Trades and Promotions: The Making of the August IronPigs Roster

Kelly Dugan from 2014  (Photo: Cheryl Pursell)

Kelly Dugan from 2014 (Photo: Cheryl Pursell)

Transactions:

7/30

RHP Chris Leroux promoted to Lehigh Valley from Reading (AA).

RHP Severino Gonzalez placed on the DL (rt. bicep strain) retro to 7/28.

7/31

RHP David Buchanan recalled by Philadelphia.

RHP Dalier Hinojosa recalled by Philadelphia.

OF Jordan Danks recalled by Philadelphia.

RHP Colton Murray promoted to Lehigh Valley from Reading (AA).

8/1

OF Kelly Dugan promoted to Lehigh Valley from Reading (AA)

8/2

Expect to see the activation of RHP Alec Asher, and possibly RHP Jerad Eickhoff; but one roster spot will need to be made if they activate both.

Disabled List:

With the team:  RHP Severino Gonzalez, INF Edgar Duran, INF Russ Canzler

Not with the team:  RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez (seen walking around in Clearwater), 1B/3B/DH Tommy Joseph (rehabbing with GCL Phillies)

..

Discussion:

First, Sev’s injury is not deemed long-term, and he should miss just the one start.  With Buchanan’s performance last night, I’d assume he’ll remain in the Phillies rotation for the remainder of the season as long as he’s healthy and reasonably effective–they’ll want to see if they can depend on him for next season.  At the game last night, folks were somewhat puzzled by the call-ups of Hinojosa and Danks.  The thinking, of course, is that Loewen and Altherr have out-performed the guys who got the call–AND, Altherr’s on the 40-man.  It is my thought that the Phillies didn’t want to make the 40-man move for Loewen just yet, and didn’t want to risk Altherr not playing every day.  For now, Altherr remains with the IronPigs, but his time will come soon enough.  It was also revealed that Tyler Henson was in the discussion to get the call in Danks stead.  However, like with Loewen, I think the 40-man issue kept the Phillies from doing that–just with so many players coming and going due to the trades.

The two players added via the Hamels deal who will come to Lehigh Valley, from Texas, are RHPs Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff.  Asher, from Florida, is 23 years old, and 6’3″ 230 lbs.  He spent all of last season in AA Frisco, making 28 starts going 11-11 with a 3.80 ERA.  He had 122 K’s last season to go against only 32 BB in 154 innings with a 1.11 WHIP.  This season he started back with Frisco for 8 games before starting his last 12 with AAA Round Rock.  With Round Rock he’s gone 3-6, 4.73 in the hit-happy PCL.  He sports a low-90s fast ball which can touch 95 with excellent control.  However, his slider, change, and curve are not advanced at this time.  He does get some strikeouts, as you can see from the stats above, but doesn’t have a “hammer” or “put away” pitch to rely on.  Perhaps some work with pitching coach Ray Burris will get his off-speed offerings up to snuff.

Eickhoff, at 25, is the oldest “prospect” in the haul from Texas.  He’s the exact same size as Asher, and like his teammate, began the season at AA Frisco before getting promoted after just two starts.  He’s had 18 appearances (17 starts) with AAA Round Rock, where he’s amassed a record of 9-4 to go with a 4.25 ERA.  His AA numbers last season and AAA numbers this season are strikingly similar to Asher.  The scouting book on Eickhoff is a low-90s fastball and an above-average curve.

For now, Asher and Eickhoff slot into the IronPigs lineup which should also feature LHP Jesse Biddle and RHP Severino Gonzalez (when he returns from the DL).  The fifth starter should probably be LHP Anthony Vasquez, with RHP Sean O’Sullivan and RHP Jason Berken battling it out for a bull-pen spot.

The upcoming rotation is somewhat in question.  Manager Dave Brundage said yesterday he’d like to split up his leftys, Biddle and Vasquez, who were tentatively slotted to start this weekend (Vasquez Sat, Biddle Sunday).  Eickhoff would be on-turn to start Monday, and Asher Sunday, so I suppose Asher could go as soon as tomorrow, push Biddle back to Monday in Toledo, and Eickhoff following, if they want to split it up.  Indeed as I type, Eickhoff has revealed that his LHV debut will be on Tuesday, and reports of Asher Sunday.  So, rotation headed into the road trip is:

Sunday: Asher

Monday: Biddle

Tuesday: Eickhoff

Wednesday: Berken/O’Sullivan

Thursday: Vasquez

Printable Roster (Dugan wears the “Richie Thompson” 12: 2015 LHV Roster 8-1

Looking Ahead

Following the game on Sunday, the ‘Pigs will leave for their Ohio road trip, which this year consists of four games with Toledo followed by three with Columbus.  Following an off-day on Monday 8/10, they’ll head to Syracuse for three games before returning home Friday August 14 for P’tucket.  That weekend series includes the Day/Night doubleheader on Saturday August 15.

It might not happen as quickly as some would like, but a lot of these guys (Altherr, Dugan, Biddle, Loewen, Asher, Eickhoff, etc..) might find themselves with the Phillies before the end of the season–as the Phillies staff evaluates what they have going into the offseason, in preparation for next year.

See you at the park–tonight and Sunday, then maybe not for three weeks!

@Kram209



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

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