Not-so Quick Stab at the 2013 IronPigs Roster

Yesterday on Twitter and Sulia I took a quick stab at the roster again, with the news that old friend Rodrigo Lopez had been signed to a minor league deal.  I think we can expect to see him hold down a spot in the IronPigs rotation and contribute some veteran leadership there.  He should be able to eat up some innings for the early part of the season until things shake out for the youngsters.  It was pointed out that his age may be a problem and that his ERA was 5.++ last year for the Cubs and AAA Iowa.  It was also pointed out (thanks, Decal) that he pitched very very well with Gwinnett two years ago for our new manager Dave Brundage.  His only loss prior to going to the Cubs was to the IronPigs. 

I’ve considered the roster a little more over the last 24 hours.  Enough to generate 1200+ words! However, I think I’ve got to look again at the Philadelphia 25 before I can fine tune my stab.  Injuries, suspensions, and trades can have an impact here; since I’m not going to predict any more of those, we’ll assume perfect health and behavior.


Catcher (2):

Kratz, Quintero

Discussion:  Chooch starts on the suspended list.  I’d expect to see Quintero move on and Kratz stick as backup after the first 25 games.  The only other possibility is Valle, who is already on the 40-man.  I’m just not sure he’s ready.

Starting Infield (4):

Howard, Utley, Rollins, Young

Discussion: Really, after the past two years, can they figure out a way to get Utley’s knees ready for April rather than June?  I could really care if he plays in Florida or not.  Just get him ready so that the IronPigs don’t have to subsidize the Phillies infield for the first two months.

Starting Outfield (3):

Mayberry, Revere, Brown

Reserve Outfield (1):


Discussion: There may be a platoon here with Nix.  An additional reserve my be involved (see below).  Also, can’t completely rule out another trade–or Ruf.

Other Reserves (3): Frandsen, Martinez, Inciarte

Discussion: Frandsen is already on the 40-man, where Orr is not.  Galvis is, but I think they’d like to have him start the year playing every day (at AAA) rather than on the bench.  In the case of an injury or suspension, Galvis would be up right away and has 40-man status.  Martinez is only signed to a minor league deal, but I think they like is ability to back up multiple positions, including CF.  Then again, if they’re going to keep Rule-5 guy Inciarte on the roster, perhaps he’s their CF backup (and indeed, Mayberry and Brown can play CF as well.)  Personally, I’m not sure Inciarte makes it.  He doesn’t seem like he’s advanced enough to warrant a 25-man spot.  But, that’s something to watch in Spring Training.  He could stick as part of a trade and then get optioned, I guess.

Starting Pitchers (5):

Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Lannan, Kendrick

Relievers (7):

Papelbon, Adams, Aumont, Stutes, Bastardo, Horst, Diekman

Discussion:  Really, there could be a number of choices here, most of whom we’re familiar with.  The only guy without options is JC Ramirez, which may force a decision there.  I’m not sure if he’s pitched well enough to be in demand by other teams, though.  I’m also not sure which of these guys fills the “long guy” roll.  I would assume, though, if Kendrick’s in the rotation, then the sixth starter will come from the IronPigs:  Cloyd probably, with the other starters as possibilities depending upon who’s throwing well and whose turn it is.  Pettibone, Martin and Rosenberg are all on the 40-man while Lopez is not (although he’s the most veteran.)


Catchers (2):

Valle, Suomi

Discussion: I think they start Joseph in Reading and I don’t think they’re confident enough in Valle to let him back up Kratz in Philadelphia.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see any 2-3 of Quintero, Valle, Suomi, Lerud, Joseph with the IronPigs to start–or at any time during the season.  Here’s another thing:  I don’t want to get into predicting trades, but reportedly, they’ve already tried to trade Valle once (to the Astros, whose pitcher failed his physical).  If they want Joseph at AAA, Valle could be moved. 

Starting Infield (4):

Overbeck, Hernandez, Galvis, Fields

Discussion:  As above, I’m predicting that they want Galvis to play every day to start the season.  If this is the way it plays out, we likely won’t have him for long.  The first sign of any infield injury with the Phils, and that’ll be it.  There was some talk of Galvis trying third base, as well, although I’ve seen nothing official about this.

Starting Outfield (3):

Ruf, Gillies, Jermaine Mitchell

Discussion:  Can Gillies get from here to April 4 without getting injured or suspended?  Will Ruf earn a spot in Philadelphia? (As with Galvis, I think they’ll want to see him play every day before Charlie will trust him in important spots in Philadelphia)  Can Jermaine hold off his brother-from-another-mother(-and father) Derrick for the starting spot?  Can he replicate the .731 OPS he put up in the PCL?  Will we expect too much from a PCL bat again? What’s going on with Susdorf?  Where will Hudson land?  A lot of questions here.  Stay tuned.

