Crash Bag, Vol. 14: Can the IronPigs Beat the Phillies?
The major league season is underway and the Phillies don’t look great once again (it has also only been 4 games, so let’s not panic). But it is never too early to ask questions about who is part of the future or where the Phanatic should play defensively.
Before getting into the questions, if you are feeling depressed, just follow this link and feel better.
For now the best place to ask questions is on Twitter, either @ me (@Matt_Winkelman or @CrashburnAlley). But you can also reply in the comments here and I will will have some sort of better way for future mailbags.
@RubyTheTreat: If you were to invest in a Phils shirsey today, what would your top 5 choices be?
I am going to limit this to players who have played for the Phillies in the majors, as you don’t want to get a custom shirsey with the wrong number on it.
- Odubel Herrera – The Phillies locked him to the long term contract, so it is safe to assume he is probably here for a while. He is also the best player on the team and the most fun player on the team. You can’t go wrong with El Torito.
- Jerad Eickhoff – Nola and Velasquez are more trendy and exciting, but an Eickhoff shirsey means you have a good knowledge of the team and are not attracted by shiny new things. Given his success, the only way Eickhoff is leaving town is in a big memorable trade for a superstar.
- Roman Quinn – Quinn is the prospect hipster shirsey pick (though you could go with Jorge Alfaro). Quinn almost certainly sees the majors again for the Phillies, but with a crowded outfield he may not be part of the long term plans. If the Phillies do trade him, you will always have your keepsake from is 15 games in the majors.
- Aaron Nola – Everyone is jumping off the Nola bandwagon, maybe it is time to jump on. Nola’s velocity is up this season, and his arm looks healthy. There is a chance that he is still hurt, but if he is back you have bought low on ace upside.
- Your Favorite Ex-Phillies – If you are afraid of the player you choose getting traded, then there is no safer investment than a Phillie alumni. You are never going to judge someone with a player from the 2007-2011 and anything earlier than that is going to make you smile. Just try to avoid some of the idiots in the Dykstra-Schilling ilk.
@mweintr: Can you make a 25-man roster of Phillies non-MLB prospects that could beat the MLB Phillies in a best-of-seven series?
A 7 game series is a lot more difficult than a single game. Given that you need everything to break right, the goal is not the 25 best anymore, it is the 25 that could do it if everything broken right. I am also going to steal non-prospects in the minors because I am already working from a disadvantage. So here it goes…
C Jorge Alfaro
1B Rhys Hoskins
2B Scott Kingery
SS J.P. Crawford
3B Hector Gomez
LF Nick Williams
CF Roman Quinn
RF Dylan Cozens
Bench: Cameron Perkins, Andrew Pullin, Jesmuel Valentin, Chace Numata
SP Zach Eflin
SP Jake Thompson
SP Nick Pivetta
SP Ben Lively
Bullpen: Sixto Sanchez, Franklyn Kilome, Ricardo Pinto, Seranthony Dominguez, Hoby Milner, Mark Appel, Pat Venditte, Drew Anderson, Elniery Garcia
I am going to take my lesson from the World Baseball Classic where the strategy for upsets is to just bring your best hitters (Lehigh Valley+Kingery) and then bring a ton of relievers and hope for the best. The goal is for my 4 starters to optimistically go 3 innings, turn the lineup over and get to the bullpen without a disaster. In the bullpen I grabbed a pair of LOOGYs (Milner and Venditte) because there are no power lefties I trust, the the goal is to shorten up a bunch of top starting prospects for short bursts (Pinto, Appel, Anderson, and Garcia). The last three players are all about capturing lightening in a bottle with some hard throwing low minors starters. I don’t trust Sanchez, Dominguez, or Kilome to turn over a major league lineup, but gas for a couple of hitters should be in their skill set.
I don’t think this team wins a full series. I like the prospects involved and maybe you get a 2 wins out of some random home runs, good pitching, and great defense. The problem is the major league team has the starters to shut down this lineup and the bullpen could cause this lineup problems. But, we also saw Columbia hang with the US and Dominican Republic in the WBC and this lineup is better than that one.
@kmg5567: Phanatic makes the roster- what position does he play and where do you bat him in the lineup?
My first instinct is that he catches, because it is the position where he could be the most annoying to the hitter and possibly the umpire. However, I am going to go with first base because he clearly doesn’t have speed to play anywhere else, and he should have plenty of time for hi-jinks at first (plus I think Iggy would make for a better catcher). Just think of how many batters you pick off while he is distracting them. The Phanatic is clearly batting lead off. How are you going to throw him a strike without hitting him in the gut. Who cares if he is a base clogger, he is going to be on base all of the time. You want him on base too, because you know what the pitcher won’t see coming? A hex from behind them.
@Mitch_Rupert: Is this a make-or-break season for Deivi Grullon? Or will his glove continue to give his bat all the time it needs to catch up?
I don’t know if there are make or break seasons for good defensive catchers. Tuffy Gosewich is 33 years old and is still on a 40 man roster. Over 4 major league seasons he has 392 at bats and has hit .199/.237/.286. Jeff Mathis is in his 13th MLB season and has a .197/.255/.309 career line over 2284 career plate appearances. Carlos Ruiz did not make his major league debut until age 27. Maybe it doesn’t happen in the Phillies system and maybe Grullon doesn’t wait it out, but Grullon is such a good defender that he could stick around for a long time while he makes incremental offensive improvements.
@nmarmarou: What kind of spring did Jimmy Cordero have? Is the arm back?
Cordero made a brief appearance in Nats camp, pitching 3 innings, giving up a run, while walking and striking out 2. He was optioned out early and was assigned to their AA team (Harrisburg). I was not able to find any velocity readings as to whether he was throwing 2015 hard (97-100 T102) or 2016 hard (95-97).