Saturday, June 29, 2013

Phillies Prospect Notes

  • -          Jesse Biddle and Maikel Franco of the Reading Fightin’ Phils will represent the Phillies organization at the MLB Futures Game on July 14.
  • -          This year Franco has been tearing the cover off the ball with a .321 average 19 home runs and 60 RBIs at Single A Clearwater and Double A Reading.
  • -          Darin Ruf has put together a decent season with a .271 average and 7 homeruns. He would be a suitable replacement for Delmon Young whenever the Phillies decide to call Ruf up.
  • -          Tommy Joseph has had concussion issues since he suffered a concussion on May 4th. He has been on and off the DL since then and is now with Advanced A Clearwater.
  • -          The Phillies future third baseman, Cody Asche, has had a good season and in his past ten games is batting .297 with 6 RBIs.
  • -          19 year old Mitch Gueller has started his season well with the Crosscutters. In 2 starts he has only given up 2 earned runs and has 8 strikeouts in 10 innings.
  • -          Aaron Altherr, 22, is having a nice season in Clearwater. A .298 average, 8 home runs, and 14 stolen bases has the 20th ranked Phillies prospect on the rise.
  • -          Tyler Cloyd after he was sent down to Lehigh Valley has struggled in 2 starts. He has given up 13 runs and 17 hits in 9.2 innings. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

To Trade Or Not to Trade?

As we stand today June 27th at the beginning of a 10 o'clock game vs the Dodgers the Phillies are at 38-41 and 7 games back of the Braves. The trade deadline is almost a month away and the trade rumors are heating up. If the team improves the possibility to acquire more players is very possible. But, if the team plays like it has for most of the season then, they will be sellers. Their biggest trade chips right now are Cliff Lee and Johnathan Papelbon. But, it is very unlikely to see these guys go unless they get a huge return. This would not be the smartest decision as the team would need these players to make a run for the playoffs in the next few years. This teams ownership group will not let this era of success end so suddenly. Its more likely that the team will trade fan-favorites Carlos Ruiz and Chase Utley. Another few trade options are Michael Young, Delmon Young or Ryan Howard. Trading Howard will only occur if an AL team really needs a first baseman and is willing to accept the contract, yes we're looking at you New York Yankees. But, odds are that no one wants Howard, who hasn't regained his MVP form after his injury during game 5 of the 2011 NLDS. But, there have been reports of Yankees scouts at Phillies games. They could also be interested in Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz and Mike Young. They have been hampered with injuries and will do anything and everything to win. But, if Utley is traded there will be tons of negative reaction from the Phillies Phaithful. Mike Young has a limited no-trade clause and probably will not be traded because of this. Trading Ruiz would be bad but, it would be the best option for the team. With two young catchers in Tommy Joesph and Sebastian Valle that could help the team save on salary while providing a great 1-2 punch behind the plate. The one thing the team will miss from Ruiz is his management of the pitching staff. Many of our starters and relievers credit him for helping them for their success. The only player that would not be a major problem trading is Delmon Young. He is a great fit for any team that needs a DH despite his anger issues. Last year he was awarded the 2012 ALCS MVP. Any team would not consider a player of his caliber due to his big bat that he can bring to their lineup. Delmon does not belong on the Phillies, he cannot field and his average is too low. The only upsides are that he can hit home runs and his contract is very low risk. It would be better to trade Young only if the return is good enough to justify the trade. Tomorrow we will discuss the Phillies needs to make a run for the postseason.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Papelbon's Struggles

                Jonathan Papelbon is the icing on a moldy cake. This used to be the case but the whole cake may be going bad. In Jonathan Papelbon’s last 5 save opportunities he has converted only 1. Could this be a problem or is this just something that the roller coaster named the 2013 Phillies will have to deal with. Last night was not completely Papelbon’s fault because he came into the game with a runner inherited from Cliff Lee and another run is Carlos Ruiz fault because he was charged with a passed ball. No runs were charged to Papelbon but he shouldn’t have allowed any runs to score. The point being is that if Papelbon continues to pitch this way the Phillies will be in a jam.