Reserves (4):

Blanco, Orr, Derrick Mitchell, Castro

Discussion:  As I said above, it’s only a matter of time before we lose Galvis to Philadelphia–or maybe Ruf.  Ruf can back up Overbeck, as can Suomi.  Castro has earned this promotion.  I would start Susdorf in Reading before Derrick, but you could make the case otherwise.  I don’t think Jiwan James has done enough to be in this group. 

Starting Pitchers (5):

Cloyd, Pettibone, Martin, Rosenberg, Lopez

Discussion:  As I said above, I think this is where additional starters come from for the Phillies.  Rosenberg ended the year as more of a starter, so I’ve kept him there–and there aren’t a ton of other options.  Further, I don’t think there’s much more to prove at AA for Ethan Martin, but I think Adam Morgan will start there for now. 

Relievers (7):

Schwimer, DeFratus, Valdes, Robles, Savery, Ramirez, Friend

Discussion:  Schwim and JD start with the ‘Pigs but could be up at any time.  Valdes is the odd lefty out, but could switch with Horst or Diekman.  As I said, Ramirez may need a change of scenery based on lack of options, but that remains to be seen–I don’t see him making the 25-man.  I wonder if Savery gets thrown into a deal with Valle if the Phils have seen enough?  Friend has proven himself at Reading and should get a spot.  A couple other pen guys could find their way up sooner rather than later as the Reading pen looks to be rather crowded.  Zach Miner and Cesar Jimenez are strong possibilities for spots here, too, if Ramirez and Savery move on.


This appears to be a strong team, to me, even with the unknown spots and the possibility of injuries and trades.  I see the strengths as fielding and relief pitching, while hitting-for-power and starter depth appear to be possible weaknesses.  There aren’t really any starters-in-waiting around.  It seems like the Braves of Gwinnett were always rather competitive, so I’d predict that the new manager will not be a hinderance to our success.  The biggest note, though, is that this is most likely to be the most “prospect”-laden squad we’ve seen at Coca Cola Park in six years.  I count as many as 12/25 as current or very recent prospect-level players.  It should be fun to watch!


Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

14 replies

  1. Where did Cody Asche go? Everyday third baseman here, I’d say unless he has total meltdown in Clearwater. I’d say Valdes makes Phillies, Diekman is here. And I’d think Galvis makes Phillies to be Michael Youngs defensive replacement each night, with Phils winning hopefully, And Blanco, Orr and Martinez (the switch non hitter) play short. Still praying for my dream first baseman Dan Johnson (was that his name) Coca Cola Park Home Run Champion. Think he’d be picking off the fans in those new right field :Fenway Park type seats one by one.

    • Thanks for your reply, Nick!

      I’ve got Asche starting in Reading. He’s spent less than a season there, and they’ve signed Josh Fields to play 3B in Allentown. I think the Phils would like to see Asche develop the “power tool” a bit more in Reading before they bring him up. Plus, it allows time for Maikel Fanco to get ready to replace him in Reading when he does come to Allentown. I would be highly surprised, though, if we don’t see him by the All-Star Break–Maybe August 1 at the latest.

      I think Fields will be fine, but like so many PCL bats before him (you know the names: Starts with Pascucci and continues through Matt Miller and Montanez.) he could flame out in the big, bad IL.

      Reportedly, the coaches in Philadelphia really like Diekman. Plus, because he’s a lefty, I think there’s a spot for him in Philly if he can just grab it. He’s young, though, and if they have stuff for him to work on, then we’ll have him, with the veteran Valdes in Philadelphia.

      Gotta agree with you on Dan Johnson, though. It appears he’s still a free agent, too, so the dream is still alive!

  2. Es geht weiter. Ein neues Saison bei deinem Platz. Glueckwunsch.

  3. Read somewhere that Fields has also played first and left. maybe he’ll play some in left since its looking like the Phillies are not going to get a righthanded bat which means Ruf opens up there. Diekman maybe ought to start the season here to pitch regularly and build up his confidence, although your point is valid about the potential they see. Nichols might help him up there. And i hope they give Defratus a chance to beat out Stutes cause hes looking like the new Herndon, getting a job without really earning it. Tho he had a couple of outstanding months in 2011, he stunk up the place along with Bastardo in September 2011. Put pitchers up there who earn it. And on another note, im really surprised Schwimmer (too many letters)
    is still here because of the injured or not controversy at the end of August. In my fantasy world i trade him to Oakland for MICHAEL TAYLOR and he becomes the player i thought he was on his first trip through town.

