Predicting the IronPigs roster is difficult enough, but the Phillies keep inviting guys to Clearwater.  It’s an exercise in futility, I know.  But, I like it anyway.  Let’s narrow our focus a bit and make some bold predictions.  Today:  Outfield

The pool:

“The Jeffersons (We’re A-Movin’ On Up)”

Tyson Gillies

Leandro Castro

Jiwan James

“Old Friends”

Domonic Brown

Derrick Mitchell

Steve Susdorf

“Eastward Bound”

Joe Mather

Jermaine Mitchell

“We Hardly (read: Never) Knew Ye”

Darrin Ruf


From the nine candidates above, I’ll put five with the IronPigs.  The Phillies probably need five as well, and they’ll start with Revere, D.Young, Mayberry, and Nix.  That leaves one spot.  It’s sink or swim time for Domonic Brown.  I listed him above because he does have an option year left.  I think the scenario where he starts the year with the IronPigs is extremely unlikely.  It’s probably even more likely that he’d be traded than that.  So let’s put him with Philly.

Delmon Young may need to start the year on the DL.  If he does, it opens another spot in the Phillies outfield or on the bench.  I’d think Ruf has the inside track on that unless one of the “Eastward Bound” has a great spring.  Joe Mather spent last year with the Cubs where he hit a blistering .209.  In 2011 he spent time with Gwinnett (note Brundage connection) and Colorado Springs where he predictably did better in the PCL vs. the IL.  He bats right-handed.  Jermaine Mitchell comes from the A’s, where I believe he had some injury trouble last year.  In 2011 is PCL numbers were very good, though.  He’s a Lefty and primarily a center fielder.

I don’t think Jiwan James is ready for AAA.  The converted pitcher is a good enough outfielder, but I’m not sure he did enough at the plate in Reading to be considered for AAA to start the season.  Similarly, with Castro, while he may have earned the promotion, I’ll start him with Reading based on the roster squeeze.  Derrick Mitchell and Susdorf could also get squeezed to Reading in certain scenarios.

Bold Predictions:

Out of nine, two to Philly:  Brown and Ruf (with D.Young to the D.L.).  Two to Reading: James, Castro

Five to LHV: Gillies, Mather, J. Mitchell, Susdorf, D.Mitchell

Kram’s Keys: (What to watch for during Spring Training to see if I’m on track with my predictions):

1. Health.  It’s always first, but here we need to know if Delmon is recovered from offseason surgery and if he’s managed to avoid the food truck.  We also need to know if Tyson Gillies can make it through S/T unscathed.

2. Fielding.  We pretty much know their spots in the outfield, but it will be interesting to see if guys get time in unexpected positions.  Also, if Delmon’s on the field, watch to see how he does fielding the ball (he was a DH for much of last season).  This goes for Darrin Ruf as well, to see if the Phillies think he can contribute as an adequate Left Fielder defensively.


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

Tags: , , , ,

3 replies

  1. A player I forgot to mention is Ender Inciarte. He’s a rule 5 CF pickup from the Arizona organization. He’s never played above A+; this would be his AA year. He has to stick on the Phillies 25-man active roster or be offered back to Arizona for half-price (the Phils had to pay to get him in the Rule 5 draft). He was drafted the morning before the Phils traded for Ben Revere. Most experts expect that he won’t make the team barring injury.

    However, I had my “Delmon Young Decoder Ring” on today, as word of his arrival in Clearwater reached us (he had microfracture surgery on his ankle in November):

    DY: “I feel good. But I’m not a doctor.”
    Translation: “It hurts man. No way I can play.”
    DY: “I don’t know when I’ll be able to play. I might be limited.”
    Translation: “It’s not even close. I won’t be playing for a while. DL here I come.”
    DY: “I don’t know how much I weigh.”
    Translation: “You can bet I weigh less than the limit because I want to get paid, man. I’m not going to be playing so I’ve got to do something to earn extra money.”
    Amaro: “He might be limited at the start.”
    Translation: “We’ve got him on the Chase Utley 2010-11 ‘Start in June’ plan.”

    So there’s your injury. Put Brown, Mayberry, Ruf and Nix into a 4-man rotation. If one of them falters, then Inciarte might get a spot as a defensive replacement/pinch runner/Revere-backup. Or, he could get offered back and the Diamondbacks refuse him. Or, the Phillies could trade something for him. In those cases, he could impact the IronPigs’ roster. He could start in Reading, LHV, or Philly and push another player up or down. We’ll see!

  2. Alright, one more time. Well done with the comprehensive analysis of what is going on the IronPigs in Florida. I certainly do know exactly how long it takes to put these kind of reports together and so I can truly appreciate the fact I did not have to do this work! (there certainly are a lot of guys to keep track of at this time of year, are there not?) … Who ends up in the Philadelphia Phillies’ outfield figures to be the most interesting competition this spring from an IronPigs perspective, if only in my opinion.

  3. “with the IronPigs in Florida” … 😉

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