Crash Bag Vol. 43: Missing Doc
We lost a legend this week. As I’m sure you’re aware, Roy Halladay, the greatest pitcher I’ve ever seen, died in a plane crash on Tuesday. He was only 40. And while the baseball world mourns his death, including here at the site, it’s important to remember that, even as we lost Doc, his children and his wife lost Dad. For us, the loss is still personal; he was our idol, our hero, but we saw him from afar. So let’s remember the Halladay family and keep them in your thoughts, as they’re living a nightmare.
It would be fitting to memorialize Doc here with statistics, to definitively show that he’s the best pitcher of his generation and one of the greatest ever, but you already know that. So in the spirit of the Crash Bag, I’m going to share a personal story about Doc.
The Phillies traded for Halladay before the 2010 season, after several dalliances with the Toronto front office. Partway through the 2010 season, the Phillies traded for Roy Oswalt. Then after the 2010 season, we signed Cliff Lee to complete possibly the greatest rotation in baseball history. The Four Aces, as it were.
My friends and I were overjoyed to have the best rotation in the league, and were older than 18 but younger than 21, so naturally we planned a road trip to Toronto for the 4th of July (also the same weekend as Canada Day north of the border). The Phillies would be playing the Blue Jays in a weekend series, with Kyle Kendrick (lol), Halladay, and Cliff Lee starting the three games.
I don’t know what I expected to happen at that game. Halladay had all but forced his way out of town due to the general lousiness of the Blue Jays over the preceding decade. Perhaps it’s the Philadelphian in me, but I was expecting at least some scattered boos. After all, fans booed Scott Rolen after he forced his way out of Philadelphia. And fans still boo Jayson Werth (which is extremely stupid and needs to stop).
But just about the only taunting I heard all series was not directed at Halladay, but at us about Joe Carter’s home run almost two decades prior. In Halladay’s first return to the Rogers Centre the fans gave him a standing ovation as he went to the mound in the first.
Even after he threw a complete game to lead the Phillies to victory, they cheered. He was like their Chase Utley, and even Chase Utley never requested a trade. And that just demonstrates the type of guy Halladay was; even a jilted fan base adored him.
And by the way, that three-run, eight-strikeout complete game win was only the 18th best game score Halladay recorded that season.
Just a couple questions this week:
@SAKrawczyk: With Sixto getting much more press, is it wrong of me to be equally excited for Franklyn Kilome? I assume he starts in Reading, but reason to believe he makes starts in LHV this season?
Kilome is an exciting prospect, to be sure, but from what I understand there’s more risk and less upside than Sixto Sanchez. Kilome is huge and spindly, standing in at 6’-6” but with a listed weight of 175 lbs. While the height can help him generate a better downward plane on his fastball and his extra long levers can give him more velocity, it also makes his delivery more difficult to repeat, and he’s not known as a spectacular athlete.
His fastball velocity spiked this season, touching 97, and he’s just 20 years old, so there’s plenty of time for him to iron out his mechanics. What’s concerning, though, is that after the leap to Single-A and during his few starts at Reading this year, his strikeout rate fell without a corresponding drop in his walk rate. At Lakewood, he offset his 10% walk rate with a 26% strikeout rate. Unfortunately, upon reaching Clearwater, that strikeout rate fell to 20% while the walk rate held relatively steady at 9.1%.
A similar drop occurred in his short stint at Reading with him striking out just 16.3% of hitters while walking over 12%. That may be due to fatigue, and struggling while jumping two levels in one year is perfectly understandable, but contrast that with Sanchez, who ran a 25% strikeout rate with a 3.5% walk rate at Lakewood before his cameo at Clearwater.
I don’t mean to denigrate Kilome, as he’s a good prospect with plenty of potential. Scouting reports I’ve seen put his ceiling as a middle-of-the-rotation starter, which is great. But Sanchez, who just turned 19, hits triple digits with his fastball, has flashed plus secondaries, and has the ace potential.
@RobertDalton52: With prospects to protect by Nov 20, what order would you list current 40 man roster members r of most likely to be removed to least likely.
I did a similar exercise here in these digital pages a few weeks ago. I wrote:
The Phillies have a bunch of mediocre relief pitchers on the 40-man. Several of those players, like Alberto Tirado, Yacksel Rios, Kevin Siegrist, Zac Curtis, and Ricardo Pinto could be DFA’d to make room for prospects or free agents. Ditto Henderson Alvarez, who has only thrown 37 major league innings since the 2014 season when he was surprisingly the Marlins best pitcher. It’s possible the Phillies like what they see in one or more of these pitchers, but I don’t think any of these players would necessarily be a huge loss.
Since then, Siegrist and Alvarez have become free agents. Just this week, they dropped Jesen Therrien and Pedro Florimon. According to the Phillies’ website, there’s 38 players on the 40 man at the current moment. I’d say the most likely candidates to be removed from the roster are still the rest of the pitchers I listed above.
Have a good weekend everybody.