                Since the Phillies aren’t winning that many games having a shutdown closer is vital to the team’s success. Papelbon fulfilled this role in the first 2 and a half months of the season posting a 1.46 ERA and saving 13 games. In his past five games it has gone south. His ERA rose 0.66 points during this span and he allowed 7 men to reach base. These performances are bad for the Phillies because if this continues his trade value is lowered. I personally would love to keep Papelbon on the team but Ruben Amaro Jr. may have other ideas. That being said this could be a rough time for Papelbon and the only thing he can do to help is return to his normal form and close out games.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Road Trip

                Our Phillies are heading west to face the Padres and Dodgers and then head back east to face the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. In their past ten games the Phillies are 5-5 and are coming off a series in which they lost 2 out of 3 to the Mets. The Phillies take a very bad and inexperienced bullpen and an offense with a power outage into three pitchers ballparks. It will be interesting to see which side will win out.
                Cliff Lee will toe the rubber Monday night at Petco Park. If he continues his dominance this year the Phillies will be in a good position to win this game. In the final two games of the series Kyle Kendrick will look to repeat his past outing while Hamels will want to turn around the worst year in his career. After this they head north to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers.
                Yasiel Puig, the name that has been on the tongue of announcers, anchors, and fantasy nerds everywhere. The 22 year old Puig has been on fire ever since he set foot on a Major League field. In 19 games he has a .425 batting average, 6 home runs, and 12 RBIs. This has been one of the few bright spots for the Dodgers in a year when their name is not so fitting. In this 4 game series the Phillies will take on a last place team. That doesn’t mean it will be an easy task. If the Phillies avoid any brawls similar to the Flyers and Penguins, 2012 Playoffs, Game 3 I think the series will be a success.
                The third and final series of the road trip will involve a Pittsburgh team that is not as hated in Philadelphia as the Penguins. Pittsburgh has put together a nice year so far but they also did that last year. Last year’s surprise Pirates team fell apart and missed the playoffs for the 20th consecutive year. The Pirates will be well rested and will use their starting pitching to beat a lack luster Phillies offense. However the Phillies will avoid a second sweep to the Pirates.

Stay tuned for more Phillies coverage on this series and much more!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mets - Phillies series preview

After a tough loss on Wednesday at the hands of the Nationals, the Phillies open up a 3 game set with the division rival New York Mets. So far this season the Phillies have had the Mets number, going 5-1 against them. Even though Wednesday's loss was a disappointment, the Phils should still hold their heads high after taking 2 of 3 against Washington. Closer Jonathan Papelbon blew 2 saves in 3 days against the Nats and is beginning to be a concern. A big storyline this weekend is will he rebound against the Mets?

Friday's game - Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 3.96 ERA) vs Cole Hamels (2-10, 4.40 ERA)

Cole Hamels lost another start last Sunday in Colorado. His record now sits at 2-10. He'll look to get back on track against Jeremy Hefner and the Mets. Saying that Hefner has struggled against the Phillies is an understatement. He's 1-2 with a 15.68 ERA against the Phillies in his career including earlier this year when the Phillies torched him for 5 runs in only 3 innings of work. The Mets have also hit Cole Hamels well, especially Davis Wright. Wright owns a .390 batting average against Hamels.

Saturday's game - Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.56 ERA) vs Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.40 ERA)

After such a promising start to his major league career, Jonathan Pettibone has quickly fallen back to Earth. In his last 2 starts combined, he's given up 13 runs (10 earned) in 8 and 1/3 innings. He looks to get back in his groove Saturday against the Mets, whom he beat earlier this season. Gee has pitched well lately, but the Phils have hit him hard in his career so it should be an interesting matchup Saturday afternoon.

Sunday's game - Matt Harvey (6-1, 2.16 ERA) vs John Lannan (0-1, 5.49 ERA)

While Lannan pitched well in his return from the DL on Tuesday, he will need to be stellar to beat Matt Harvey on Sunday. The Mets' rookie has taken the league by storm in his superb season. He's already dominated the Phillies once this season when he went 7 strong innings on April 8. In that start he only allowed 1 run while striking out 9 Phillies batters.


Cole pitches well on Friday and the offense scrapes together enough runs to give him the victory. Papelbon closes out a 5-3 win, but not before he makes things interesting in the 9th. On Saturday Pettibone doesn't pitch that well, but neither does Gee. The Phillies win it 7-5 after scoring late against the New York bullpen. The Phillies go for the sweep on Sunday but are shut down by Matt Harvey. I'm calling a complete game shutout for Harvey and a 4-0 win for the Mets. Still, the Phillies win the series and make it 2 series wins in a row against an NL East foe.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

2013 Phillies Draft Discussion

The Phillies concluded the 2013 MLB First Year Player Draft on Saturday. In all, they drafted 41 players, 23 of them pitchers and the other 18 are position players. Writers of the blog Nate and Stevie will discuss what they think of the draft and how it will affect the organization in the future.

