“The Outfielders”

(Cue movie announcer voice…)

“In a world….where the bullpen phone is off the hook, and pitchers come and go.  In a world, where third-basemen and second-basemen are sent to the outfield.  A group of men are struggling to make a difference.  And their day is coming.”

Bogusevic scores--because somebody's gotta get it done.  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Bogusevic scores–because somebody’s gotta get it done. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time gazing out at the horizon.  Not the actual horizon, although that would be more pleasing than watching the losing baseball we’ve seen around here lately.  No, the player horizon.  I awaited and predicted (and predicted again, and again…) the arrival of top pitching prospect Aaron Nola.  Now, I’ve turned my attention to the outfielders.

There’s a logjam of mediocrity in Philadelphia.  They’ll keep Odubel Herrera on the team for his “rule 5” status.  Cody Asche and Dom Brown are still young enough to have a future with the foundering franchise–if they can play well enough.  Ben Revere could be traded, and Jeff Franceour is an experienced right-handed batter.  But for now, there’s no movement in Philadelphia and no place for guys to move up.  At the same time, there are AA guys in Reading who are ready for a new challenge.  I see changes coming in the IronPigs outfield.

Brian Bogusevic has been having a terrific year–picking up where he left off in AAA last year when he came roaring back from a broken shin with a hot August.  He’s hitting .316/.372/.444 this season, and rarely goes more than one game without a hit.  He’s been the IronPigs most consistent offensive player.  He’s also played all three outfield positions and swiped 11 bags.  But, he has a July 1 opt-out clause in his contract.

Jordan Danks used to be an IronPig killer.  He’s a nice guy with 180 games of MLB experience and a 40-man roster spot.  However, he’s hitting .241/.286/.292 with one home run for the IronPigs this season, and that’s not exactly pushing for a spot in Philadelphia.  It’s well below the .270/.355/.460 +16HR he hit with Charlotte last season.

In Reading, speedy prospect Roman Quinn is going to be on the shelf until at least August 1 with a hip flexor tear.  But look what these guys are doing:

Cameron Perkins:  .252/.298/.430 with 8HR–and this after a very slow April.  He has 112 games of AA experience, and 74 games of AAA experience.

Aaron Altherr:  .290/.368/.490 with 6HR.  He has 178 games under his belt at AA.  He’s walking more and striking out less, this season.

Kelly Dugan:  He’s just back from his annual injury, but has a combined 137 games of AA experience and he’s mashing right now.

Injuries are always a concern–at every level–so I’m thinking they carry Bogusevic all the way to the July 1 deadline, just in case, because he’s certainly the one who would go up to Philly if needed–or if Revere gets traded sooner rather than later.  Jordan Danks offers some experience and currently has the 40-man spot if needed for quick up-and-down moves via option.  And, somebody’s gotta play the outfield in Reading if they bring those three guys up to AAA.  So we’ll wait and see.  I can’t imagine Bogusevic wouldn’t be able to find a better situation somewhere else, unfortunately for us as IronPigs fans.

As I gaze out at the player horizon, I see a team of outfielders ready to move up.  Unfortunately, that also means some might have to move out.



Cover Photo:  Cheryl Pursell

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

3 replies

  1. That “opt-out” stuff is so lame it is hardly worth mentioning

    I’ve been wanting to root for Brian Bogusevic but I just haven’t been able to get his opt out date out of my mind …. I concur that Bogus is as good as gone.

    I find it very interesting that the IronPigs want ME, the fan, to commit to purchasing an entire season’s worth of tickets — but the IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies), themselves, do NOT ask players to make a season-long commitment to the organization. And I think that is incredibly lame. But, hey, whatever.

    Save the lectures about freedom of movement in labor, please!


    • Nah, not so much from an organized labor point of view, but the opt-out is a handy tool for a player who may have Major League skills and wants some sort of protection that he won’t be left to languish in the Minors when multiple other teams would consider/need him for the Majors. The difference in pay check is quite significant for a minor league free agent. A player performing as well as Bogey deserves a chance at a Major League roster–perhaps with a team not the dumpster-fire that’s in Philly right now. He’s played with the Astros and Cubs–this isn’t his first rodeo.

      So that’s the perspective of the player–not to get locked in to a bad situation and perform with no hope of reward. From the AAA-fan perspective, I’d rather have a couple months of a player playing his butt off for a chance to opt-out or go up rather than a whole year of a player who feels stuck. Or, never having the chance to sign talented MiLB players for AAA because the parent club is afraid to sign such players. It’s all good, really. Especially if the Phillies are going to let Bogey go because they agree that he deserves the chance, can’t give it to him (for whatever reason right or wrong), and have the players (Perkins, Dugan) to bring up to AAA to play. Whispers are, those guys are on their way–not too far behind Altherr, who’s up already.

      Now, one last thing: I’m not sure exactly WHAT Bogey’s opt-out IS? Is it 25-man MLB roster? Or, could it be just a 40-man spot? Because if it’s the latter, and with a nod to his heroics last night, I’d take Danks off the 40-man and put Bogey ON if that’s all it takes to keep him, and if they are willing to give him some MLB at-bats at some point. If he weren’t a lefty, it would be easy to jettison Francoeur…

      • Spirited defense of freedom of movement in labor, Counselor!

        Thing is, the revolving door / rent-a-player stuff doesn’t really do too much to generate any kind of meaningful loyalty, particularly during a season that has been all too reminiscent of those dreadful 2008 days, at least in certain remote quarters of the fan base.


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