Week One Phillies Notebook

Some notes on the first week that was:

  • From the department of bad signs- Bourjos and Hunter have 18 at-bats a piece, while Darin Ruf has six. This isn't me telling you how I think Ruf will be awesome, this is me telling you that the .167 and .111 hitting outfielders scare me.
  • Cesar Hernandez is off to a nice start, hitting .421 (8-for-19) and posting an .895 OPS in week one. Lost in that though is a very concerning stat- two times he was caught stealing this week. Cesar needs to hit for high average and steal bases for his offensive game to play up enough to make him a long-term solution at second base. While I believe that he will, this week he was caught stealing more than we would like to see. He also did strike out four times, a rate he cannot continue at.

  • Jeremy Hellickson wasn't just good on the mound- he went 2-for-4 this week.
  • The IronPigs were supposed to open on Thursday in Syracuse, and instead they opened on Friday in Allentown. The Phillies AAA club actually played a doubleheader at Coca-Cola Park in front of one (1) fan. They lost both games and are 0-2 so far. Most of the players that fans are worried most about- Nick Williams, Will Venable, Darnell Sweeney, Andrew Knapp, and Tommy Joseph- all went hitless in the two games. Brock Stassi had a hit though in three at-bats. Adam Morgan and Jake Thompson both threw five innings of one run ball though in the losses.
  • Jeanmar Gomez is getting a lot of attention for his emergence in the closer race, closing out two saves this weekend. Hector Neris is probably getting less attention for his 4.1 innings of one hit ball this week. It'll be interesting to see if he eases into more important spots if he keeps pitching well.
  • Jeremy Hellickson should be 2-0 for the kind of week he had. In 11.2 innings, he gave up two earned runs. While I'm not confusing him with Clayton Kershaw, a return towards his early career self in Tampa would be huge for Hellickson's value, both to himself and the Phillies. He could prove a valuable trade piece, and could earn himself a decent payday as a free agent.
  • With Roman Quinn's walk-off single on Sunday, Reading is 2-2 in the AA Eastern League. Jorge Alfaro is hitting .500 a week in, while most of the other prospects of note are scuffling in the .200s. It's worth noting though, Reading was playing in 34 degree weather on Saturday, which is frankly ridiculous for April.
  • I don't want to pick on Pete Mackanin too much a week into the season, but should it have taken until now to think about Jeanmar Gomez as a potential closer, or Darin Ruf as a left-fielder? I might understand it if either were a rookie, or weren't on last year's team even, but these are guys he already knew. It strikes me as odd that he didn't know to try them.
  • No matter how many lefties you carry in the pen, the rotten stats of the week go to lefties Daniel Stumpf and James Russell, rocking 40.50 and 54.00 ERA's a week into the season. Stumpf also could be linked to the rotten state line of his fellow Rule-5 pick, Tyler Goeddel, who struck out in four of his five at-bats this past week. Obviously the Phillies want to get both through the season on the roster, but both have to show they can compete a little more than they did this week.
  • Clearwater posted a 2-2 week in the Florida State League this week. Carlos Tocci posted a .471 average on the week, picking up right where he left off in Spring Training. Kyle Martin hit two homers on the week two.
  • Odubel Herrera's week wasn't just terrible at the plate. "El Torito" posted two errors in center field in the opening week. That's impressively terrible.
  • Starters hitting below the Mendoza on week one- Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, Cedric Hunter, and Darin Ruf. Ruf didn't get a lot of at-bats, but we'll count him with the others for now.
  • Lakewood got off to a 1-3 start, which is only really scratching the surface for how bad the week was. Super prospect Franklyn Kilome pitched two innings in his start and has an ERA of 22.50 after. Former top pick Shane Watson is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA after going four innings in his season debut. Alberto Tirado, a highly ranked reliever picked up for Ben Revere, has a WHIP of 3.00 after 1.2 innings in which he walked three guys. In case you think I'm just picking on the pitching, Cornelius Randolph struck out six times in his first week, on the way to a .105 average. Jose Pujols was pretty terrible too at .167, and he struck out eight times. It was an ugly week.