Stevie: So the draft is over. Their first pick was JP Crawford, a high school shortstop who the Phils hope can someday be Jimmy Rollins’ replacement. Nate, what do you think of this pick?
Nate: Well Stevie, JP is the cousin of Carl Crawford and JP attended the same highschool as the Phillies first draft pick last year, Shane Watson. This pick frightens me because I can see him becoming a Freddy Galvis type player.
S: Yeah, I could see that happening. JP is a very strong defensive player but not as strong at the plate. Hopefully he will develop in the minors and increase his hitting ability. He committed to play baseball at USC, so hopefully that won’t be an issue in signing him. If he goes to USC then this would be a waste of a 1st round pick.
N: I agree 100%. The Phillies should have gone a different direction with their first pick and taken a college junior. Either Jacksonville University’s Chris Anderson or Gonzaga’s Marco Gonzales.
S: Yeah, I’m not sure the Phillies are 100% sold on Crawford either. I say that because with their 4th pick they drafted another shortstop, Jan Hernandez out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. They drafted Hernandez either because A) they don’t have confidence in Crawford or B) because they plan on moving Hernandez to 3rd base. I like Hernandez better than Crawford anyway. He’s better offensively and we all know that’s what the Philles have been struggling with lately.
N: Even if Hernandez doesn’t come up immediately he will surely be a help in the future. Any player that is well-built, has good bat speed, and good hands could help any team.
S: There is one interesting thing about Hernandez. If they plan on moving him to 3rd base, there could be a competition between him and Cody Asche.
N: Asche is almost ready for the big leagues and Hernandez is only 18 so i would say in the Phillies corrupt minor league system he will be up in 5 years.
S: Well we will have to wait and see. I think the best pick was their 3rd pick, Cord Sandberg. With a name like that, how could he not be good?
N: I like him too. He is one of the Phillies better picks. He also plays football and dual sport athletes are all the rave now. Stemming from that he has a big athletic body who some compare to Josh Hamilton. Another thing to like about Cord is that he has already signed with the Phillies which negates his chance to play quarterback at Mississippi State University.
S: Sandberg has a chance to be a power hitter which could be huge for the Phillies. One of the biggest surprises was that they didn’t draft a pitcher until their 6th pick. This draft was one that was pitching rich so it was a bit surprising. However, the pitcher they picked, Ben Holmes, comes out of Oregon State and while he’s no ace, could be a solid #2 or 3 starter some day.
N: Holmes, not a power pitcher, has good command and movement. I see this selection as a hit or miss. Holmes doesn’t have dominating stuff but if he is nurtured and taught he could become a solid starting pitcher.
S: I agree. His scouting report reminds me of Jonathan Pettibone, not dominating but consistent. Holmes has the best chance out of the pitchers they selected because most of the pitchers were selected on the final day of the draft.
N: Pettibone has given the Phillies a chance to win every time he toed the rubber. This is a very good characteristic to have as a pitcher. Another pitcher I like and you do too is Denton Keys out of Rye High School.
S: I do, the 331st pick had an insane senior year. He threw 4 no hitters, 1 of them a perfecto, owned an absurd 0.15 ERA, and struck out an incredible 115 batters in only 45.2 innings.The only problem is that he committed to play baseball for Kansas University so he will have to make a decision who to play for. Also, his mechanics aren’t the greatest, which is a concern.
N: You cannot teach what he has though his high 80's low 90's fastball has great movement and mechanics are something which can be worked on.
S: That’s very true. Another guy I like is Logan Pierce out of Troy University. Pierce was taken in the 15th round. He is a consistent hitter with averages of .364 and .351 the last two seasons. He’s not a power guy, but could be a Michael Young type player...well what Young was when he was younger.
N: (laughs) You need guys who can get on base and those who drive them home.
S: Someone who could be driving Pierce in later on is the Phillies 2nd pick, catcher Andrew Knapp. The scouting report on him is that he is an offensive catcher. He can hit for average and power. However, he is not very athletic behind the plate and could be a defensive issue. Reading that reminds me of Mike Piazza, a guy who was an all-star hitter but was terrible behind the dish.
N: Knapp’s report says he could turn into a good offensive catcher. However if his defense doesn’t improve I wouldn’t mind seeing him move to a corner outfield or infield position. Only time will tell.
S: The Phillies drafted another catcher with their 5th pick. Jake Sweaney is a multi-sport athlete, a common theme in this draft. He could be an impact player at the Majors, but the Phillies will have to work with him a lot to get there.
N: He has a compact swing and if he could generate power like scouts say he can develop, the Phillies will have a traffic jam at position number 2.
S: Catchers are a premium position in baseball so that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  
N: Knapp’s report talks about a potential position change so that is one thing that can be dealt with quickly.
S: I don’t mind the Phillies looking for offense first. Most of their top prospects are pitchers. It seems that in this draft they focused directly on the left side of the infield by drafting Crawford, Hernandez, and Trey Williams, who we haven’t even mentioned until now.
N: Trey Williams attended College of the Canyons which is a Junior College in California. He is the son of former big leaguer Eddie Williams and has strong baseball instincts along with a power swing.
S: Yeah I like this kid. He was drafted last year in the 11th round by St. Louis but didn't sign. After a year of junior college I think he’s ready to make a splash in the Phillies minor league system.
N: The Phillies also drafted Craig Biggio’s son Cavan. Was this pick out of meritocracy or is he just Craig’s kid.
S: Wow I’m impressed with the vocab Nate. Biggio does have potential. He can hit well and has some power. The big question is where will he play in the field. Right now the best guess is 2nd base, but the Phils have plenty of time to figure it out. I don’t expect him to be as good as his pop, but he could be a decent player.
N: Yeah, overall there are a lot of things to be optimistic about in this draft. This can be said for all teams. All that matters is what takes place inside the lines.
S: Drafts can never be judged right after they happen. We’ll have to wait a few years to see how it pans out.
N: Thanks for reading our Draft Recap. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and join the conversation.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Phillies - Brewers Series Preview

