Trade Deadline ’13 Thoughts
With everyone calling for the Phillies to “sell” and begging Ruben Amaro Jr. to call up nearly every significant prospect in the Phillies farm system (I had one viewer e-mail me the Phillies starting lineup that he’d like to see for 2014—and it included only two names on the current MLB roster!), let’s take a breath and take a realistic view of the players who COULD be in the majors at some point.
Of these two players, Cody Asche is by far having the best Triple-A season among the “prospects,” and probably the most realistic shot at starting opening day with the Phillies a year from now. However, while everyone I’ve spoken with loves his glove, he looks to be—at best—an “average” hitter, with very little power (a little more than Ben Revere, a smart base runner, but with average speed.
As for Tyson Gillies, Amaro spoke VOLUMES when the Phillies desperately needed someone to replace Revere—and later Dominic Brown—and he responded by keeping three catchers, and re-calling light-hitting Michael Martinez and journeyman Steve Susdorf ahead of him. It may not be unreasonable to think that Gillies, Phillippe Aumount, and J. C. Ramerez—the three players acquired for Cliff Lee back in 2009—all might be out of the Phils’ organization by the end of the 2014, instead of leading their re-building process.
Darin Ruf was another player I’ve often been asked about. I saw quite a bit in Triple-A and, at times, looked like a competent Major League bat. He would work the count many times, but also got frustrated when teams tried to pitch around him. I don’t know if he’s the left fielder of the future the Phillies need him to be — although with Ryan Howard’s tenuous injury status, he might be a guy that has a long career with the Phillies as an extra man, providing pop off the bench.
Adam Morgan and Greg Smith were the pitchers that impressed me the most so far this summer, although the latter may not have the velocity it takes to be a steady Major League starter.
Honestly, from what I’ve seen and from what I’m hearing, I don’t know if there’s much minor league help on the near-horizon, with the exception of Double-A third baseman Maikel Franco and southpaw Jesse Biddle, and Amaro’s insistence on not trading away these few precious commodities support that theory. (I’m not including Freddie Galvis with these names as he clearly was sent down to the minors to get some at-bats and be ready with whatever hole they’ll need him to fill next). With inherent raises in store for some returning Phillies players (and significant upgrades for an arbitration guy like Kyle Kendrick), I don’t know if the team will have much financial flexibility to acquire very many new names—certainly not enough to solve all the team’s current question marks?
What players currently in the organization do you like and/or want to see more of? What direction should the Phillies head next? Among our guests on the August 22nd edition of “SportsTalk” (live at 6 pm on RCN-TV) will be Phillies Beat Writer Brad Wilson, who will talk about the Phillies, Eagles and other local and national sports issues. Send your comments to RCNSportsTalk@rcn.com and we can read and respond to your comments on that program.