    • You make a good point about Ruf. Like Galvis, he certainly acquitted himself well in his short experience on the next level. And, I know I’m treading on thin ice when I attempt to use logic or common sense to predict anything the Phillies do. But, for the point of this excersize, if we assume (I know, I know) that all are healthy and that Inciarte (sp?) gets a scholarship year, then I think they’ll want to see those guys play and play well in regular duty before they make them part-time players in the Majors. Certainly, injury, trade, suspension, really hot bat in Spring Training, could all impact the outcome.

      I do feel more certain about Asche, though. I’ve gotten a strong feeling that he’ll be in Reading to open up. As for the relievers, it is a grab bag. Stutes and DeFratus had “lost” years there, and one, both, or neither could seize a spot in the Philadelphia pen. That DeFratus slider really is super, and should carry him if he’s got it working. Stutes’ mechanics and health will be a key. Schwim is still under contract, and property of the Phils, so no need for them to do anything with him if they don’t want to. It’s hard to tell exactly how unhappy they were with him–and how unhappy he was with them–based on the Twitter tea leaves. We shall see. Perhaps you can put him on the list of candidates to join Valle, Ramirez, and Savery on the spring trading block. No, I’m not talking about any kind of blockbuster with those guys, but Valle has some value I suppose and a basic player about replacement-level could come in exchange–who knows what: maybe a reliever or a right-handed bat or another veteran catcher. I know I’d do that Taylor trade in a second…

      Decal usually has a pretty good feel for this stuff. Regarding Galvis and Ruf (and whatever else) what say you, Decal? It’s not like we can count on Chuck Hixson to feed us accurate information (based on Twitter feed last night). I’ve got a plan to corner Amaro and Charlie at the banquet next Thursday. We’ll see what I can get them to tell me. (Nothing, probably, but you can’t fault a guy for trying.)

  4. OH, and my spanish is a little rusty. Could some german translate please?

  5. zurueck … lousy umlauts!

  6. C- Kratz & Quintero (2)

    No way in hell they take Kratz and Valle. Valle looked over matched at the plate in AAA and Kratz showed his AAAA bat the last month or so.

    Too much risk in going with two guys that lack a proven major league bat.

    INF- Howard, Utley, Rollins, M. Young, Frandsen, and Galvis (6)

    They’re not paying Frandsen 800K plus to play in AAA and Galvis has nothing to prove in AAA either. The Phillies are going to have trouble scoring runs again this year and it makes no sense to have a turd like Martinez wasting a roster space with his sub.- Mendoza offensive abilities.

    OF- K-Berry, Revere, D. Young, Brown, and Nix (5)

    No way they stick with Ruf due to not wanting to start his Super II clock early and because defensively it would be a disaster with him in LF along with Young in RF. Revere would need his ACME jet powered skates to cover everything from foul pole to foul pole.

    SP- Halladay, Lee, Hamels. Kendrick and Lannan

    RP- Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, De Fratus, Aumont, Stutes, and Horst

    No way they carry three LHP in the pen especially with Diekman’s lack of being able to regularly throw strikes. De Fratus is far more advanced and would give them a lot more results just like Stutes give them a guy that can throw a few innings where as Diekman is very LOOGY-ish.

    • Good stuff, Lefty. Good to hear from you.

      My stab was done pre-DYoung signing, and pending spring training surprises, I think it pushes Ruf to LHV.

      For all the hand-wringing done by Phillies fans, you know they’re paying Kevin Frandsen more than DYoung? Of course, Delmon will make more if he can earn a starting spot and lay off the cheesesteaks, but really, low risk high reward for this season. They better hope Revere can hit and stay healthy, though, as he’s pretty much been handed that job full time.

      Yes, of course, Kevin Frandsen will not appear in an IronPigs uniform again except under extreme circumstances. Should he perform poorly the Phillies will let him go and someone will pick him up. I suppose it’s somewhat wishful thinking on my part to think that they might like to see Galvis play every day for the first month or two. I’m not a MMartinez fan at all–for LHV or Philadelphia. He can backup CF. I haven’t spoken with anyone who thinks Inciarte sticks under Rule 5 barring injury to Revere. So right now I’ve got KBerry, Brown, Nix, Revere, DYoung as the five Philly outfielders. Ruf, Gillies (if healthy), J.Mitchell, Mather, and pick one from: Susdorf, Spidale, Castro, DMitch. Send the others to Reading to play with Jiwan James or maybe one gets an injured “Velandia.”