The Phillies are finally back at .500!!! After a 3 game sweep of the Marlins (and a walk off Grand Slam on Tuesday!) they sit at 30-30. Dom Brown has carried the offense and leads the National League in home runs. The Brewers are coming off a series loss to the Oakland A's. These teams met just last weekend, when Milwaukee took 2 outta 3 from the Phils. After a Brewers win on Friday and a controversial win on Saturday, the Phillies took the final game to avoid the series sweep. Here's what to expect this weekend.

Thursday's game - Tyler Cloyd (1-2, 4.76 ERA) vs Wily Peralta (4-6, 5.94 ERA)

The 4 game series kicks off Thursday with a pitching rematch of last Saturday's game, which the Brew Crew took 4-3. Can Cloyd keep the 4 game winning streak going and get the Phillies above .500 for the first time this season? Jonathan Lucroy will try his best to stop the Phillies momentum as he did last weekend when he owned the Phillies hitting 3 home runs in the series.

Friday's game - Cliff Lee (7-2, 2.45 ERA) vs Alfredo Figaro (0-0, 3.67 ERA)

Cliff shut down the Brewers on Sunday and led the Phillies to the victory. He'll look to continued dominance as he's won his last 3 starts and hasn't lost since the first day of May. The Phillies haven't seen much of Fiagro and it should be an interesting matchup. Keep your eye on the Cliff Lee-Ryan Braun battle, as Braun has had the better of Lee in his career. He's 8 for 16 with 3 home runs against Cliff.

Saturday's game - Kyle Kendrick (6-3, 3.12 ERA) vs TBA

It's hard to predict this game because Milwaukee hasn't announced a starter yet. Still, the Phillies should be in good position with Kendrick pitching. He has been the 2nd best pitcher behind Lee this year. Hopefully he won't get "picked off."

Sunday's game - Jonathan Pettibone (3-1, 3.40 ERA) vs Kyle Lohse (1-6, 4.39 ERA)

Pettibone has been solid so far this year while Lohse has been a major disappointment for the Brewers. Look for the Phillies to score early and often against Lohse. Howard will go deep and chase Lohse out of the game early.

