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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

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BAP: If one player (especially a UTI) who's currently in an option year has been doing poorly for an extended period of time, you send him down and replace him with anyone (yes, anyone) who might conceivably do better.

I don't care if that means you send him down for Michael Martinez, Erik Bruntlett, or Utley's lawnchair, so long as you're open to the idea of sending that guy down too if he doesn't perform.

I can understand how the move doesn't excite you, but it's swapping the backup utility infielder. It's not a sexy position in the first place.

Particularly if the guy's ceiling and projection are as poor as Cesar's have always been.

Living in the Reading area as I do, I will make it a point to go to as many games as I can when Nola pitches here. If Beerleaguer still exists, I will give my report. Btw, going tonight and Biddle is pitching. Mrs. Limoguy and I will be in section 213, row 3, seats 3 & 4 if anyone is there and wants to say hi.

"If one player (especially a UTI) who's currently in an option year has been doing poorly for an extended period of time, you send him down and replace him with anyone (yes, anyone) who might conceivably do better."

Gee, it will be great if Ronny Cedeno does better than Cesar Hernandez. We might only lose 96 games instead of 97.

I'm sorry, I completely disagree with your premise. When your team is 7 games out of 1st, 10 games under .500, and has played .443 ball over its last 219 games, you keep the 24-year old with a .300 batting average in the minors over the 31-year old journeyman retread. There is nothing more to the analysis than that.

For what it's worth, Wolever said that he thinks Nola could begin at Clearwater not long after signing his contract. I imagine they'll want to audition him for a start or two before making the jump to reading, just to make sure he still looks as good as he did during the college season.

Yes, I assumed Nola would not begin his pro career in Reading.

"But I find it funny that now Amaro wants to focus on getting a guy who can help as soon as possible."


Jack, I don't think it's that they wanted someone who can help "ASAP", it's that they wanted someone who was more of a sure thing.

If Nola ends up in Reading, I definitely take my old man and my uncle to go see him pitch in July or August.

From last night:

Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyCSN)
Lehigh Valley broadcast reporting Tyson Gillies was designated for assignment.

I'm surprised Rube never gave Gillies a cup of coffee so he could say all the "propects" from the Cliff Lee trade made it to the show.

BAP: Then you're saying to intentionally punt the season? I'm not saying that you can win, but you certainly try. Not least because you do have some young guys, and a first-year manager, and you don't want to cement the "failure is acceptable" precedent in a year where failure is going to happen anyway.

"Then you're saying to intentionally punt the season?"

I'm saying that, when your team has no realistic chance to contend, you prioritize the future over the present. That means keeping the 24-year old over the 31-year old who does the exact same thing.

I'm not surprised by the Gillies news at all. Only a few days ago, Phuture Phillies mentioned that Gillies threw yet another temper tantrum in the dugout after being removed from the game. That was probably the last straw, especially since he's yet again stinking it up at AAA.

BAP: Except Hernandez has been so bad that, even though it's close to the same thing, it's not the same thing.

Plus, because he's been so bad, there's no chance in the world he gets anything remotely resembling every-day ABs at the MLB level. He's more likely to develop and advance in AAA than with the major-league club.

I get that you'd rather watch a 24-year-old than a 31-year-old, but that's not the best thing for the present or the future.

Someone the other day suggested a good name for the 2014 video would be "Seemed Rather Pointless". Besides making me laugh, it seems like an apt title. Ronny Cedeno is a case in point.

Phill: He has had all of 56 PAs. In 131 PAs last year, he hit .289. Based on last year's sample size, and his minor league history, I tend to think that .289 is a better reflection of his actual abilities than his numbers in 56 PAs this year. And a .289 hitter on our bench is of considerably more value than anything that Ronny Cedeno could provide.

Do we even know yet that Cesar is the odd man out? I assume he is, but I haven't seen it confirmed.

Why do I love talking about the draft? Because it means I don't have to talk about the merits of the Ronny Cedeno call-up. Because nothing good can come of it, as Cesar's performance was worthy of demotion, even if there're questions whether it should've been done given how the club's playing and is constructed.

With the draft about to resume in an hour, I'd thought it'd be a good idea to take a look at some of the guys who're still on the board at the start of the third-round, as the Phils will have their run of the talent between guys who've fallen in a thick draft class and the normal third-round diamonds in the rough. (E.g. the Cody Asches of the world.)

