Crash Bag #7: What Are The Questions We Should Be Asking?
@JimClemmens: Why has everyone seemed to forget or ignore jesmuel valentin’s domestic violence history?
I appreciate you asking this question, it is an important question to ask. I think on a basic level not many people know about it. For those without context, in April 2015 Jesmuel Valentin was arrested for domestic battery in an incident involving his wife. He was suspended for much of the 2015 season and went to counseling, and the charges were dropped, but ultimately that means very little in our society in terms of whether something occurred. During the time he was suspended it was easy to treat him like he was not a member of the Phillies organization. Valentin’s lack of prominence in the Phillies’ system has allowed it to fade from public awareness, and unlike established major leaguers like Aroldis Chapman, Addison Russell, and others, we have not been directly confronted with whether we want him on our baseball team. We still struggle as a society to talk about domestic violence as well, with many of the institutional problems around it (such as a lack of official reports, dropped charges, and fear for the safety of the abused) leading to ambiguity in facts. This ambiguity leads to a place where teams and league have decided that the player can continue to play, and we as fans have no say in that matter. It is uncomfortable to write about Valentin and others, it is uncomfortable to root for him, and it is uncomfortable not knowing about the continued safety of the abused. There are no charges and no legal ramifications here, and we don’t know what transpired 3 years ago. Ultimately we are left having to move on with that sick fear in our gut. Moving forward, teams need to have support structures for victims of domestic abuse. Major league baseball needs stricter punishments against perpetrators of domestic abuse and teams that allow it to happen. Teams need to stop promoting policies, events, and individuals that build gender divides and glorify and perpetuate all forms of violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline www.thehotline.org/ (1-800-799-7233).
@TimmyLederman: Is Bailey Falter good?
Yes, but he isn’t suddenly an amazing prospect, just a solid one. Falter has a big projectable frame, but he still only sits in the low 90s. He has good offspeed pitches and solid command and control. Overall, he has a profile that should do well against low level hitters, but he profiles as a back end starter right now.
@mweintr: @mlbtraderumors had a post looking at 2B options for Seattle, and curiously didn’t mention César or Kingery. Would you consider dealing one of them to the Mariners? What would be a good return?
I don’t see the Mariners having the assets to pry away Hernandez or Kingery. Their top few prospects are highly flawed and worse than Kingery as a prospect. That means we are talking major league pieces, and I don’t see the Mariners parting with any of the things the Phillies would want.
@jedifernando57: I know Moniak is just 20 but when is it time to panic?
I guess it depends on what you are expecting from him. If you are still looking at an impactful 1:1 pick, that time probably passed a year ago. If you are worried about him being anything in the majors, you don’t need to be jumping ship yet. There are major league tools there, but there are some huge flaws, especially in his pitch recognition and approach. He is young and that is good for his future physical development, but the other pieces are harder to get better at, and maybe time fixes it, but for many players it does not. I still think he could be a second division regular or 4th outfielder, but more than that will take some leaps forward.
@FloDXB28: How did Nicky P become good and is it sustainable? I like the fact the front office tabbed him no. 4 starter over the winter and that he’s lived up to it and some more. Any regression coming soon?
On a simple level he started locating his pitches better and throwing his curveball sharper. Both of those changes are entirely sustainable. He still doesn’t really have a good changeup and so nothing in his arsenal breaks away from left handed hitters, and I think against some teams and batters that is going to be a problem. Ultimately he has shown the stuff to be an up and down #3 with some starts looking excellent and others a struggle. If the command falters in any way regression could come, but I don’t think the command is going to regress.
@PW_Galan: You’ve talked about the glut of pitching at Lakewood/Clearwater a bit this past week – what (if anything) should the Phils do to address this? Is it worth it to try to consolidate, or will having that depth be better in the long run (injuries, unexpected breakouts, etc)?
Right now, promote when needed and try and give everyone development time. I think they will probably use a player or two of it in a trade in the next year, but pitching gets hurt and the guys that fail may become relievers, so yeah having the depth is not a bad thing. Right now they can probably go a little bit without promoting Ramon Rosso, Will Stewart, or Spencer Howard, and maybe by the time they have to Sixto Sanchez and/or Bailey Falter has forced their way to AA.
@kai_tremoglie: How do you feel about Jhailyn Ortiz moving forward?
The same I did coming into the year, he has a chance to be a 30+ HR a year middle of the order hitter. He is 19 in his first full season, so I am not worried about the BB and K rates before the injury. He is rehabbing and should be back soon.
@RCMacc44: What’s up with Adonis Medina? What does he need to do to get back on track, because he has too good raw stuff to be playing this poorly
The stuff is all there, just struggling with command at a higher level. I am not too worried about him long term.