Prediction - The Phillies extend their winning streak to 5 on Thursday. Cloyd doesn't dominate, but he does enough to get the 7-4 win. On Friday, Cliff continues his dominance and pushes the win streak to 6 with a 3-2 win. On Saturday the Phillies will look to win their 7th straight. Kendrick will pitch well, but I think the Brew Crew will win on a walk off, 4-3. But the Phils will take the series on Sunday as the they roll to a 8-3 win behind the home run ball.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Analyzing the Phillies after May

The Major League Baseball season is already 1/3 of the way done. So where do our Fightin’ Phils stand after 2 months? Well, they’re right about where everybody thought they would be. After Saturday’s controversial loss to the Brewers, the Phillies sit at 26-30, 7 games behind the NL East leading Braves. Coming into the season the Phils were expected to hover around the .500 mark for most of the year; and that’s exactly where they’ve been all season. Their offense has not shown up, as expected. So far the Phillies offense is weaker than Freddy Galvis on PED’s. What they have to show is a .246 and an average of 3.48 runs a game. If the Phillies have any chance at making a wild card run, their offense needs to hit better.

Ryan Howard is hitting .254 with only 7 home runs and 26 runs batted in. He is the man the Phils desperately need to get hot. Howard carried the team in 2007 and 2008 but has disappointed in recent years. Injuries have also plagued the offense. Carlos Ruiz was suspended for the first 25 games and strained his hamstring running the bases on May 20th. Chase Utley is also hurt, which is a big blow to the offense. New acquisitions Delmon Young and Ben Revere have been major disappointments. Young was hurt for the first few weeks of the season and is hitting a pathetic .213. Revere, who before this season had a career average of close to .300, is batting only .251 and is nowhere close to the leadoff man the Phils hoped they would be getting. Overall, the Phillies offense is unfortunately, exactly as we thought they would be.
The lone bright spot in the offense is Domonic Brown. Brown is finally showing his potential, belting 15 balls into the seats this year. If he keeps it up, he could keep the Phillies afloat the next couple of years and represent the team at Citi Field as an All-Star. Young players such as Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez have also been given the opportunity to play, which should help their development. If the Phillies continue to slide, do not be surprised to see prospects Cody Asche and Darin Ruf up in the Majors soon.
Another bright spot is the pitching...sort of. Roy Halladay, one of the greatest pitchers of his generation, has fallen off the face of the Earth. He holds a 8.65 ERA and was merciful put on the DL and had surgery. It looks as if his season, and possibly career, is over. Another “ace”, Cole Hamels has been awful. Although he has been the victim of little run support, he is 1-9 with a 4.86 ERA. He was expected to be the #1 starter this year but he is really a 4 or 5 starter at best. However, Cliff Lee has been brilliant as usual, posting a 6-2 record to go along with a dazzling 2.34 ERA. Also, young guns Jonathan Pettibone and Tyler Cloyd have showed promise. Pettibone is 3-1 with a 3.64 ERA and has almost always kept the Phillies in games. And other than one bad start against Boston, Cloyd has only given up 6 total runs in his other 3 starts. Kyle Kendrick has also been a pleasant surprise going 5-3 with a 3.27 ERA.

The “improved” bullpen really hasn’t been improved. The Phils did fix their 8th inning problems with Mike Adams, and Jonathan Papelbon has been phenomenal. But other than that, the bullpen is as bad as last year. Of all the relievers that have appeared in double digit games, only Papelbon, Adams, and Antonio Bastardo have an ERA under 4. That’s right, 4. IF the starters only go 5 or 6 innings, the bullpen is trusted with holding the lead, which they often fail at. After the miserable offense, the bullpen is the 2nd biggest concern on this team.

So what will the Phillies do by the trade deadline? What they should do is sell. Sell, sell, sell and sell some more.This Phillies team will probably not make the playoffs and even if they do, it will not be a deep run in October. Beloved players such as Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz will be free agents after this year. That means they should be traded. If they are traded, the Phillies could re-sign them this off season and pick up a few prospects. It is a low risk move because there is no guarantee they will be in Philly past this season and we could pick up some young guys that could help us in the future. However, I have a bad feeling that the Phillies might be buyers this July. General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is desperate and may make a giant trade which could harm the organization’s future. With an extra wild card opportunity, Amaro may think we have a chance to win it and make a World Series run. If he is smart, he will depart with veterans like Utley and Ruiz. It is tough, but it should be done. Another player he should trade is Michael Young. He will most likely not re sign with the Phillies and instead of letting him walk away we could get something for him. Cliff Lee’s name has also been on the rumor mill. If I’m Ruben, I would keep him another year or two and get as much out of him as I can. Lee is under contract until 2015 with a club option for 2016 and the Phils could use him in the next few years.