Pitching
As this is where the draft is thickest, this is where there's still the most upside on the board. For RHP, your best options amongst high/prep schoolers probably are Jacob Bukauskus and Austin DeCarr, with Michael Cederoth and Brett Graves. Bukauskus is a first-round talent who's fallen this far because of signability concerns: He's gone so far as to send a letter to scouts asking not to be picked because of his attention to go to college. Similarly, Cederoth is another fringy sandwich-round/second-round talent who's fallen, but per A Very Juumsy Draft Board yesterday, it's almost assuredly because of concerns about his ability to place his plus stuff in the strike-zone. I actually don't like Cederoth here if you're shopping for a RHP, as the Phils have enough hard-throwers with command troubles, as we're to the point you start betting on ceiling in your draft picks.

Which is ironic, as Austin DeCarr is actually a guy with a decent enough floor for a HS pitcher. He ticks most of the boxes I like: A fastball that sits 90-93 and dials up to 96 with movement, a plus-flashing curveball, and potentially solid-average changeup (though it currently fringy at best). All of which can be thrown, repeatedly, for strikes. The body's not terrible projectable, which means the velocity he's got is what he'll get, but it's more than adequate. With the fastball/curveball combo currently present, his floor looks like a reliever: If he can keep developing his changeup so as to make an effective third pitch, he's got the athleticism to be a starter, with ceiling a #3 if the changeup reaches its best-case scenario.

I'll keep it brief on Brett Graves: He ticks almost all of the boxes the Phils are looking for so far in their college pitchers, as he flashes the ability to pound the strike-zone and possesses the same three-pitch mix as Imhof, though the fastball is livelier (sits 92-94 and touches 97) with more advanced secondary stuff. Like DeCarr, his ultimate upside is as a #3, but he's closer to it at present, though there're concerns about his durability due to his frame's perceived fragility. (He's 6'1" and 190 lb.) If I had to choose between him and DeCarr, I'd probably have Graves, but if either of them go to the Phils today, we've added another RHP to the system with a decent chance of being a big league contributor.

If the Phils are in the market for another LHP, the pickings will be slimmer, due to the natural shortage of lefties. And that, because of the dearth of higher-upside college LHPs on the board, it should probably be a high school LHP. It's hard picking the "best" high school lefty still on the board due to variance between prospect lists, but Mac Marshall ticks the most boxes for me, as he tickles my fancy for guys who flash advanced control and the ability to throw strikes. A three-pitch guy, his fastball sits 90-92 and touches 94, complemented by a changeup and upper-70s curveball. All three pitches flash plus, though the secondary stuff does it more often, with the changeup being his best pitch. The fastball's got the most red flags, tending to flatten out as he ramps up velocity, leading to the belief he'll be a flyball pitcher in pro ball. The biggest knock on Marshall is that there's not a whole lot of projection to be done on his body and that he'll have durability concerns, though they are mitigated by his being athletic and having an easily repeatable delivery.

Position Players
As it would seem that the third-round is neigh and I've got limited skills in evaluating high school bats, this section just won't be getting done, it seems.

BAP: It is now official. Cesar not just optioned but DFA'd.

Buster:
It was Cesar Jimenez who was DFA'd, not Cesar Hernandez.

Juums: True. I was thrown off by our plethora of Cesars and Hernandezes.

Anyone want to have a fun read go back and look at the discussions of Gillies on BL in the off-season of 2009-10 in which I was a skeptic and Jack was Gillies' biggest booster. A lot of posters were very impressed with Gillies' bloated High Desert stats.

Philli: Not sure what you mean about Cesar having poor projections and low ceiling. He's among the more highly rated Phillies prospects of the last few years, though admittedly that's a low bar.

Clout: "A well-rounded infield prospect signed as a young IFA from Venezuela, Cesar Hernandez is currently pushing at the ceiling of the Phillies minor league system. At the plate he's a solid line-drive hitter with the potential to hit for a high average with a little pop, while on the bases, he shows near-plus speed, though he's still not very good at using it effectively."

Lol...some people are so busy being outraged, that they didnt even read the press release completely. How funny is that?

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