As I continue my wild speculation about the IronPigs roster candidates, changes continue in Spring Training in Clearwater. No matter. I’ll speculate anyway and update in the comments. You do the same, won’t you?
Cody Overbeck, Josh Fields, Cody Asche
Pete Orr, Michael Martinez, Darrin Ruf, John Suomi
Prediction/Discussion: It really looks like Overbeck back at 1B and Fields at 3B with backups to come from the other positions. Pete Orr and Michael Martinez can both play 3B. If Darrin Ruf and/or John Suomi are on the ‘Pigs they can back up 1B. All signs point to Asche starting in Reading, with a “before the break” call to Allentown. He’s in MLB camp, though, so you never know. With the big club, Mayberry backs up 1B, while Frandsen backs up 3B (for Ryan Howard and Michael Young, respectively).
I was a bit disappointed with Overbeck’s production at the plate last year; I was really hoping for more power. I like him, though, and here’s hoping for a return of the power stroke for him in 2013. True, his 14 HR were one more than our new 3B, but consider that Cody hit 24 in each of his previous two seasons.
Josh Fields hit .322 with 13 HR for the Isotopes in the PCL over 133 games last year. In 2010 he hit .365 with 11 HR in 50 games with the SkySox, again PCL. He played in Japan somewhere through there, too. I’m always nervous about these PCL guys. He has played in the IL before: 2006 .305, 2007 .283, 2008 .246, 2009 .265. All with Charlotte. All with decent power numbers (all things considered). He seems like a good guy, and hopefully a break from the adventures that we’ve had with 3B over the years. It seems like that position is our “Spinal Tap Drummer.” With Asche sure to follow, we should expect good production from 3B all season.
As far as health, make sure M. Young stays healthy playing 3B every day (he hit DH a ton last season). Watch for the number of at-bats Cody Asche gets with the big club, and when/if he’s shipped of to MiLB camp, to see if he has a chance to push for AAA.
Sebastian Valle, Tommy Joseph, Cameron Rupp
“The Old Guys”
John Suomi, Erik “Holy” Kratz, Humberto Quintero
“Oh, Yeah, Him”
Discussion: It’s been said by the Phillies’ brass that Valle, Joseph, Rupp and Lerud are the four guys for AA and AAA, and it’s up to them to play their way into position. I don’t think Rupp is a candidate to skip Reading, and despite his MiLB contract, all expect Quintero to open as Kratz’ backup in Philly whilst Chooch serves his 25-game penance. What happens after that is up in the air. Depends how they play and who’s healthy I guess. It does appear that Erik Kratz has an option left, but I would expect they’d want either Valle or ToJo (or both) to get the majority of at-bats in Allentown. A trade could happen, which I’d guess would send Valle on his way. An injury to EK or HQ would likely send Lerud back to the Phillies (he was up there for a bit last year).
Kratz and Quintero to Philly; Valle and Lerud to Allentown; ToJo and Rupp to Reading. Suomi finds a spot in Allentown as a backup 1B/3rd catcher, or pulls his Velandia, or stays in Clearwater for a time to help with extended Spring Training. Tommy Joseph to the IronPigs on the Asche schedule.
As with all, injuries are first. Second, watch Valle and Joseph to see who gets more time with the big club–and who gets sent down to MiLB camp first–as a clue for who has the inside track for LHV. Suomi’s not in MLB camp, but watch for his arrival in MiLB camp and monitor his work-group assignment.
Have at it,