The Phillies are in an important year in their franchise. It is most likely the last year of the core players that won the 2008 World Series. After this year, it is re-building. Hopefully, Amaro recognizes that and starts to re-build at the deadline. If not, it could be a long time before we see October baseball in Philadelphia.

A Drought On The Farm

           Major League Baseball is going through a youth movement. Rookies have become superstars as soon as they come up to the Majors. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin have all become big shots for their team within their first year or two. So why do the Phillies not have any of these tearing through the minor leagues? Is it poor drafting, bad trades, a lack of minor league management, a combination of the three, or just good fortune?
Drafting top notch players, turning them into home-grown superstars, and signing them to colossal contracts has become ever so popular in recent years. Players such as Evan Longoria, David Wright, and Phillies such as Cole Hamels and Ryan Howard have done it. These Phillies were drafted during Ed Wade’s stint as General Manager. He drafted players who helped us win the 2008 World Series. Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Brett Myers, Ryan Howard, and Cole Hamels were all drafted by Wade and were the core of the team. Wade was a sub-par GM but his early drafts produced several good players. Recently draft picks have not produced and helped the club as those in the past did. Let’s examine Phillies draft picks who have either been traded or are stagnant in the minors.
When talking about first round draft picks, Harper, Strasburg, and Machado come to mind but for the Phillies recent first round picks have been nothing but low lights. 2008 first round supplemental pick Zach Collier is down in AA while later picks Lance Lynn and Wade Miley were busy making the All-Star team last season. This year Collier is batting an abysmal .202 with 4 home runs and 15 RBI’s. 2008 first round pick Anthony Hewitt isn’t making waves either. The right fielder at AA Reading this year is batting .262 with 8 stolen bases and 10 RBI’s. Hewitt has moved through the system at a snail’s pace which may have limited his potential or do the Phillies prospects not have enough talent to begin with?  Kelly Dugan, the Phillies 2009 2nd round pick, has done well this year at single A Clearwater but he is already 22 years old. The Phillies should let prospects move up the difficult ladder of Minor League Baseball faster in order to have a greater chance of helping the Phillies.
Domonic Brown looks like he has finally arrived after years of underachieving and a progressing doubt that Brown wouldn’t become anything. He was brought up slowly through the system despite being the 4th ranked prospect by Baseball America after the 2010 season. Darin Ruf another highly regarded Phillies prospect has only 33 Major League at bats and he is 26 years old. The only reason he was playing was the September roster expansion after tearing up AA and winning the Eastern Leagues MVP. If the Phillies want to grow their own players they will need to change the way they draft. Drafting and management are not the only problems, trading is an issue that builds on the previous two.
In July 2009 the Phillies made a huge improvement to the team by trading for the reigning Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. The team dealt Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Jason Donald and Lou Marson for the ace and Ben Francisco. To say Philadelphia got the better end of the deal is an understatement. Lee helped lead the team to the World Series while the prospects are either a free agent or not blossoming into the players Cleveland had hoped. Carrasco is in AAA, Knapp is a free agent, Donald is also in AAA, and Marson is on the 15 day disabled list.
In winter 2009 the Phillies traded for Roy Halladay. They gave away Cliff Lee but this is neither here nor there since a year later the Phillies signed him as a free agent. To receive Halladay the Phillies gave up Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, and Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud still has potential for the Mets but is currently hurt. Michael Taylor is another story. He is currently in AAA in the Athletics system but struggled at the Major League level this year batting .043. Now in AAA he is batting .325 with 6 home runs. Drabek is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.
In July 2011 the Phillies traded for right fielder, Hunter Pence. They gave up quite a lot, Jonathan Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Domingo Santana, and Josh Zeid. Singleton, who was suspended, will most likely have a chance to play with the Astros at some point this season. Cosart was the highest regarded prospect when the deal occurred. He is currently at AAA with a 2.65 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts. Santana is not having the best of seasons, but last year in A+  he batted .302 with 23 home runs. Zeid at AAA this year has a 2.82 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. This trade worked for both teams but Zeid the oldest of the prospects, 26,  has not recorded an inning for the Astros. That said there is still time for these young players but once again the Phillies failed to draft players who could be the future core of the team just like Hamels and Howard.
These trades show that even prospects that were highly regarded for the Phillies didn’t turn into anything special. The front office needs to make better decisions with their minor leaguers. They have a chance to redeem themselves on June 6 at the MLB First Year Player Draft, but will this be too late or will the fans call for the firing of GM Ruben Amaro Jr? Only time will tell.