to keep Condrey. One other point worth consideration: Should the Phillies start searching for a veteran outfielder if Michael Bourn continues to ride the pine? Larry Bigbie, who was assigned to Dodgers minor league camp, is a lefty-batting possibility.