      Gotta think ‘Pigs Rotation now looks like: Cloyd, Pettibone, Bass, Cochran, Lopez, Cook as six for five spots. You’ve got to think Ethan Martin has done enough at AA for a spot and some are very, very high on Adam Morgan. You can’t have too much pitching, some of these veteran guys might be gone if they don’t perform right away. Also, one of them could be considered for a “long guy” spot in Philly, but that pen is getting crowded as well. Fun to watch…

      • “are very, very high on Adam Morgan. You can’t have too much pitching, some of these veteran guys might be gone if they don’t perform right away. Also, one of them could be considered for a “long guy” spot in Philly, but that pen is getting crowded as well. Fun to watch…”

        That’s true about Morgan but with Amaro’s dislike of letting too many kids get any kind of playing time there are just too many arms right now.

        They’ve also got seven catchers for six spots between Philly-AAA-AA.

        Four of the seven pen spots are locked up with Papelbon-Adams-Bastardo-Durbin yet there are at least ten guys that could be there but instead will rot in AAA this year.

        I’ll finish by posting something that I posted on another sports website:

        The thing that kind of ticks me off with what Amaro is doing is that he is on some levels “stocking the farm” with some of these young guys but then he’s never giving them a chance to play.

        Instead, he continues at best to use them as trade pieces while continuing his love affair with 30+ old farts that cost too much money.

        An example being that today he signed Chad Durbin again.

        Now obviously Durbin getting a million plus dollars more or less guarantees him a pen spot. That of course signals that guys like Horst, Stutes, Diekman, Valdes, Aumont, Schwimer, and De Fratus all now have one less roster space to compete for with spots now being in essence gone to Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, and Durbin.

        It also only further hinders the progress of guys like Adam Morgan because there are only so many roster spots to go around and between all of the guys that the Phillies refuse to allow to move forward (or to not trade) and all of the AAAA retreads they continue to invite in year after year it’s very crowded at the AAA and AA level.

        Same thing at catcher between Kratz, Valle, Joseph, and Quintero.

        If either Valle or Joseph is the future then move one and take a direction.

        Neither Valle nor Joseph have a major league ready bat at this point but you can’t have them both at AAA as they should both be playing everyday. Yet neither really have much to prove at AA at this point.

        When Ruiz comes off the suspended list what happens to Quintero and/or Kratz?
        Are they sent back to AAA? Released? Is that when they finally make a move with one of the kids?

        Between Ruiz-Quintero-Kratz-Valle-Joseph-Lerud-Suomi you’ve got seven catchers for six spots starting around the end of April.

        I really just wish that he would piss or get off the pot about a lot of these guys instead of just seemingly floundering and flopping around like a rudderless ship. He’s got some talented kids that they’ve spent years either squirrling away or developing and this constant fear of cutting them loose to play is maddening.

        Rant. Over.

        • Yeah, I got ya. You know, I look as an IronPigs fan at some of the moves the Phillies have made, and they pleased me. Let’s take DYoung for example. Widely panned amongst Phils fans, but to me, as an IronPigs fan, I’m thinking, “yeah, a chance for a good outfielder to start here, ie Ruf.”

          But as you point out, it’s getting a little ridiculous. Yuni Betancourt? Golly. Don’t we already have him? His name is Andres Blanco. Now I’m worried not that talent will slip to the ‘Pigs, but that some of these retreads will, and the good young players will have to go back to Reading, and others will be stuck in Clearwater, and so on..

          Here’s my only defense: It’s better to go into S/T with more bodies than you need, rather than try to pick off the scrap heap on March 30 as you head North, trying to fill out the AAA roster. As I said in the original post, I can see some of these guys getting traded: Valle, JCRamirez, and Schwimer for example. Also, you can let a guy go, like Bass or Cochran, and it really means nothing (unless your name is “Bass” or “Cochran” –of course I would wish them well.).

          So we’ll watch it play out and hope for the best. You and I have had our discussions in the past about AAA talent and prospects and the like. This is the first year, though, that we stand to have some significant young players to watch at Coca Cola Park (for the IronPigs, I mean) and now they might screw it up. Golly. I’m with you on this one. In the last couple days, the RailLickers got Dan Johnson and Juan Rivera and we get Yuni Betancourt and Chad Durbin. Sheesh.

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