It’s not much, but I wanted to make sure I posted something on the recently called-up Cesar Jimenez so you knew what he was all about. I also wanted to update you on what I saw from Adam Morgan last week.
Cesar Jimenez: The 28 year old Venezuelan lefty sports an average fastball that’ll play up a bit thanks to nice arm-side run and about average control and command. Jimenez’s best secondary offering is a changeup which sits in the mid-70s and features impressive vertical descent. The tertiary pitch is a short, upper-70s slider which breaks too early to fool big league hitters. You’ll see Jimenez run the slider in on the hands of right-handed hitters like a cutter once in a while. He holds runners pretty well with times to home from the stretch in the 1.35-1.50 second range. He’s organizational depth, but you could do worse. I know of one team in Japan that is at least a little sweet on Jimenez, so maybe he ends up there in the near future if he gets sick of life on the bus.
Adam Morgan: Morgan sat mostly 88-90mph with his fastball for the first few innings of his start last week, about a half grade below what we saw last year when pitched well enough to earn the top spot on my Phillies prospect rankings. As his start wore on, Morgan’s velocity dropped. Around the 65-70 pitch mark, the fastball velocity sunk a full fathom down to 86-88mph and once, just once, was down at 84mph. The secondary stuff was inconsistent, which is to be expected upon return from a pretty serious injury. A pitch scouts once confidently graded out as a plus offering, Morgan’s slider, was instead average looking in the low 80s with its usual two plan break. He threw a few that were a bit better, broke later and harder. Morgan’s changeup flashed plus with wicked movement once or twice but was also about average overall. He only threw one or two curveballs throughout the duration of the start, not enough to really gauge anything from. I hadn’t seen any of Morgan’s other rehab appearances since his rotator cuff injury so I have no context on which to judge this appearance. It’s possible the arm strength is coming back and there’s nothing to worry about. It’s also possible that 40 fastball velo toward the end of his appearance is a harbinger of surgical doom. I’ll do my best to check in at least one more time before the end of the season, though Morgan may not pitch at home again until the last series of the year.
I’m working the phones on Luis Encarnacion and will have something up on him early next week. Early opinions are that he’ll likely have to move down the defensive spectrum as he ages but that the bat at least has a chance to carry him anyway. Details to come.